October 28, 2018

PAX Australia 2018 - Hands on with Metro Exodus

Wandering through the various stands at PAX is something that everyone should do at one time or another, whilst I knew the game was going to be there, I was still surprised to see a massive title like Metro Exodus being playable at the Nvidia booth.

Jumping in, the first thing that was made noticeable was the fact that the game was using the new RTX graphical effects, powered by a GTX 2080 card, what that means is that lights, reflections and all those other thing effects we notice in real life were behaving in the game like you might expect. The demo was special in that hitting F1 on the keyboard and the results of the RTX processing would be turned off, meaning the game would swap from what the game could be, to what it will be for those without the new 20XX cards. The effects are so different, that you really have to see it to believe it, and it won't belong as there are games out or just about to come out that use it.

But on to the game, the opening scene had my character being pulled from the water, by a Children of the Wood, after saving me, the child made their way onwards, leaving my character lying on the edge of the river and when they come too again a few minutes later, a deer is sniffing the face, it’s a strange way to open a demo, but it helped set the tone for what I played.

After this, it was time to begin exploring and the first thing I did was head up towards a small shack, just off the river's edge, but before I could get, a sign was in front and mounted to it, was a crossbow, taking it though showed it had no ammo. Inside the shack, I found a medkit, a sign warning of danger from those that control the area and finally a single crossbow bolt. After searching around outside, I came to a small road, with a sign that pointed towards a school just down the road, now as anyone with a brain would tell you, when you have a single shot and you are walking through some very mysterious woods, you need to be careful, but almost immediately after I set off, I was attacked.

The animal that attacked was, a wolf, I think, it had a strange look, but had a very wolf like behaviour, I was able to get some distance between us and I lined up and shot my single bolt, missing and then at the mercy of the animal. Thankfully melee attacks were still an option, meaning a few good whacks with the crossbow itself and down it went, retrieving my bolt, I headed off road into the woods, making my way towards the school. As the path I was on began to widen, I could hear screaming, turns out that a bandit was tied to a post and was being attacked by another wolf, with the creature occupied, I was able to line up a shot and kill it. The guy was very grateful and asked me to cut him loose, feeling magnanimous, I did that, looted a few dead bodies and continued on.

I soon arrived to the school, or at least the little ravine that surrounds it and as I went to look for a way over it, a whistle drew my attention and three guys dropped from a tree across the way and warned me not to get any closer, being that I wanted to, I ignored them and went into the ravine, and found a way up further along. However my attempts at being stealthy went out the window when I was spotted and a mad rush to survive began and while it was a little close towards the end, I survived. In order to leave the school, I had to zip line across the ravine on the other side, which was achieved by using a zip line, which broke and had me scrambling to get up from the whole I fell down into, but just as I was about climb out, a massive bear came barrelling out of the woods ahead, chasing after a wolf pack.

It moved on after the wolves, but it made me proceed with more caution, which turned out to be a great idea, as not to long after the bushes to my left began to shake and a massive heard of deer came crashing through, I breathed a sign of relief, but it was a silly move as the deer were escaping some wolves, the pack of which came through a moment later, a few of them decided that I looked tastier than the deer and stuck around me, which after trying to fight them off, resulted in my being mauled to death and ended my demo.

What I noticed with my time is that the world is very much a word you live in, whilst I was attempting to sneak around the school, the look outs that saw me, would try and see me again, but if I moved on, they ignored me, but at no time was I given any on screen indicator telling me, that someone could see me. Much in the same way the bandit that was tied to the post, I could have moved backwards and ignored him, or even after saving him, I could have left him alone, but saving him did not give me a message of good karma increasing or such, it was just another part of the game.

When the full game releases, I can’t wait to being my time exploring this unique wasteland.

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