Metro Exodus Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Metro Exodus RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition: Beautiful Apocalyptic Enhancements https://www.gameskinny.com/4hmii/metro-exodus-enhanced-edition-beautiful-apocalyptic-enhancements https://www.gameskinny.com/4hmii/metro-exodus-enhanced-edition-beautiful-apocalyptic-enhancements Tue, 11 May 2021 10:59:37 -0400 Jason D'Aprile

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.]

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Metro Exodus Adds DLSS 2.0 and New Ray-Traced Graphics https://www.gameskinny.com/9mpd9/metro-exodus-adds-dlss-20-and-new-ray-traced-graphics https://www.gameskinny.com/9mpd9/metro-exodus-adds-dlss-20-and-new-ray-traced-graphics Thu, 29 Apr 2021 14:56:57 -0400 David Carcasole

In true Metro Exodus style, the latest upgrades to the game make it the best-looking version of the first-person shooter yet, as Metro Exodus will now feature NVIDIA's DLSS 2.0 technology and advanced ray-traced reflections, improved ray-traced global illumination, and ray-traced emissive lighting.  

NVIDIA has also released a new driver update to prepare PCs for the new upgrades. Players should check their GeForce app to prepare for the experience of new ray-tracing effects. 

The catch, however, with these upgrades for Metro Exodus is that they are unfortunately exclusive to specific GPUs, namely graphics cards with ray-tracing capabilities. This means only the latest cards from AMD and NVIDIA's 2000 and 3000 series cards will be able to take advantage of the upgrades. 

There's also no word as to whether support for AMD's version of DLSS, DirectML Super Resolution, will be added. For now, DLSS 2.0 support is only available for NVIDIA hardware. 

While the exclusivity for ray-tracing capable cards is unfortunate on the DLSS side, it also isn't surprising. The update will be available to all current owners of Metro Exodus but will have to be downloaded as a separate version of the game called Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition, which will be available on Steam on May 6, 2021.

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Substantial Metro Exodus Next-Gen Upgrade Rolling Into the Station https://www.gameskinny.com/l46qr/substantial-metro-exodus-next-gen-upgrade-rolling-into-the-station https://www.gameskinny.com/l46qr/substantial-metro-exodus-next-gen-upgrade-rolling-into-the-station Mon, 15 Feb 2021 17:12:51 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Metro Exodus is getting a meaty next-gen upgrade later in 2021 and some extra visual enhancements for high-end PCs. Deep Silver and 4A Games announced the Metro Exodus next-gen versions in a new blog post and said both the console and PC upgrades will be free.

Metro Exodus on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will support 4K visuals and run at 60fps, along with improved load times. The Xbox Series X version is getting spatial audio enhancements and reduced control input latency, while the PlayStation 5 version will support the DualSense's haptics.

The next-gen upgrades also include ray tracing on both consoles, a feature previously exclusive to high-end PCs but found in the likes of Spider-Man: Miles Morales and the next-gen version of Control. Specifically, it's Deep Silver's Ray Traced Global Illumination and Ray Traced Emissive Lighting made possible by the dev team "overhauling" the game's engine.

Deep Silver won't leave Xbox Series S owners out of the fun. Metro Exodus on Xbox Series S features 1080p resolution, 60fps, and full ray tracing.

Existing owners get the next-gen version for free, with Smart Delivery support on Xbox Series X|S.

Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition uses Deep Silver's new ray tracing technology to deliver "the ultimate ray traced experience." It requires a ray tracing capable GPU as the bare minimum and will be issued as a separate game instead of as a patch. However, Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition will still be free for existing owners.

[Source: Deep Silver]

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Leaving the Books Behind Means the Best Metro Game is the Next One https://www.gameskinny.com/v5xg9/leaving-the-books-behind-means-the-best-metro-game-is-the-next-one https://www.gameskinny.com/v5xg9/leaving-the-books-behind-means-the-best-metro-game-is-the-next-one Mon, 09 Mar 2020 14:03:04 -0400 Mark Delaney

The Metro saga is a long and winding road. Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky's post-apocalyptic story began nearly two decades ago, in 2002, before receiving its first English translation and video game adaptation in 2010. Since then, we've seen two more books and two more games.

The world of Metro has never been bigger than it was in 2019's Metro Exodus. Literally. It's the first game in the series to offer sandbox sections, but also narratively, it's the first story to take our returning, silent hero of the metro to new places.

After the best game in the series and two vital DLC chapters, 4A's Metro games have skirted a line between retelling and reimagining the books all the way to their finish line, which means the road ahead has never been more compelling.

Note: This article contains spoilers for the Metro series, including the books, games, and DLCs.

If you're unfamiliar with the Metro series, here's the SparkNotes version: the world has collapsed under the cloud of nuclear winter. Mutants roam the scorched earth above, while factions of surviving humans in Russia fight for scarce resources (mostly) underground. Ammunition is both a vital part of your arsenal and a makeshift form of currency.

In the first two games, the hero, Artyom, follows in his literary counterpart's footsteps, though never step for step. 

Instead, the books have always been used as a compass for 4A Games, which worked closely with Glukhovsky to adapt his novels to consoles and PC. Undoubtedly, though, the books have always been there, keeping the gears of the series fluidly moving.

Metro Exodus, meanwhile, presents a more drastic change to the methodology, as the video game threequel is more like a reimagining and a continuation. The grand reveal of the third book, Metro 2035, is that the rest of the world remains more intact than Artyom and others were led to believe.

In the books, Artyom is stunned as virtually everybody either doesn't believe his discovery or they simply don't care to act on it, a biting social commentary on some modern problems, no doubt. But in Exodus, this same discovery becomes the catalyst for the best Metro game so far. Diverging from the books, the third Metro game sends a band of heroes off to explore this brave new world.

As Artyom and his crew of Rangers and other allies move through Europe on a salvaged train car, players get to see more of the world than we ever thought possible. This was a series happily confined to dark subway tunnels and vile sewer pipes for half a decade, but Exodus showed us something grander, that even in its decay managed to look stunning.



It didn't end there either. Last year, the first of two DLC chapters, The Two Colonels, told the story of the final days of the metro station Novosibirsk, as modern-day Colonel Miller retraced the steps of those who died below ground.

The DLC is a short but necessary chapter acting as a clever reversal of the rest of the series. Until then, going above ground meant almost guaranteed death while staying in the tunnels meant a dire way of living. But here we see it's those left below ground who were the first to go extinct. The Two Colonels felt like an epilogue to the subterranean world of Metro, like filling a ditch with cement. 

And if The Two Colonels was the epilogue, the second DLC, Sam's Story, may have been the prologue of what's to come.

In Sam's Story, the perspective pivots to one of Artyom's American allies, who got stuck in Russia when the world fell apart. It's been years since Sam saw his dad, and he has no idea if he's alive or dead, so when he hears of a submarine that may get him to the U.S., Sam decides to try and hitch a ride. Of course, it's always more complicated than that.

Though the DLC offers two vastly different endings, they both allow players to peer into what may be the series' future, and it was in this final scene where I realized Metro's enormous potential.

I chose the "bad" ending and hitched a conflicted ride to the U.S. For the entire five-hour expansion, I was invested in Sam's struggle, so curious as to whether or not he'd really make it home. So when the final image pulled back, and I saw Sam standing on the sub, docked by the Golden Gate Bridge, my jaw dropped.

Some part of me expected Sam to fail, and I'd already prepared myself for that eventuality, that the series wouldn't actually dare move away from its integral setting of Russia. But there Sam was, looking out at the iconic California landmark. 

It's a seismic shift to the series which comes by way of several tremors.

For one, if the next Metro game decides to follow Sam, we'll have a setting so vastly different that it will almost feel like a new game. Metro is Russia. If the next Metro is anywhere else, it will be as starkly different as BioShock moving from Rapture to Columbia. 

