Metro is one of the younger franchises in the gaming industry, making its debut in around 2010. The game is set in post-apocalyptic Russia. Coincidentally, it was released after an instalment of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, which led many enthusiasts to believe that there were strings attached between the two franchises.
There's no doubting that Metro is very similar to the STALKER series in many ways, but there are various things that Metro does differently, which has attracted many fans to the game.
The best way to play this game and enjoy the intricate stories is to play it chronologically. Here is the complete series of Metro games according to when they were released and some of the things you should look out for.
Released: March 16, 2010
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, Linux Mac
The first instalment for the franchise creates a new home for the survivors who lost everything after the nuclear war ended. It makes it possible to live in an otherwise impossible to survive the environment above ground.
The perfect storyline for new gamers
The game is set in parts of Russia that are now covered with blankets of snow in an endless winter. Food is hard to come by save for a blend of mushrooms and meat from the now monstrous rats.
The game’s protagonist is Artyom, who is too young to remember how things were before everything fell apart. He leaves his new home for the security of his district with a mission to fight a new and unheard enemy.
In this sequel of Metro, you follow Artyom through the tunnels of the city as he searches for aid from Polis and the new capital. There are conflicting ideologies, and the Nazis and Communists are fighting for the remaining land.
As you go through the different stages of the game, you're constantly reminded of Metro's desolate state. The cramped tunnels and the idolised photos of grass paint a grim picture of the lack of hope that has covered the city.
There's not much to be excited about regarding the environment of the game, mainly because the gameplay has excellent graphical integrity that brings all the details of the grim environment to life.
As a first-person-shooter game, it is relatively standard. But Metro redefines the meaning of one-shooter games in this series by having multiple elite shooters as opposed to having just one. While this particular game feels a little overboard, it is vital in Metro Exodus, where teamwork is critical.
The game follows in the footsteps of other post-apocalyptic games. It lacks ammo and instead relies on gas mask canisters. Also, choosing whether or not to use a flashlight can be potentially life-saving in this sequel.
Metro received a lot of backlash because of how complicated it is to acquire weapons. You can save yourself many problems down the road by taking time to understand the system, especially for new gamers.
This intricate mode of getting new weapons only attracted seasoned gamers. With Metro 2033, the method is not as complicated. But as the series proceeds and you have to use weapon mods, getting new hardware becomes trickier.
Metro 2033 was fairly well-received by the gaming world. The game did a decent job of painting a grim and horrifying picture of the city after a nuclear war. But most pundits believed that the developers weren't quite able to dig into the horror aspect of the show, and this makes the game feel shallow at best.
There were also complaints of how similar the game was to Fallout 3, which had just concluded its final DLC five months before Metro 2033 was released.
Metro: Last Light
Release date: May 14, 2013
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, Max, Linux
Although the reception of the first game could have been better, it was encouraging enough for the developers to release a second game. The second sequel Metro: Last Light, came out in 2013.
It was a continuation of the story from the previous game. In the second game, Artyom had now become a Spartan ranger with the task of finding and eliminating the last surviving Dark One who had managed to survive the nuclear missiles.
As expected, Last Light would make some significant changes to the game that made it feel slightly different from Metro 2033. Last Light’s focus veered from the slow-paced, survival-oriented theme and went for a more action-packed spectacle. Given the reception of the game, it’s safe to say the new direction struck the right chords with most gamers.
In Last Light, You’re restricted to using only two weapons and a definite number of fighters. You can operate the knife and the throw weapons using the hotkeys. But the game feels more fluid when you use a controller.
In this sequel, the developers were maximising on the traction created by Metro 2033 and then some. The game features more velocity, and the plot is more straightforward. The game also has a star-feeling that has replaced the grit that made the first edition standout.
On the upside, players got to try out some new weapons that were more fun and engaging. In gaming, trying out some new hardware is always a welcome experience.
While Metro 2033 had preloaded weapons, Last Light had weapon mods. This allowed players to buy weapons and bridge the technical gap between the two games. Players could also customise the game going forward. This new approach proved handy in the Exodus release, where the enemies and mutants were more dangerous than in the previous games.
Most of the other components of the game remained intact. The currency system, moral decision, and the stealth of the game were untouched.
Release date: August 26, 2014
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, Linux
Metro: Redux was released just one year after the release of Last Light. The game didn't feature any significant changes, mainly because of the tight timeline. As such, it was considered more of a remaster than a standalone sequel in the franchise.
