Like everyone else and their irradiated mutant grandmother, I’ll be playing Metro Exodus this weekend. I gave 4A’s Stalkers-on-a-train opus a quick trial run this morning, but was immediately dismayed by a surfeit of malodorous fromage in its cod-Russian-accented English dialogue. It’s not the worst I’ve heard by a long shot, but it’s broad, broad, broad – enough so that it gently undermines the moody, murderous atmosphere.
For all I know, the Russian voice acting is even sillier, but to my heathen ears playing it with voices matching its Moscow setting, translated by English subtitles, makes for a vastly more atmospheric ride on the deathtrain. I wouldn’t play Metro Exodus any other way.
Here’s a quick sample of how Metro sounds to me now:
It seems so much more authentic, even though I’m projecting about a thousand cultural stereotypes onto that by saying it. Given how much of Metro’s appeal is its setting, I guess I just prefer the heightened sense of actually being in Russia, as opposed to having Hollywood Russians speaking English purely for the audience’s sake.
I’m fine with the subtitles, both because most action games seem to default to subtitles on even with English anyway, and because it makes a just little bit more like Tarkovsky’s Stalker. Only with mass slaughter instead of soul-scouring existential dread and paranoia, obviously.
Switching language is easy, but something that caught me out initially is that you can’t do it by bringing up settings while playing the game – the voice language option is simply missing. You need to exit to main menu, then go to settings, then Game Options, and there you’ll find it.
I also recommend popping into Accessibility and setting subtitle size to ‘small’, which may mean you need to crane a little closer to your screen, but means the words don’t take up quite so much of your view.
If you’re on the fence about whether to buy a Metro ticket at all – especially as it requires you to leave the cosy confines of Steam in favour of the Epic Games Store, here’s Brendy with our Metro Exodus review.