Secondly, Sam talks. In 2010, Artyom's silent protagonist act wasn't so out of place, but it sticks out much worse a decade later. Maybe Sam or someone like him should lead the next act, as that will allow for a more cinematic experience that Metro otherwise already delivers so well.

Lastly, and most importantly, none of these changes would be as fascinating if 4A Games still had more groundwork to build on from the books. Whether or not it's Sam we play as again in the likely fourth Metro game doesn't matter as much as the fact that the developers are clearly willing to take big chances to tell compelling stories.

I'd expect the next game to carry forward some of the series' staples, like its survival elements. However, the details in the setting and story and characters may prove to be new and more exciting than ever. 

Though fans have appreciated the adaptations and how they've remixed some book elements while retelling others, there's a certain freedom that comes from hitting the end of the books you're adapting.

Now 4A gets to do it their way. No books ahead, no guiding hand. There's only a world of possibilities.

And though Game of Thrones fans may warn that such a prospect isn't as enticing as it sounds, I believe Metro Exodus and its expansions already show us that the series is in great hands, and I can't wait to see where this train is heading next. 

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Metro Exodus Escapes Epic Exclusivity, Releases on Steam https://www.gameskinny.com/rdfwr/metro-exodus-escapes-epic-exclusivity-releases-on-steam https://www.gameskinny.com/rdfwr/metro-exodus-escapes-epic-exclusivity-releases-on-steam Sat, 15 Feb 2020 09:47:22 -0500 GS_Staff

4A's Metro Exodus is finally out on Steam. The open-world first-person shooter generated its fair share of controversy in early 2019 when it was revealed the game would be an Epic Games Store exclusive. Now, that year-long stop at EGS station is over, and the Metro train has steamed ahead. 

It was late in the game when Deep Silver decided to sign an exclusivity deal with Epic to bring Metro to its nascent storefront. Though the shooter wasn't the only game leading the charge, it was one of the biggest at the time, even more so than The Division 2, which was also an EGS exclusive. 

Fans who pre-ordered Metro Exodus demanded refunds, and others flocked to Steam to review-bomb the other games in the series, Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light. Valve responded to the move, saying it was "unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period." 

4A, the developer of the Metro franchise, further stoked the flames by insinuating that fan backlash could keep future entries from appearing on the PC platform. Publisher Deep Silver quickly moved to deescalate the growing furor by saying that the comments did "not reflect Deep Silver’s or 4A Games’ view on the future of the franchise."

It should be noted, though, that those who pre-ordered the game still got their Steam copies, a tidbit often lost in the kerfuffle. It just wasn't, until now, available on Steam for those who didn't board the train early. 

Regardless of the controversy surrounding it, Metro Exodus is a fantastic entry in the Metro series. In our 9/10 review of the game, we said that it "is almost a perfect game, introducing exciting new elements while still offering the classic Metro experience." We praised it for its setting and improved AI, as well as its crafting system. 

With its release on Steam, Metro Exodus brings both of the game's DLC packs, The Two Colonels and Sam's Story. The base game will set you back $39.99, though it's currently on sale for 40% off, putting it at $23.99. The Two Colonels is discounted from its normal $7.99 price tag, coming in at $4.79. Sam's Story is currently full price: $17.99. 

If you're just now buying your ticket to Metro Exodus, we've got a handful of tips articles that will keep you warm in the frigid Russian winter. 

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PlayStation Store's Halloween Sale is Devilishly Divine https://www.gameskinny.com/9w4f6/playstation-stores-halloween-sale-is-devilishly-divine https://www.gameskinny.com/9w4f6/playstation-stores-halloween-sale-is-devilishly-divine Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:45:15 -0400 Josh Broadwell

It wouldn't be Halloween without a few frighteningly good sales, and the PlayStation Store has PS4 players covered with its special Halloween Sale from now until 11 a.m. on November 1

There are more than 200 titles on offer, from the genuinely scary Resident Evil 2 to the psychologically horrifying The Sinking City. Luckily, for those out there easily spooked, there are some atmospheric but not scary options like Divinity — Original Sin 2.

Here's a sampling of the treats you'll find:

  • Resident Evil 2 Deluxe Edition — $34.99
  • Resident Evil Triple Pack — $23.79
  • Divinity — Original Sin II: Definitive Edition — $35.99
  • Fallout 4: GOTY Edition — $23.99
  • Devil May Cry 5: Deluxe Edition — $34.99
  • Metro Exodus — $29.99
  • We Happy Few$29.99
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus — $19.79
  • A Plague Tale: Innocence — $29.99
  • Dark Souls Remastered $19.99
  • Nights of Azure — $23.99
  • Zanki Zero: Last Beginning — $29.99
  • The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series — $34.99
  • Little Nightmares: Complete Edition — $7.49
  • Killing Floor 2 — $14.99
  • The Evil Within: Digital Bundle — $14.99
  • Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition — $5.99
  • Destroy All Humans! — $2.99
  • Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer — $7.49
  • Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition — $8.99

That's just a sampling of everything on sale, and the full list can be found here.

If you're in the mood for more Halloween, be sure to check out our games with Halloween events list, too.

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New Details on Metro Exodus Expansion Pass Content https://www.gameskinny.com/ykvyn/new-details-on-metro-exodus-expansion-pass-content https://www.gameskinny.com/ykvyn/new-details-on-metro-exodus-expansion-pass-content Thu, 16 May 2019 11:24:45 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Deep Silver and 4A Games have finally announced the details of Metro Exodus' expansion pass content, the first portion of which will launch this summer.

The Metro Exodus expansion pass will include two brand-new story campaigns set after the events of the main game. Those who haven't finished the game yet and don't wish the narrative to be spoiled should skip below to the release date and pre-order information.

Each new story campaign stars a character other than Artoym. The Two Colonels is the first and is told through the eyes of Colonel Khlebnikov — a new character — while the second, Sam's Story, centers on Sam (surprise!), the only American in the Aurora Spartan Rangers.

The Two Colonels is set to launch this summer and follows Khlebnikov's journey under the dead city of Novosibirsk as he tries to make his way home to his son Kirill in time for New Year's Eve.

However, Novosibirsk is in trouble. The material people use to defend against radiation is running out, and mutant monster attacks are increasing. Khlebnikov's journey through the city during its last days lays the foundation for Colonel Miller's tale a year later.

Sam's Story is slated for an early 2020 release date. Where The Two Colonels is a linear story, Sam's Story will be a sandbox-style survival adventure. Sam is a U.S. Marine at the diplomatic embassy in Moscow before the world is nearly obliterated by nuclear bombs. He only wants to go home to his family, but initially believes, like everyone else, that Moscow is the last city left on the planet.

When he finds out otherwise, Sam tries to make his way back home. The DLC campaign will focus on his danger-filled time in Vladivostok, navigating industrial ruins and decrepit residential districts as he tries to make it out alive.

The expansion pass will be available for PC via the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Metro Exodus is already having a big year. Not only did it cause a ruckus when Deep Silver and 4A made it exclusive to the EGS on PC, but it also managed to outsell its predecessor and has already received a major update to improve the game's quality and content.

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Metro: Exodus Ranger Update Brings New Game+ and Other Updates https://www.gameskinny.com/gu9he/metro-exodus-ranger-update-brings-new-game-and-other-updates https://www.gameskinny.com/gu9he/metro-exodus-ranger-update-brings-new-game-and-other-updates Tue, 26 Mar 2019 19:03:33 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Metro Exodus's first update, Ranger, debuts today and includes bug fixes, a range of improvements for the console and PC versions, and an expansive New Game+ mode. Deep Silver and 4A games announced the changes today and detailed the new mode.

New Game+ will allow players to carry over their weapons and attachments gathered during the first playthrough. It also provides a wide variety of customizable features so players can make their second time through completely their own.

Of particular interest is the developer commentary feature. There will be hidden tapes players can find throughout the game in New Game+ that offers some commentary about that particular area.