This entry is set in the years 2033 and 2034, with Artyom as the protagonist. Although there weren’t many significant changes, the game featured many new added features that allowed you to rediscover the desolation that was in the city of Metro.
The game allowed you to venture farther from home as you fight your way through differing rival factions in the underground railways.
The graphics of both games featured in this remake got a drastic boost. There was also a robust improvement on the artificial intelligence of the system and the aspect of combat for the N.P.Cs.
The new addition had two difficulty levels that allowed the players to select their level of resource management. This applied throughout the game, and both of the editions featured in this release also had the weapons handling system overhauled.
The graphics were the most appreciated aspect of the game by reviewers and gamers. It’s also fair to say the gameplay is enjoyable by all means and at all times. Deciding to bring Metro 2033 to the newer gaming consoles turned out to be an excellent decision as well, and it was even better because it was seamless with no loss of content involved when making the switch.
On the downside, most gamers felt that more attention was focused on Metro 2033 than Metro: Last Night. Both games were rendered the same way. But there was the assumption and feeling that 2033 had gone through more overhaul with particular care in the remake of Redux.
If you don’t have the time to play both Last Light and 2033, you should consider playing Redux. It should give you a taste of both games and help you quickly understand their workings in preparation of playing their most recent release. But it always pays to play the originals to give yourself the full experience.
Release date: February 15, 2019
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows
From the last release in 2014, the gaming world had changed a lot and gone through numerous advancements. That’s why the latest release of the Metro created a lot of anxiety and curiosity prior to its release. Once released, it proved to be the best and biggest sequel of the franchise thus far.
The game blends F.P.S. aspects with exceptional survival elements and is easily one of the best shooter games. It is dynamic, with chunky environments and formidable and deadly opponents. With all the progress made in graphics, it's worth noting that the graphics of the game are excellent.
Like the previous two releases, this one also sticks to the continuation story but with plenty of twists in-between. Artyom (still the protagonist) embarks on a journey with another elite shooter, Anna to look for and rescue other survivors.
Unlike the first two games, Exodus is set in the ruins of Moscow. It takes a long and dangerous trip on a locomotive. The player traverses through Taiga Forest and across the desert to the Caspian Sea while looking for survivors. It’s a world away from the Metro plot featured in the previous two releases.
The antagonists are a significant part of how the story in this game unfolds. The chances of Artyom and his elite shooters surviving depends on more than just their superb shooting skills. Based on the player’s decisions, there is a varied possibility of outcomes.
This makes this release the most challenging in the series, perfect for hours of gaming on end. Exodus builds on the knowledge of the player from the previous games allowing you to make wiser decisions, particularly regarding the scarce ammunition if you have played the previous games.
Being successful in Exodus relies heavily on the creativity of the shooter. You can customise the available weapons and even use less force when fighting mutants. In this game, the primary goal is to rescue other survivors and still manage to stay alive.
Players that have played Last Night can bring in the survival tactics from that game into this one and get an edge when fighting enemies. After all, not all enemies deserve a bullet in the head.
Exodus is also a little different from the other entries. While the others are solely F.P.S. games, Exodus offers a better playing experience by throwing in some survival elements, which is quite amazing.
The effort placed by developers to improve the experience didn't go unnoticed. The game was nominated for over ten awards, among them best storytelling.
The franchise is expected to have a steady stream of expansion packs, which are creating anticipation for even more awards and nominations.
The Future of Metro
Metro is still a budding franchise with lots of promise. After the release of Metro Exodus, which was a huge success, the developer 4A Games seems to have shifted focus on the DLC packs.
The first of them being The Two Colonels, which was released in August 2019, and another one, Sam's Story, was to be published early in 2020. Simply put, there’s no shortage of events and games to look out for from the Metro franchise.
The most interesting of the chatter is some talk about a sequel to Exodus that is possibly in the works. The leading novelist Dmitry Glukhovsky has already confirmed he is working on ideas for the story together with 4A Games. The Metro lexicon has plenty of novels, which makes it easy for the developers to come up with another intriguing and riveting storyline for the game.
While waiting for more details on the possible sequel to succeed Exodus and the new game to materialise, you can indulge yourself in the spoils of the previous Metro games, which also prove to be quite the catch, especially if you're the kind of the gamer that leaves nothing to chance.
Because the games have a successive story, it makes sense to start with the very first one working your way to the latest one.