Why Metro is the most unique first-person shooter series around

As gamers, we have plenty of options when it comes to post-apocalyptic excursions. Do we want to see bombed out North American cities populated by Ghouls and ’50s-chic? How about one of several deserts soaked in neon? Do you want robot animals to hunt or just a story about the folly of humanity? What about more zombies than you can shake an expensive camera and/or barbed wire bat at? Whatever your preference, each game in this vein offers something unique. As far as that goes, they don’t come any more unique than the Metro series. With the release of Metro Exodus upon us, let’s examine exactly what about these games makes their fans so devout.

Of course, franchises evolve over time, and that’s definitely the case for Metro. The first two games were linear affairs, while Exodus expands things out into an open world. This mitigates some of the series’ notorious difficulty, and that’s not all Exodus is doing to welcome new players. Be it the end of bullets as currency or the introduction of familiar zombie-esque opponents, the developers are doing a lot to make sure people warm up to the series.

It’s a careful balance. You don’t want to erode what made fans flock to you in the first place, but bigger games demand more eyes if they’re going to thrive. From what we’ve seen, it looks like Metro Exodus strikes a good balance between the two extremes, but it will ultimately be up to players to decide. Whether you mourn the loss of bullet bucks or welcome the player choice and easier gameplay, it’s great that Metro continues on as a weird beacon in a sea of battle royale game. When I take down my first bear in Russia this time around, I’ll be sure to remember that.