18 Jun 2021 11:57 AM +00:00

How 4A Games Updated Metro Exodus For A New Generation

It’s been two years since Metro Exodus launched but evidently, 4A Games weren’t content with leaving things as they were. The third instalment in Deep Silver’s series, an Enhanced Edition arrived on PC last month with ray tracing support, and now, the Complete Edition releases on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S today. In preparation for this launch, we were invited to a media presentation last week, outlining just what next-gen owners can expect.

For the unfamiliar, Metro Exodus is set in 2036, twenty-five years after a devastating nuclear war. Beneath Moscow’s ruins, we found several thousand survivors clinging to life, dealing with mutated beasts, poisonous environments, and more. Playing as Artyom, this first-person shooter sees us fleeing Metro with the Spartan Rangers, searching for new life in Eastern Russia.

So, what’s changed for the new generation? On Xbox Series X and PS5, gameplay is now presented at 4K resolution, featuring 60 frames per second gameplay, greatly reduced loading times, ray traced lighting and - for PS5 owners at least - DualSense’s haptic feedback. As for Series S copies, that’s almost identical but runs at 1080p resolution instead.

The difference is immediately noticeable. Being shown a comparison video to the last-gen editions, which run at 1080p/30fps, Exodus looks vibrant and smooth. Soon after, we entered a Q&A session with Benjamin Archard, Senior Rendering programmer, and Executive Producer Jon Bloch. Unlike other games, both confirmed there’s only one graphics mode, no performance/visual quality toggles here. The reason? Going below 60fps “wouldn’t provide the experience” they aimed for.

According to the pair, Complete Edition' development started once they got the developer kits, wanting to push Metro Exodus a step further. Questions were raised about whether it’d be identical to Enhanced Edition and for console owners, there’s (mostly) good news. Excluding ray traced reflections – alongside a minor rays reduction - Complete Edition is otherwise identical. Better still, it's also a free upgrade for existing PS4 and Xbox One players.

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As a previously released game, this Q&A session mostly detailed how they implemented this upgrade. Confirming it’ll use dynamic scaling for 4K resolution, Complete Edition also features spatial audio implementation on both consoles. Bloch then elaborated on DualSense functionality, advising this’ll offer a "physical connection" with Exodus’ world, simulating resistance with actions like filling up airtanks, alongside shooting feedback based on a gun's individual nuances.

Elsewhere, questions were raised about what tech future 4A Games projects would use. While questions on future Metro projects were immediately ruled out, Archard advised ray tracing will appear in upcoming console games, though he stated that a decision “hasn’t been made” about ray traced reflections on consoles. When asked AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution on PCs, Archard replied they haven't looked into properly just yet, so no comments could be made.

Still, while discussion mostly focused on the technical power behind Metro Exodus’ latest edition, it's unfortunate we weren't able to try it out directly, so I couldn't get the full experience. However, it sounds like an impressive upgrade to their 2019 hit. If you didn’t like Exodus before, this won't change your mind, but for console players, Complete Edition’s easily looking like the definitive experience.

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