The developers also said the bug and crash fixes were made based on the extensive feedback received from players, including the dump files and crash reports submitted to them.

The full patch notes can be found below:

Inventory Modes

My Weapons

  • Allows you to start with all weapons and attachments found in the last playthrough
  • Weapons are granted after freeing Anna in Moscow
  • Starting weapons will be the last loadout that was set in the previous end game save
  • All other weapons and attachments previously unlocked will be available in the Aurora Workbench Armory, first encountered in Volga
  • Player Armor/Wrist upgrades do not carry over

One Weapon

  • Reduces weapon slots to one.  Any weapon can be used in this slot, but you can only take one with you.  Manage this by swapping Weapons in the field, or by using the Aurora Workbench Armory

Crossbow

  • Provides Player with the Crossbow at the beginning of the game in addition to normal Weapon Progression. Yermak gives the Player the Crossbow after Jammer scene in Moscow.

Backpack limitations

  • Crafting in the Backpack is disabled, you may only use a Workbench
  • Only Weapon modifications allowed in Backpack

AI Modes

Armored Enemies

  • Human NPC’s are upgraded by one level of Armor across the game if applicable

Tougher Creatures

  • Creatures have thicker hide across the game

Grenadiers

  • Human NPCs use explosives more often

Environment Modes

Real Time Weather

  • Change the game’s natural day/night cycle from 2 to 24 real hours for complete immersion

Bad Weather

  • Fog, Rain, Snow, and Sand storm conditions occur more frequently where applicable

Radiation is Forever

  • Additional radiation zones will appear across some levels, making the Gas Mask more important

Game Modes

Iron Mode

  • Fully disables the Save System, progress is only saved between levels

Developer Commentary

  • Green Tape Players throughout the game will be available to play Developer Commentary about the area in which it is found

Additional New Game + Content

Achievements / Trophies

  • Additional set of hidden objects in the world, exclusive to New Game+

New Game+ becomes available from the New Game menu after completing the game once.

Please note: Starting a new game in Regular Mode or in New Game + will clear your Quick/Auto/Chapter Select saves. You will need to progress again to access later levels.

Deep Silver also provided separate patch notes for PC and console versions.

Despite the controversy surrounding its move to the Epic Games Store and the backlash it faced, Metro Exodus is already proving to be a big hit with fans. It seems the Ranger update is set to offer an even grander adventure.

If you're still trying to finish the game so you can access New Game+, check out our Metro Exodus guides for some helpful tips.

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Metro: Exodus Outsells Its Predecessor on the Epic Store https://www.gameskinny.com/ai25x/metro-exodus-outsells-its-predecessor-on-the-epic-store https://www.gameskinny.com/ai25x/metro-exodus-outsells-its-predecessor-on-the-epic-store Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:43:36 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Deep Silver's Metro: Exodus launched last month to generally high praise from critics. And the game was a new step for the developer in a variety of ways.

Not only was Metro: Exodus a bigger, grander effort than the original Metro games, but it also marked Deep Silver's move to the Epic Games Store from Steam. It was a move fraught with controversy, angering fans and eliciting a statement from Valve

However, none of that harmed Metro: Exodus's first month sales. Its total number of sales is already more than twice that of Metro: Last Light, and it made the number 8 spot on marketing research firm the NPD group's February sales.

What's particularly noteworthy in this data is that the Epic sales are digital only, while NPD only tracks physical sales, meaning Metro: Exodus has done very well for itself indeed.

Another point worthy of mentioning is that the sudden shift to the Epic Store, despite a long pre-sale period on Steam and the controversy it caused, didn't harm Deep Silver's sales overall.

However, Epic's Steve Allison believes the game's home on the Internet doesn't affect sales, saying "it's really about the games, not the store you sell on."

GamesIndustry.biz's Christopher Dring says it could mean Steam's user base isn't as significant as some might initially believe. Of course, it's impossible to say whether the game would have sold even more on Steam, but at the very least, it didn't prohibit Deep Silver's success.

That fact, plus Epic offers a better deal for developers than Valve — a 12% revenue cut versus Valve's 30% — means it's likely more developers will look to the Epic Store to host their games in the future, including studios like Obsidian Entertainment

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Metro Exodus Guide: How to Free the Slaves https://www.gameskinny.com/wt08o/metro-exodus-guide-how-to-free-the-slaves https://www.gameskinny.com/wt08o/metro-exodus-guide-how-to-free-the-slaves Thu, 21 Feb 2019 10:53:11 -0500 Sergey_3847

Reputation plays a huge role in the Metro series of games. The same rule applies in Metro Exodus, where you define whether you will get a good or a bad ending with your own actions.

One way to get a good reputation is to help people out. That's why one of the most important missions in the game involves freeing slaves in the Caspian region.

It's not an easy mission, so if you want to know how to complete it with a good result, then follow our step-by-step guide below.

Step 1: Snipe All the Guards

Anna will tell you about the slave ship in the Caspian region, which you can find in the northwestern part of the map. The marker will be added to your map, and you really should wait before it gets dark in order to start the mission.

As you approach the dock with the slave ship, you will notice that there are lots of guards checking the perimeter, so be sure to get a sniper rifle, which will help you greatly.

In this way you can take out all the guards from a distance and without alarming the rest of the guards. Also, if you have enough ammo, it would be wise to extinguish all the sources of light before going all in.

Step 2: Get on the Ship

Use the zipline at the dock to get on the slave ship. When you're on board, turn right and extinguish all the torches.

Be as stealthy as possible when you're inside the ship: crouch, knock out enemies from behind, and shoot those lamps. Move slowly towards the center of the ship until you hear slaves speaking in the distance.

This is the sign that you're getting closer to the prison cells. Now prepare your sniper rifle and be ready to kill many guards.

Step 3: Open the Prison Cells

When you're done with all the guards, get inside the control room and switch on the panel on the wall. This will power up the prison cells.

Then, walk out of the control room on the other side of the bridge and look for a lever. It's right above the prison cells. Push the lever and watch the slaves fleeing from their cells.

Finally, use the zipline on the bridge and leave the ship through the door with an exit sign on it.

For other Metro Exodus guides at GameSkinny, check out the list below:

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Metro Exodus Guide: How to Save Duke https://www.gameskinny.com/phqho/metro-exodus-guide-how-to-save-duke https://www.gameskinny.com/phqho/metro-exodus-guide-how-to-save-duke Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:07:51 -0500 Sergey_3847

Duke is one of the main companions in Metro Exodus. His mission is the first major challenge Artyom will face in the Volga region.

Before you begin, though, know that this portion of the game should be approached with extreme caution; depending on your actions, your reputation will be affected in one way or the other. 

Note: Minor spoilers follow. 

Step 1: Escape the Church

As you approach the church in Volga, you'll notice it is full of cult members. However, don't kill them. To get Duke out alive, you need to reach the boat on the other side of the church without causing a stir. If you must dispatch a cult member, do it quietly and strategically by knocking them out from behind.  

 

Step 2: Steal the Bandits' Boat

Once you've found your way out of the church and reached the boat, don't take it; instead, swim along the channel. Eventually, you will arrive at the bandits' camp. Here, you need to steal one of the bigger boats, which will take you to the cult leader.

To reach the boat, follow the same stealthy approach as before. Try not to kill anyone, or only a few if necessary. If you kill too many enemies, you garner negative reputation points amongst the survivors at the end of the mission, so be careful.

Run from one boat to the other until you reach the riverboat; go inside the cabin and activate the engine.

Step 3: Talk to the Cult Leader

Once you arrive at the cult leader's base, slip through all the rooms and get to the elevator unnoticed.

Take your time and crouch whenever you can to reduce noise. If needed, knockout enemies by hitting them from behind. When you reach the elevator, go up to the top floor.

Make your way through the last section of the base and enter the cult leader's room at the end. If you did well, Duke will enter the room and you will both escape alive.

