While the past week has seen no end of handbags about the last-minute shape-shifting of Metro Exodus into an Epic Store exclusive, and what this means for Steam and whether it’s fair to players, perhaps we have forgotten to think of the children. That is to say, the game at the heart of this controversy.
I’d long had 4A’s nuclear winter shooter mentally filed under “sure, I’ll play that at some point when I get the chance”, but watching this latest round of footage, I’ve just recategorised it under “Oh man I need to play this RIGHT NOW.”
It’s an unusual trailer, being a 5-minute, blow-by-blow breakdown of what Metro games are and what this new one does differently and more expansively, rather than the usual 30 second blunderbuss-blast of heartbeat-long highlights.
Which obviously doesn’t make it any less a piece of expensive marketing. But even though these are all carefully-curated scenes, without downtime, loading screens, aggravating locked doors and all those other schlepping-about moments that don’t cause our adrenaline to leap like a horny salmon, I’m much more excited than I was. There’s much more focus on the things I’ll be able to do, rather than merely the sights I’ll briefly see, but from a camera angle I will never use.
OK, it’s a whole lot more bombastic than my beloved Stalker, but I’m so down for more openness, more survival trauma and hopefully less of olden-Metro’s clunk. I do like a train in the snow, too.
Which makes it a shame that Metro’s release, and potential to be a cracking evening in, is overshadowed by billion-dollar businesses at war. Call me Captain Controversial, but I hope Metro Exodus is good, and I hope as many people as possible are able to play it if it is.