Since the release of the first Metro game back in 2010, nothing has quite captured the level of suspense and horror of the first time we made our way through a dimly lit Moscow subway.
The original Metro game had such an interesting set of mechanics that helped to immerse players in a terrifying but fascinating setting. This, in part, stemmed from the excellent source material that it was based on – Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky.
Today, we’re going to take a look at the Metro games in order, what made them great and what each title brought to the table. With that being said, let’s move on to the game that started it all.
Release Date – 16 March 2010
Platforms – Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Linux, OS X,Google Stadia
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Set in the ruins of the Moscow metro system, this first-person shooter gave players a glimpse into a dark world where everything has gone wrong. You play as Artyom, one of the survivors of the nuclear war that forced the population underground.
Resources are scarce in the Moscow underground, you’ll have to scavenge supplies and even trade your precious bullets for goods. With pre-apocalypse, military-grade ammunition so valuable that it can be used as currency, you’ll often need to rely on poorer ammunition during fights. On your travels, you’ll explore different stations, each with their own backstory all while dodging plenty of irradiated monsters.
The tense gameplay mixed with the riveting story was more than enough to get an entire fanbase hooked. Luckily for them, a follow up was just around the corner.
Release Date – 14 May 2013
Platforms – Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia
Metro: Last Light built upon everything that made the original Metro game so great, while taking the opportunity to polish some of the more dated features. You’re now able to customize your weapons as well as explore even larger areas than the first game, with occasional trips to the surface thrown in to keep things interesting.
Players may also find this title a lot creepier than the first, there’s a huge focus on stealth combat in Metro: Last Light and you can even avoid open combat altogether if you’re stealthy enough.
While Metro: Last Light doesn’t strictly follow the storyline in the books, it’s still interesting and gripping the entire time. Set one year after the events on Metro: 2033, the metro systems are struggling to gain control of a doomsday device, located in the military vaults of D6.
If you thought Metro 2033 looked good, the graphics are even further improved in Last Light. The areas are a joy to explore and the dark atmosphere lends itself perfectly to the stealth-based gameplay. If you’re not a fan of scary games, the constant suspense found in this series may be a huge turn-off.
Release Date – 26 August 2014
Platforms – Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, Playstation 4
While not a standalone title in the Metro series, Metro Redux adds enough to the original two games to deserve a brief mention. Metro Redux is essentially a repackaging of Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light with a huge focus on remastering.
Metro 2033 benefits the most from this with the graphics and frame rates seeing huge improvements. The character models have also been upgraded to look less like cardboard and there are fewer loading screens between levels with certain levels being merged into longer versions.
Ranger mode is also now available in both games and allows for an increase of difficulty and realism while playing as well as the removal of the HUD.
Release Date – 15 February 2019
Platforms – Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia
Marking a bit of a departure from the previous two games, Metro: Exodus primarily takes place above ground. Once again you play as Artyom, this time as he leads a band of survivors across the barren Russian wasteland.
The graphics in Metro: Exodus are truly stunning and you may need to think about an upgrade if you struggled to play any of the previous titles. The landscapes you explore are vast and well crafted, there are lots to stumble upon and the dynamic day-night cycle and weather system can lead to some pretty stunning vistas.
Although the setting has been changed, the story in Metro: Exodus fits the overall theme of the previous games very well. The characters you meet will all have their own backstories, there are lots to dissect in the political wasteland and there are a couple of tough choices to make along the way.
The gameplay is still similar to the previous games but has been expanded to include more of a focus on crafting and survival. This game may not be as tense as the original, but that’s to be expected with the departure from the dimly lit, cramped metro systems, Whether or not we’ll see a return to the darkness in the next Metro game remains to be seen.
It’s well worth checking out the Metro franchise if it’s somehow passed under your radar. To get the full scope of the story, you’ll really want to start with Metro 2033 and make your way through each of these games.
As the Metro story isn’t wrapped up quite yet, we can’t wait to see what the future brings to the series. But for now, we’ll just have to make do with Ranger re-plays and re-reads of the source novel.
What was your favorite Metro game from the list? Do you think Metro should return to its underground roots? Let us know down in the comments section below, we love hearing your opinions.