For other Metro Exodus guides at GameSkinny, use the listing below:

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Locations Guide for Suit, Armor Upgrades in Metro Exodus https://www.gameskinny.com/6c3ax/locations-guide-for-suit-armor-upgrades-in-metro-exodus https://www.gameskinny.com/6c3ax/locations-guide-for-suit-armor-upgrades-in-metro-exodus Tue, 19 Feb 2019 11:56:07 -0500 Sergey_3847

Although weapons are probably the most important pieces of gear in Metro Exodus, it's your suit that prevents you from dying instantly in post-apocalyptic Russia.

Fortunately, there are a number of various suit and armor upgrades in the game strewn throughout the game. Each new upgrade piece will add something unique to your suite, and help you complete missions in a far more effective way.

Below, we'll show you all 13 possible locations for suit and armor upgrades in Metro Exodus. We'll also briefly look at the Top 5 upgrades at the end of this guide. 

Compass Upgrade

One of the most important pieces of gear you can find in Metro Exodus is a simple compass, which is available in the very first location, Volga.

Just head north from the railway and locate a crashed airplane. Get inside and grab it from the cockpit.

Obviously, you will need to install it using a workbench. But as soon as you do, the compass will show you the way to your next objective without constantly opening and closing the map.

It's super convenient and saves you a ton of time.

Extended Filter Upgrade

The initial gas mask filter in Metro Exodus isn't particularly good, as it needs to be replaced every couple of minutes. But you can find an extended filter in the central-northern part of Volga.

It can be seen inside an abandoned bunker on one of the tables. As soon as you equip it, you will notice that this filter holds a lot longer than your typical vanilla gas mask.

Ammo Pouch Upgrade

In the same area as before, you will find a prison facility that still holds several people. You can free them and as a reward, you will get a key that will play an important role later in the game.

But what you're really here for is a large pouch for ammo, which can be found right at the backside entrance into the building. Grab it and you will be able to carry a lot more ammo than before.

Throwing Weapons Harness Upgrade

Carrying more ammo is great, but how about being able to carry more knives? If you're a stealthier player, this upgrade is an important one. 

You can find a harness upgrade at the gas station located in the eastern part of Volga. Just enter the building and go inside the storage room behind the locked doors.

Take the harness and never worry about not having enough throwing weapons on you.

Battery Charge Controller Upgrade

The flashlight and night vision goggles are essential tools in Exodus, so it is a good idea to get the battery charger since it allows you to preserve a lot more energy. But be ready for one of the hardest puzzles in the game.

The battery charge controller can be found inside the fisherman's house on a small island in the southern part of Volga. You can use your boat to get there; you will also need a can of gas to be able to start the generator located in the hut nearby. This will open the door into the house.

As you enter the house, switch on the electricity and follow the ramp to the second floor. Drop down through the hole in the floor and switch on another generator.

Enter the next room and open the metal door. Behind the door, you will find a man on the electrocution table. Unfortunately, you have to kill him by switching on the electricity.

Now, you can finally get your battery charge controller.

Reinforced Helmet Upgrade

If you're playing on a high difficulty setting, then you simply need to get a better helmet, as enemies tend to aim straight at your head.

You can find a reinforced helmet in an abandoned building, which can be found to the east of the fisherman's isle.

Just go inside and equip it. 

Metal Detector Upgrade

Finding ammo and metals can be really hard at times. Often, you simply don't see these valuable items nearby because of low light conditions. But with a metal detector, you can't miss a thing.

To get this upgrade, take a short trip to the southeastern part of Volga and break the lock on an abandoned bunker. Inside the bunker, you will find the metal detector on the table.

Night Vision Goggles Upgrade

The last suit upgrade in the Volga region is the night vision goggles. It can be found inside a terminal located in the eastern part of the map.

If you've been kind enough to release the prisoners from the prison before, then you should have received a key that opens this terminal. 

Go inside and the goggles will be on a table. 

Motion Scanner Upgrade

If you enjoy playing in a stealth mode, then having a motion scanner is simply a must. It will allow you to detect the movement of your enemies from cover, keeping you alive longer.

You can find this armor upgrade on top of the base at the northern part of the Caspian level.

Just take all the ladders to the top floor, and you will find it on the table near a shelf with gas cans.

Extra Bright Flashlight Upgrade

Nights can get really dangerous in Metro Exodus. This is when all of the most furious mutants wake up and start hunting for prey. Fortunately, they are terribly scared of light, which you can produce using an extra bright flashlight.

All you need to do is go to the northern shore of the Caspian area, where you will find a shipwreck.

Go inside and pick up the flashlight from the chest. Just be sure to get a battery charger before using it.

Armored Glass Upgrade

If you go west of the shipwreck location, you will soon stumble upon an inhabited cave. You will need to use the ladder to get up to it, but when you do, you will find an armored glass in one of the chests.

This item is an alternative piece of headgear, which could be used instead of your helmet. But if you have the reinforced helmet from before, then you can skip this one.

NVD Amplifier Upgrade

In the southeastern part of the Caspian area, you will find an abandoned air control center. Go inside the building and follow the stairs to the top floor. You will soon arrive at the radio room with an NVD amplifier.

You can use it to turn your night vision goggles into a heat vision goggles, which is a far more advanced piece of gear.

Consumables Carrier Upgrade

From the previous location, walk a bit to the north; you will arrive at a fork in the road. Turn left, which will lead you to a small cave.

Inside the cave, you will find a consumables pouch, which will allow you to carry even more medkits and other consumables.

Top 5 Upgrades

Remember that you don't need to find all 13 gear upgrades, as most of them are not essential. However, here are the top five that you should be looking for the most:

  1. Compass
  2. Reinforced Helmet
  3. Night Vision Goggles
  4. Ammo Pouch
  5. Consumables Carrier

These suit and armor upgrades will make your time on the surface much more manageable. 

If you're just starting out, then be sure to head over to our beginner's guide. To see why we said Metro Exodus was almost the perfect game, you can read our official review

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Metro Exodus Beginner Tips and Tricks Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/2kg88/metro-exodus-beginner-tips-and-tricks-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/2kg88/metro-exodus-beginner-tips-and-tricks-guide Fri, 15 Feb 2019 12:11:37 -0500 Sergey_3847

Metro Exodus, the third installment in the famed Metro series, is now available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The game follows the traditional linear plot development that continues the story of Artyom, one of the survivals of the nuclear war.

However, there is also a new element added to the game: a semi-open world with sandbox levels that requires players to gather resources and craft items that are essential for survival. This makes Metro Exodus the most survival-oriented game in the series.

There is a lot to learn here, and you may be a bit puzzled with what to do at first, especially if you're a new player. Just follow our beginner's guide below for all the information you need to be able to started on the right foot.

Gather as Many Resources as You Can

Metro Exodus introduces a new crafting mechanic that allows players to combine materials they find in the open world into useful items, such as gas mask filters, medkits, weapons, etc.

This means that you have to spend a hefty time of your gameplay on gathering resources that will come in handy when you need to craft one of these life-saving items. So keep your eyes open wherever and literally loot everything you see.

When you are in the open, don't be afraid to stray away from the mission objective and just explore every building you can find. Of course, you might get into a fight with mutants, but you also get to find a lot of loot this way.

Basically, you will find only two types of crafting materials in the game:

  • Chemicals
  • Metals

Chemicals are used to craft medkits that will heal your wounds with the help of patches, molotov cocktails, liquid for cleaning weapons, and so on. Chemicals are usually represented by green glowing mushrooms that grow on the ground.

Metals can be used for crafting ammo and weapons, and you will find them almost anywhere in the form of tools and scraps lying around.

Weapons are Your Best Friends

Even though survival plays a huge role in the game, it is still a first-person shooter. You need to try to find the best weapons and attachments that will help you get through the largest hoards of mutants.

