Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition: Beautiful Apocalyptic Enhancements

Metro Exodus is back in a high-octane enhanced edition to push your new gaming hardware to the limit.

Metro Exodus is an exceptional game on a lot of levels. Mixing survival horror and hardcore shooting, it made for compelling gaming drama when it first released in 2019. Equally as impressive were its cutting-edge visuals that have managed to bring many a gaming rig to its knees.

But now there's the Enhanced Edition. With advanced lighting and shading, and other bits of tech-intensive special effects, Exodus is as much a visual showcase as it ever was. 

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition: Beautiful Apocalyptic Enhancements

With the arrival of new video cards including upgraded ray-tracing abilities and power like NVIDIA’s GeForce 30XX line (not to mention new 4K ray-tracing-capable consoles), developers have an array of new and improved tricks to play with.

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition is a great example of how developers can take advantage of new tech while still remaining gamer-friendly. Unlike the enhanced and updated release of Control, for example, which made players buy a new version of the game to get the most of their new game systems, this Enhanced Edition is free to anyone who owns the original game. 

This includes PC, PlayStation, and Xbox owners, although the updated version won’t hit consoles until late June. For PC users, the caveat is the Enhanced Edition requires a video card capable of actually playing the game, so current players who haven’t upgraded their hardware in a while need not apply. This isn’t merely a patch to the base game. Instead, the whole game has been heavily reworked to utilize new graphics features.

If buying Exodus new, this Enhanced Edition comes with both single-player expansion packs, but current owners will only get the upgraded versions of the DLC if they already own them. The game itself is the same. The upgrades are entirely in the visual realm and highly technical. These enhancements make an already stunning-looking game even more impressive.

Admittedly, most of the changes (thanks to the updated ray-tracing and other goodies like NVIDIA’s DLSS 2.0 support) are subtle. Field of view, shadows and lighting, animation, and every aspect of what might be thought of as “natural” effects are improved in ways that aren’t necessarily immediately apparent.

For a game with so many dark, murky environments, the added benefit is clarity. Better lighting means more definition to the claustrophobic environments in the metro and even more awe-inspiring, nearly photographic rendering to the scoping outdoor areas. 

The new global lighting systems add incredible nuances to everything but are especially helpful in the game’s many dark spaces where the increased fidelity makes details previously hidden in shadows pop. 

To make use of all the goodness added, you’ll need at least an NVIDIA RTX 2060 to reach the new minimum specs, but ideally, at least a 3060/3070 or AMD RX 6700 XT/6800 XT. A 3070/6800 XT or higher is recommended for the "high" graphics setting, along with 16 GB of RAM and an 8-core processor. To go full-on 4K at either 30 or 60fps, developer 4A Games recommends at least an RTX 3080 or AMD RX 6900 XT. Essentially, this makes Metro Exodus a showcase game for displaying the power of your new system.

We did encounter a lot of weird glitches during our play, although oddly not usually while actually playing. In particular, initially loading the game lead to unskippable intro videos and odd hang-ups to get to the main menu screen. Past that, the game ran well.

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Looks stunning
  • Free for existing owners of the base game
  • Shows off that new hardware really well

Cons

  • Requires even heftier hardware than ever before
  • Some hinky glitching while loading the game up

Had the Enhanced Edition demanded a price for everyone, we wouldn’t be nearly as excited or impressed. Since the enhanced version is free for current owners of Metro Exodus on both PC and consoles, this is a great reason to dive into the game again.

For newcomers eager to put their new hardware through its paces, this is both a visual wonder and a generally great game. The Enhanced Edition costs $39.99 for those who don't already have it. 

To see what we said about Metro Exodus in greater detail, such as how its gameplay systems work and if its story is worth seeing play out, check out our full Metro Exodus review

[Note: 4A Games provided the copy of Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition used for this review.]

Our Rating
8
Metro Exodus is back in a high-octane enhanced edition to push your new gaming hardware to the limit.
Reviewed On: PC

Contributor

Jason D'Aprile has been writing about games and technology for a very long time. His bylines have appeared on and in countless sites and magazines over the years, including Paste Magazine, Playboy, G4TV, Indie Game Website, UploadVR, Techhive, Lifewire, the Brick Moon Fiction podcast, United Front Gaming, and others he's mostly forgotten about. Jason lives in a house in the woods and does not twit.

Published May. 26th 2021

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