In the beginning of the game Kalash will do the job just fine, but later on you will be able to pick up a shotgun from a dead enemy. It's a much more powerful weapon in close range, which is the usual range for attacking monsters in Metro Exodus.

On top of that it's good to have a companion piece, such as a pistol or a revolver, which will come in handy in case you're out of ammo on your primary weapon.

Maintain Your Gear and Weapons

Your backpack is not the only crafting equipment you can use. You can find workbenches inside abandoned bunkers that can perform a few other important tasks, such as crafting more advanced items and cleaning weapons.

If you have a weapon that you feel good about, then be sure to maintain it properly and clean it using chemicals that you've found along the way. If you don't clean your weapon regularly, it will start loosing accuracy and at times it'll get jammed.

As for your gear, your gas mask is not invincible and it can break. Be sure to craft patches that can be used for covering holes in your gear and thus keep you alive.

Develop Day/Night Strategies

Another new feature of Metro Exodus is the influence of the day and night cycle. What does it mean? You can do different things more effectively during the day and others during the nighttime.

For example, the daytime is perfect for free roaming and gathering resources. You can see better and thus find more loot. The most dangerous mutants are nocturnal creatures, so they'll be sleeping while you roam around.

The night is a much better time for completing main missions, especially if they require a stealthy approach. In this way you can get past the most dangerous places without ever getting noticed. This strategy will not only save you time, but also help you get a better reputation in the end.

Always Opt for Stealthy Approach

Often it is hard to find enough ammo or other items to be able to successfully complete any required mission. That is why stealth mode is so beneficial in Metro Exodus. These benefits are:

  • You get to significantly reduce the amount of wasted ammo, especially if you are good at headshots
  • You have a much bigger chance of completing any mission in one go, which saves time
  • Your reputation won't suffer due to excess bloodshed since you're stealthing

This is also the reason why going out at night for a mission is much better. But don't forget to extinguish any source of light on your way that may compromise you. You should also try to always crouch, which significantly reduces the levels of noise your produce and increases your aiming accuracy.

Talk to NPCs and Follow Their Cues

Try to find time for NPCs while you're pushing through your many other responsibilities in Metro Exodus. And don't forget to talk to guys at Aurora, as they also have their own stories to tell.

NPCs can also ask favors, which they will repay in hints towards rare items and secrets. Staying social can get you some very useful attachments or pieces of gear that might help you greatly to finish the game.

Never miss any opportunity to talk to people, even if you could care less about the story.

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These essential beginner tips should help you get through the most of the game's content, and be sure to come back soon for more Metro Exodus guides here at GameSkinny!

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Metro Exodus Review: The Great Survival Continues https://www.gameskinny.com/0vbid/metro-exodus-review-the-great-survival-continues https://www.gameskinny.com/0vbid/metro-exodus-review-the-great-survival-continues Wed, 13 Feb 2019 10:15:02 -0500 Sergey_3847

Over the years, the Metro series has proven to be one of the most successful mainstays in the first-person shooter genre, and it's now on its third installment, Metro Exodus. In this new title, players return to post-apocalyptic Russia and continue a journey that began almost ten years ago with Metro 2033.

The main protagonist, Artyom, returns in the game as well, but, this time, he will not lurk inside the vast Moscow underground. Instead, Metro Exodus takes players to the surface to explore the Russian capital and beyond.

For fans of the franchise, this new and intriguing development will definitely make you want to return to the series that has gained such a good reputation after its first two entries. However, even if you haven't played any of the previous Metro games, you will have no trouble getting into this one.

Story 

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Note: Light spoilers follow.
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The events of Metro Exodus take place three years after the second installment in the series, Metro: Last Light, and Artyom continues to try to give hope to the Spartans, a major faction that he belongs to. He wants to show the rest of his brothers and sisters that there are other survivors left on the surface — people who lived through the nuclear blast that is believed to have destroyed and contaminated everything.

This takes him out of the underground and into the daylight, and his journeys to the surface become increasingly dangerous, as he begins to face new mutants that have no mercy for humans. On one of such trip out, Artyom and a companion see a city train running through the devastated streets of Moscow. They cannot believe their eyes, and they try to find out the origin of this unusual phenomenon.

Indeed it has been thought that there is no one left alive on the surface, but the truth is something different. Pursuing the mystery behind the city train, Artyom and his companion discover that another faction of survivors, and, along the way, they uncover a conspiracy that may have tremendous consequences unless it is revealed to the rest of the world.

This is only the beginning of what's going to be revealed in Metro Exodus, a game that takes story-telling to a whole new level compared to other entries in the series. Of all three games, this one probably has the best story.

Setting

With Metro Exodus, the tunnels of the previous games in the series have been abandoned, and a whole new semi-open world waits to be explored on top. This world features incredibly detailed environments and biomes, but players that are expecting complete freedom of movement across the map may be slightly disappointed, as the game is kind of limited in that regard. However, there is still plenty to explore in the sandbox levels.

Additionally, weather systems play a major role in the game. For example, as you move through the story, which spans an entire in-game year, you will witness the frozen landscapes of Moscow change to the springtime snowbreak of The Volga, a new region that was first revealed at E3 2018.

Later on, Artyom finds himself on the shores of the Caspian Sea, a dried-out biome set in the summertime, and eventually he arrives at the gorgeous environments of the Taiga. This is not all that Metro Exodus's setting has to offer, as there is a lot more to explore throughout the game.

Together, all these levels make Metro Exodus's environments the most versatile and exciting in the series. No more dark endless tunnels, just a new open world full of possibilities.

Gameplay Mechanics

Metro Exodus is, first and foremost, a survival game. That is, while the plot develops in a linear fashion, as is typical in the series, players will be able to explore the world around them while using a new crafting mechanic.

For veteran fans of the series, this new addition may feel like a distraction from the game's story. However, gathering resources and crafting items is actually really fun and easy in Metro Exodus.

Crafting is available as soon as Artyom gets his backpack on Aurora, but there are also workbenches scattered around the world to use. These benches offer some advanced crafting options, such as Molotov cocktails, but players will also need to constantly take care of their gear and weapons by crafting gas mask filters, medkits, patches, and other spare parts. 

With respect to combat, the AI of the enemies has improved significantly from previous entries in the series. For instance, opponents now react to the changes in light levels, something that will prompt players to do all the most dangerous missions at night. While it is harder to be noticed in the dark, don't think that it will be easy hiding in the shadows all the time — if the enemies hear even the slightest sound of you coming, they will shoot.

As such, the crouching mechanic becomes essential for silent takedowns, and you can also manually turn off light sources, such as lanterns and lamps, to keep yourself hidden. However, if this kind of stealthy approach doesn't work for you, then you can choose to go all in, using objects in the environment as cover during some intense shootouts. In this regard, Metro Exodus finds a proper balance with its different approaches to combat.

The game also offers flexibility in how you approach completing different tasks. While you will receive orders and hints on your radio, you can choose to pursue an encounter as you see fit. That said, your choices do have consequences in the end, and it would be wise to play the game as a real hero, never fleeing from a dangerous situations.

However, Metro Exodus doesn't always offer choice, and there are a hefty dose of QTEs where you simply need to follow the given cues. This is understandable though, as the game does feature a linear story, and it has to bring certain elements of it into play at the right time and right place.

In fact, moving between free roaming and linear gameplay actually works in favor of the overall pace of the gameplay, keeping it from ever getting boring. For example, if you get tired of scouting abandoned huts for crafting items, or you simply get lost, then you can just open your map, go to a scripted event, and find yourself right back on the edge of your seat.

Graphics, Sound, and Optimization

In short, the game looks fantastic. It was developed using the same A4 Engine as the previous two games in the series, but it has been significantly improved in both the graphics and gameplay departments.

The transitions between the gameplay sections, the QTEs, and the cutscenes are seamless, and the story flows naturally. There are no loading screens or timeouts throughout the main story missions, and you will see only one loading screen when you start or load the game.

As for the sound, the dialogue is carefully integrated into the gameplay. The enemies are constantly talking and sharing their thoughts whenever they sense you nearby. If you're playing in a stealth mode, this really helps, as you get to know how close you are to revealing yourself.

The gunshots and explosions don't drown out the rest of the environmental sounds, so you can still hear an approaching enemy. If you have a 5.1/7.1 sound system, you will have a clear idea where exactly enemies are at — above, below, or right behind you inside the buildings.

Concerning the optimization, Metro Exodus runs extremely well all the way through. No bugs or glitches were found, but be sure to update your graphics drivers to the latest version. Otherwise, the game may not even let you know if certain important libraries are not be found on your system.

The best part is that the game doesn't even require a super high-end system to work well. The minimum requirements include an Intel Core i5 4440, 8GB RAM, and a GTX 670 or Radeon HD 7870 with 2GB VRAM, and that's basically it. As a result, Metro Exodus will be available to many PC users, but, of course, if you're playing on a console, then you don't have to worry about this at all.

Pros:

  • Versatile semi-open world
  • Immersive narrative
  • Gorgeous graphics and sound
  • New crafting system

Cons:

  • Enemies can be too smart at times

Metro Exodus is almost a perfect game. The developer definitely tried to make this the best entry in the series, and I think they succeeded. All elements — story, combat, stealth, interaction with the world, explosive cutscenes — are very well balanced, and even the QTEs make sense and aren't overdone.

The only thing that keeps it from getting the highest rating is that, even on normal difficulty, enemies can be really tough to deal with. At times, their numbers are so overwhelming that you can't just take them out with pure offense. In these instances, you simply must resort to stealth, and that certainly isn't everybody's cup of tea.

Besides that one little issue, everything else in the title feels right. With the game's new crafting system, and its realistic survival elements, Metro Exodus can already be called a Game of the Year contender for 2019.

[Note: A copy of Metro Exodus was provided by Deep Silver for the purpose of this review.]

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Metro Exodus Controversy Prompts Official Response https://www.gameskinny.com/jal41/metro-exodus-controversy-prompts-official-response https://www.gameskinny.com/jal41/metro-exodus-controversy-prompts-official-response Mon, 04 Feb 2019 16:47:54 -0500 William R. Parks

Last week, Deep Silver announced that the PC version of Metro Exodus, 4A Games' upcoming open-world shooter, would be available exclusively through the Epic Games Store. This led to notable backlash from players that do not want to use Epic's new digital distribution platform, prompting a controversial response from one of 4A's employees along with an official statement.

Following the announcement from Deep Silver, some players took to Steam to voice their discontent about the situation. This materialized as hundreds of negative reviews left on the Steam pages for the previous entries in the Metro franchise, with many suggesting that they will skip Metro Exodus if forced to purchase it through the Epic Games Store.

In response, a 4A developer, posting under the handle Scynet, made a seemingly hostile statement, calling out players that "just waited for a reason to pour out their bile." The developer further indicated that a boycott of Metro Exodus from PC players would mean that any future entry in the series would "definitely not" be released on PC.

These statements have prompted an official response, which offers some insight into the matter. Specifically, a tweet from the Metro Exodus Twitter account has stated that the decision to make the game an Epic Games Store exclusive was the decision of Koch Media and Deep Silver alone. Furthermore, it is noted that the publisher has "every intention of continuing the franchise," with PC versions being "at the heart of [their] plans."

This statement was also used as opportunity to address Scynet's post directly:

The recent comments made by a member of the 4A Games development team do not reflect Deep Silver’s or 4A Games’ view on the future of the franchise. They do reflect the hurt and disappointment of a passionate individual who has seen what was previously nothing but positive goodwill towards his work turn to controversy due to a business decision he had no control over.

While the official statement may do little in quelling the frustration some players are experiencing, it at least clarifies 4A's involvement in the distribution decision for those that may have been unclear about it. That said, many players already seemed to show a full understanding of the situation, with much of the antagonism already being pointed at Deep Silver rather than the game's developer.

Since the launch of the Epic Games Store, several developers have opted to skip releasing through Steam, instead giving preference to Epic's platform. The response to Metro Exodus's exclusivity is, perhaps, the most vehement, but time will tell if this directly impacts the sales of 4A's new title.

The full official statement can be found on the Metro Exodus Twitter account.

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The Epic Games Store Is Adding Reviews, But There's A Catch https://www.gameskinny.com/nf0bw/the-epic-games-store-is-adding-reviews-but-theres-a-catch https://www.gameskinny.com/nf0bw/the-epic-games-store-is-adding-reviews-but-theres-a-catch Fri, 01 Feb 2019 15:11:01 -0500 QuintLyn

When it comes to selling anything in an online store, having a review system of some sort is almost obligatory. It doesn't matter if the company is selling physical items or digital ones, consumers will want to express their opinions on the products they purchase.

So, it should come as no surprise that Epic Games will finally be adding a review system to its online store. After all, EGS' major competition offers that feature, and to say it's heavily used by gamers on the platform would be a gross understatement. 

That said, there is going to be something a bit different about the review system on the EGS. Epic is making the review system opt-in for developers.  According to Epic founder Tim Sweeny, this decision is spurred by the issue of "review bombing" and attempts at "gaming-the-system".

Review bombing is a common issue on any site that allows general public participation. It occurs when consumers work together to leave negative reviews with the intent to harm sales of a particular item.

In many cases, such as the current review-bombing of the Metro series on Steam, these reviews have nothing to do with problems the consumers have with the item itself. Often the reviewers haven't even purchased the item in the first place, or are angry for other reasons.

Not surprisingly,  gamers are already questioning the decision. Many note that if developers have the option, they will not allow reviews. These gamers assert that an opt-in system "completely defeats the point of having review sections."  

On the other hand, some note that any dev that opts out of reviews should already be considered "shady" as a good game won't need to hide from reviewers, and the developers shouldn't be concerned about review bombing in the first place.

While review bombing is certainly an issue, Epic's current stance seems a tad harsh and overreactive. Surely there is a more centrist approach that could be taken.

For example, Epic could make it so that only those who own the game on the Epic Store can review the game. Although it might alienate some users who own particular games on other systems or through other storefronts, it would be a reasonable compromise among Epic, developers, and the gamers who use the marketplace. 

Still, this move is presumably another example in a growing line of how Epic Games plans to differ from Steam; it may be just another incentive for developers to forgo Valve's platform in favor of the EGS.

It remains to be seen how users will ultimately react. 

 

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Epic Games Provides Price-Adjusted Refunds in Special Cases https://www.gameskinny.com/u82t3/epic-games-provides-price-adjusted-refunds-in-special-cases https://www.gameskinny.com/u82t3/epic-games-provides-price-adjusted-refunds-in-special-cases Fri, 01 Feb 2019 11:55:00 -0500 QuintLyn

Since announcing its own digital storefront just two months ago, Epic Games has made clear that it intends to shake up the digital distribution space doing some things a bit differently than its long-established competitors. 

Although it can be argued that some of these changes are more to the benefit of developers than gamers, the waves Epic has made are nonetheless industry-altering.

When the digital distribution shakeup began, Epic came out swinging with a profit-split deal that leaves developers with higher profit shares than Steam. Then things began to tidal wave when Ubisoft snubbed Steam, electing to release Tom Clancy's: The Division 2 on Epic's store.

Soon after, Deep Silver not only elected to publish Metro Exodus on the EGS, but it actually pulled listings for the game from Steam and other platforms. And, of course, early yesterday, Phoenix Labs announced it would be shutting down its own Dauntless launcher once the developer moved the game over to the EGS platform.

Amongst all of that, the Epic store managed to make yet another, if smaller, wave when WCCFTech published an article stating Epic had refunded one of WCCFTech's writers after it adjusted prices on some of the games currently listed in the store.

According to the article, the writer received an email from Epic stating that the company had adjusted pricing in his region "to be more [sic] favourable," and that Epic would be refunding him the difference.

However, according to Epic, such refunds aren't part of an innovative new business practice. Instead, such refunds are only applied in special cases.

In an email to GameSkinny late Thursday afternoon, representatives said if users have overpaid for games prior to the application of regional pricing in a certain area, the company refunds the user the difference. 

Looking at the Bigger Picture to See the Finer Details

WCCFTech's article ponders whether or not Epic might be looking to fix some of the pricing issues often brought to bear by regional pricing. To better understand what's actually going on, we need to take a quick, oversimplified look at how prices are affixed to games around the world. 

In the United States, taxes are applied at the register and vary from state to state. This means that when a game costs $60, gamers can easily pay upwards of another $6 in taxes.

However, in the case of, say, the United Kingdom, taxes are accounted for in the sales price of the game. So when a U.K. citizen buys a game, it costs exactly what the sticker says it costs.

Of course, digital sales have been somewhat of a different beast. For some time, certain U.S. states have charged tax on digital products while others have not, even despite a recent Supreme Court ruling.

Let's look at an example: Subnautica: Below Zero currently retails for $19.99 on Steam. If a gamer buys Below Zero in the state of Georgia, which currently exempts "canned software" purchases from its sales tax, that gamer pays $19.99, or face value upon checkout.

However, if a gamer were to purchase Below Zero in another state, such as Ohio, which does not exempt digital purchases from its sales tax, that same gamer would be charged $21.14 upon checkout. 

This type of discrepancy is often exacerbated in other regions of the world. As laid out by this in-depth article by PC Gamer and referenced in the WCCFTech article above, publishers adjust game prices based on region so that they are more balanced with specific variables, such as brick-and-mortar storefronts.  

Of course, there are myriad reasons why certain pricings might be more or less competitive in specific regions. However, this oversimplification of the forces at work might become increasingly moot as governments the world over continue to make changes to tax laws in relation to digital sales.

A quick look at the site Quaderno shows how countries are adjusting tax laws to increasingly include digital sales and the companies that make games. But of course, even if taxes are initially paid by the seller, its a safe bet gamers will be paying in the end.

Circling Back to Epic and Its Price-Adjusted Refunds

With this in mind, it's easy to see why some would hope that Epic's recent price-adjusted refunds are a signal the company is stepping up to encourage developers and publishers to adjust regional prices so that things are more balanced. 

So, while Epic generally won't make changes to game prices on its own, it would be nice to think they might convince publishers to do so.

Considering that, it's not inconceivable that some might think that's exactly what happened here; that this price-adjusted refund might be the first in such a pivot. But as it turns out, the refund was the result of Epic Games implementing regional pricing in the EGS, something that Steam and other stores already have.

Being that Epic recently added more than 230 countries to its regional pricing list, it's safe to assume any further adjustments will be relatively minimal. 

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That said, even offering an automatic refund for such an issue seems to give Epic extra points.

In the amount of time we've used Steam, we don't recall the company ever automatically refunding players for an error on their end, although there have been players who have received free games due to pricing errors during a Winter or Summer Sale. 

In fact, if you take a peek at Steam's refund system FAQ, you won't see anything like this mentioned at all. 

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Untangling the Messy Debate About Exclusivity, Epic Games, and Metro Exodus https://www.gameskinny.com/ylx21/untangling-the-messy-debate-about-exclusivity-epic-games-and-metro-exodus https://www.gameskinny.com/ylx21/untangling-the-messy-debate-about-exclusivity-epic-games-and-metro-exodus Thu, 31 Jan 2019 21:13:51 -0500 Tim White

There’s been a lot of grumbling in the last few days about Deep Silver’s decision to distribute Metro Exodus exclusively through the Epic Games Store until February 2020.

Even though it’s a little early to make predictions about how all of this will pan out, the news isn't being taken well by some gamers, who are review bombing Metro: Last Light and Metro 2033 on Steam. 

Other gamers aren't as volatile or quick-tempered.

Some are jazzed about Epic’s business model, which (sometimes) lets gamers pay less while devs pocket more. Others, however, are worried that distributors are becoming more concerned with wooing publishers than with providing the best possible experience for end users.

Both sides have good points and valid concerns, but eventually, the status quo will swing one way or the other, or perhaps in a third direction no one can predict right now.

What's the Big Deal About Exclusivity?

Whether or not exclusivity deals constitute a problem depends on how you define "problem." Few people are likely to argue that these types of deals are always copacetic. That's particularly true when a game they really want to play is only available on a platform they don't have access to or don't want to deal with.

Nonetheless, it's a stretch to claim that such practices are "unfair" or "anti-consumer," which no small number of internet commenters are currently shouting from the rooftops.

It shouldn't be necessary to point out that a video game is a form of property and that it belongs to its developers and/or publishers. They can do whatever the hell they want with it, full stop.

But that's not the main issue here, even though some gamers do, in fact, feel entitled to certain video games. The developers of Dauntless and The Division 2 have both signed exclusivity deals in the recent days and weeks, but they've attracted far fewer howler monkeys.

So what's going on with Metro Exodus

There's a common logical fallacy known as "package dealing" which involves taking two or more concepts that are fundamentally different and bundling them together as though they were the same. A huge majority of people do this constantly — and gamers are no exception.

In this context, the terms "fair/unfair" and "pro-consumer/anti-consumer" don't even belong in the same sentence. To whom, exactly, are exclusivity deals unfair?

A fair arrangement is any arrangement that all parties voluntarily agree to and in which no fraud is being committed.

If Deep Silver offers to sell you Metro Exodus on the Epic Games Store but not on Steam, and you don't like those terms, there's no agreement. "Fair" doesn't enter the equation. If you paid them for the game and they didn't give it to you, that would be unfair.

The concept of "fairness" is often package-dealt with "equality," but both of these words describe completely different things. Fairness is getting what you deserve; equality is getting the same thing that everyone else gets.

It's almost never the case that they're interchangeable.

A Business Decision Can Be Both Fair and Dumb

While you can't say that exclusivity deals are unfair, you can make the argument that they're not great marketing strategies.

To quote Polygon: "People may complain about timed storefront exclusives on social media and in the comments, but Epic and Deep Silver care whether people ultimately decide to buy the game, not whether they grumble while doing so.”

This kind of anti-business cynicism is typical of several of the biggest gaming journalism outfits, but is the statement actually true? Are (at least some) developers and publishers more concerned about short-term profits than building ongoing win-win relationships with their customers, which is literally the only way to sustain long-term profits?

Perhaps, but that's a serious charge and it's pretty hard to prove. One would need to have fairly intimate knowledge about a lot of specific people to have such a claim be taken seriously.

The idea that exclusivity agreements are simply one way that publishers, developers, and distributors are responding to market conditions created by gamers is less malevolent and far more likely.

As I stressed in this article over here, if the majority of dollars that flow into game makers' pockets were being clawed from gamers' defiant fists against their howling protests, the video game industry wouldn't exist.

You don't grow — much less sustain — a multi-billion dollar company in a largely unregulated industry by pissing off more customers than you satisfy. It has never happened and never will.

The uncomfortable fact of the matter is that while there is a very loud and very mad group of gamers who hate what E.A. has done to Star Wars, they're a minority.

For the record, I happen to agree with them. But as much as it absolutely sucks to say this, E.A.'s continued existence is proof that on the whole, they're loved more than they're hated. There are still more people buying  and at least kind of liking  their products than there are dissenters.

We just don't hear from the consumers who don't have a problem buying from E.A.; satisfied customers are much quieter than angry ones.

E.A., Deep Silver, Epic Games, and every other player in the industry are doing the same basic thing: trying to satisfy as many gamers as possible. Whether they're doing it effectively is a separate question.

I promise you that Epic is fully aware that they've pissed off millions of people by hogging Metro Exodus all to themselves. They didn't do that because they want your money today and to hell with tomorrow. They did it because they're pretty sure that moving aggressively this year will put them in a position to win over more gamers next year, and way more 10 years after that.

I find it highly unlikely that Epic and Deep Silver don't care if you grumble while you're buying Metro.

I think that they and most other developers care a great deal. I think they're generally good companies staffed by generally good people who generally care about doing good work and making you happy.

Don't take it personally because it's happened to a game you care about. 

Even Dumb Decisions Aren't Always a Big Deal

All that being said, the question still remains: is this particular exclusivity deal a good business decision? Unfortunately, it's perhaps the hardest one to answer.

I lean toward "no."

I don't doubt that at least most of the people involved in the Metro deal have good intentions, but good intentions can still prompt bad business decisions. Besides, it's important to judge people's motives objectively and give them the benefit of the doubt until you have real evidence of asshattery.

I'm not a fan of having nine different clients and launchers installed on my PC and you probably aren't either. I love Valve for a lot of reasons, not least of which is the fact that I like to have all my games under one roof.

But my allegiance to Valve is neither arbitrary nor indestructible; I love them because they're currently the best player in the market, but if someone comes along and offers me an overall better product, I'll say adieu to Gabe.

I don't think exclusivity deals are part of that better product, though — at least not in most cases. If it's not obvious yet, I'm a free market guy from beginning to end. I believe in letting companies compete without interference (or incentives) from politicians and that the best, brightest, most innovative competitors should reap the biggest rewards.

I may not like exclusivity deals, but they're also not a "bug" of marketplaces, they're a feature. Not every single product or idea is going to be amazing — it would be ridiculous to expect that. The fact that some companies thrive while others fail (but hopefully learn and do better next time) is part of what makes a free market so wonderful and exciting.

Whether you're a multi-billion dollar international conglomerate or a small indie developer, the most basic and most important rule of business is the same: do great work and let your product speak for itself.

The best and brightest business people are motivated by a desire to achieve, not by a desire to beat others. If your platform is truly the bee's knees, gamers will see that and flock to it. You really don't need gimmicks to make it big.

Moral of the story? Some companies will make good decisions and some won't. That will never, ever change. You can criticize the decisions you think are bad without taking them personally or worrying that every dumb marketing idea portends the end of the gaming industry.

Maybe this Metro Exodus deal will spell the death of Epic and/or Deep Silver. I seriously doubt it, but if it does happen, then another, wiser developer will rise from the ashes, learn from their predecessors' mistakes, and provide you with a better product. I promise.

After all of that, I encourage you to think of the video game industry as a wonderful place where exciting things happen and to consider the possibility that rolling with the bad times is actually part of what makes the good times fun. It's a learning experience for all of us.

Competition is messy and unpredictable, but as long as it's not dishonest or vindictive (those behaviors are always fair game for condemnation), let's have fun with it.

Vote with your wallets and don't worry too much if some votes don't go the way you'd like them to. There's a lot of bad stuff in the gaming world, but there's even more that's good. Go find what you love and promote it. That's how you change an industry.

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Metro Exodus Handgun Trailer Shows Most Extensive Customization Yet https://www.gameskinny.com/k7nx5/metro-exodus-handgun-trailer-shows-most-extensive-customization-yet https://www.gameskinny.com/k7nx5/metro-exodus-handgun-trailer-shows-most-extensive-customization-yet Wed, 30 Jan 2019 13:04:11 -0500 Jonathan Moore

From the first game in the series until now, 4A has always looked for ways to make Metro something "new and uncharted." While it's arguable that the company achieved that goal with the first two games in the franchise, one thing is certain: The Metro games have always iterated in intriguing ways. It appears that this will be the case once again with Metro Exodus, and a new trailer showcases one way the title will distinguish itself from previous entries.

In Metro 2033, gun customization was non-existent. Metro: Last Light changed that by allowing players to customize weapons at vendors. Later, Last Light's customization options were retroactively added to 2033 with the Redux collection, fleshing out the systems in that game even more.  

But with Metro Exodus, 4A has taken things to a new level by allowing players to upgrade and customize weapons in the field. While the studio showcased Exodus' situational options in the official weapons trailer released last week, the newest trailer for the Handgun Class goes into greater detail about the game's close-range death dealers. 

In previous Metro titles, arms like the revolver and bastard gun were seen as last-resort weapons, used only in close quarters or when assault rifles and shotguns ran out of valuable ammunition. Now, with the ability to make them into rifles and submachine guns on the fly, it appears handguns may very well be the most versatile weapons class in Metro Exodus

While 4A has created some of the most unique guns in video game history with the Metro series, such unique and varied customization options have allowed the studio to create an arsenal in Exodus that is "as varied as the stops on your journey." 

From what we know so far, Exodus appears to be 4A's most ambitious project to date. Acting as a "breath of fresh air" for the series, Exodus looks to literally breathe new life into the series by taking players to the surface, showcasing a vast open world ready for exploration. Indeed, it will be the first Metro game to focus so heavily on the world outside of the underground tunnels featured in 2033 and Last Light

In a recent making-of video, 4A detailed the journey to Metro Exodus, explaining that it was time to "take a really huge step forward" with the series. Specifically, the team desired to make the world unique by not only taking players to the surface but by purposefully showcasing "the beauty of the world" through seasons and new locations. 

While it remains to be seen if Exodus will make headlines for its uniqueness and creativity, the game has already found itself the topic of discussion for many players around the world. In an interesting turn of events, Deep Silver, the game's publisher, recently announced that Exodus would be exclusive to the Epic Games store

While the publisher did not explain why it chose to leave Steam behind, it's possible that the more attractive revenue split offered to publishers by Epic Games had something to do with the move. 

Metro Exodus will release on February 15 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Those interested in pre-ordering Metro Exodus can see what editions and pre-order bonuses are available here

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Valve Responds To Metro Exodus PC Exclusivity https://www.gameskinny.com/obo9q/valve-responds-to-metro-exodus-pc-exclusivity https://www.gameskinny.com/obo9q/valve-responds-to-metro-exodus-pc-exclusivity Tue, 29 Jan 2019 16:08:29 -0500 William R. Parks

Yesterday, Deep Silver announced that moving forward, the PC version of Metro Exodus would be exclusively available through the recently launched Epic Games Store, promptly ending pre-orders of the title through Steam and other platforms. Now, Valve has responded to the announcement, providing information to fans that have already pre-ordered through Steam and offering its opinion on the matter.

Specifically, Valve has used the Metro Exodus Steam store page to indicate that the developer and publisher behind the game have offered assurance that all Steam pre-orderers will have their copies fulfilled through Steam. Furthermore, it is stated that all title updates and future DLC will be available to players that have secured copies through Valve's digital distribution platform.

Valve has also taken this opportunity to editorialize on the decision to remove Metro Exodus from Steam, calling it "unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period." The company continues with an apology:

We apologize to Steam customers that were expecting it to be available for sale through the February 15 release date, but we were only recently informed of the decision and given limited time to let everyone know.

Indeed, making Metro Exodus exclusive to the Epic Games Store is causing notable frustration for a vocal portion of the community. This can be seen across a number of platforms, including ResetEra, a site that hosts a popular forum for video game discussion, where some players are suggesting that the decision will prevent them from purchasing the title altogether.

Certainly, a number of PC players want the freedom to choose the service they use when buying their games. While an exclusive platform may offer incentives, such as a cheaper price, some will simply opt not to support a practice that feels in conflict with this freedom.

When the Epic Games Store was announced last year, a conversation emerged around its revenue split and how it might act as competition for Steam. Since then, Epic has continually shown that exclusive releases will be one of the methods they employ in battling Valve's Goliath, which may be leaving some players with a single question: Is this type of competition actually in their interest?

More of Valve's response can be found on the Metro Exodus Steam store page. More of the conversation surrounding Deep Silver's announcement can be read on ResetEra.

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