Metro Exodus was one of the most controversial projects of this year that split the gaming community. This happened before the launch of an ambitious game from 4A Games and Deep Silver. One of the reasons was the scandalous refusal to distribute the game on Steam in favor of the cheeky newcomer Epic Game Store. Dmitry Glukhovsky himself, the creator of the universe, did not approve of the publisher’s decision, saying that it would kill the franchise. The exclusiveness of Metro Exodus in the Epic Games store inflames adherents of the Valve marketplace, who threatened the developers with a global boycott of the PC version. In response to the threats, one of the members of the 4A Games team hinted that if the mass sabotage of the launch of “Exodus” happens, the next games in the series will not appear on the PC at all – a very emotional statement. The game was released on February 15, and the domestic press appreciated the game very enthusiastically, but foreign colleagues showed great restraint in their impressions. The reaction of Russian-speaking gamers to reviews of compatriots was merciless. In comments to laudatory articles, considering the opinions biased and accusing journalists of not wanting to notice obvious shortcomings, the players craved blood. The launch of Exodus was overshadowed by an avalanche of numerous complaints about bugs and critical errors, which led to frequent departures. For some, the game did not start at all. led to frequent departures. For some, the game did not start at all. led to frequent departures. For some, the game did not start at all. My review was completely based on the PS4 version, in which I, apart from a few funny bugs, did not find serious technical flaws, which, in my opinion, speaks of the excellent work on optimizing the project for consoles. Unfortunately, at that time I did not have the opportunity to try out the PC version of Exodus. And now, two weeks after the release, I finally got to her.
The main purpose of this material is not an attempt to catch up and revise the assessment of Metro Exodus. As they say, they do not wave their fists after the fight. First of all, I was interested to see how the ray-tracing technology used in Exodus to create a believable global illumination system affects graphics performance.
I have already done similar material on Battlefield V, in which the newfangled technology is responsible for an advanced reflection system. Looking ahead, I’ll say that in Exodus I didn’t register the situation with a double drop in the frame rate when DXR was turned on (and this time also DLSS) on the GeForce RTX 2080 adapter, as it was in the DICE shooter at that time, no DLSS function was added to the game). But, as was to be expected, the GeForce RTX 2060 turned out to be much more modest than its pumped up big brother.
In general, I have a very contradictory feeling about the Global Illumination system in Metro Exodus. If in Battlefield V, the implementation of ray tracing technology really looked fascinating, creating very believable reflections on various surfaces that have this property, then in Metro Exodus in open spaces DXR is not noticeable at all, and in locations with minimal lighting or its absence, it darkens the picture.
However, in a game with an emphasis on hidden passage, this creates an additional level of immersion, but I always wanted to make the monitor brighter or adjust the contrast. Nevertheless, the technology should pay tribute: when the DXR parameter is on, for example, the difference between the cold light of Artem’s flashlight and the warm glow of a wax candle or kerosene lamp becomes much clearer. As for DLSS, this is a parameter that should be studied under a microscope.
The most profitable Global Illumination looks at the “Taiga” level. It was his 4A Games that was used as a presentation of his technological method of lighting gaming locations (for example, on Igromir 2018). The autumn sun, penetrating through the already thinning crowns of trees, ripples on Artem’s clothes and weapons, the moon mysteriously illuminates the taiga forest at night, and the damp tunnels are lit with rare lampados and phosphorescent fungi of acid-green color. “Taiga” is head and shoulders above the rest of the “Outcome” levels, if we talk about the technological image.
Before giving the test results and screenshots for comparison, I’ll tell you about the configuration of the computer on which I played Metro Exodus and conducted various tests of graphics accelerators. To review the technical side, MSI kindly provided the editorial staff with a system unit based on the Intel Core i7 9700K processor with an impressive MSI CORE FROZR XL cooler, an MSI Z390 Gaming Plus motherboard, and a solid MPG Gungnir 100 for all form factors.
Leaving aside ray tracing aside, Metro Exodus and without it is a very competent project in terms of graphics, which I noticed when I went through the game on PS4. Ray Tracing makes the “Exodus” even more atmospheric, putting Artyom into the darkness of caves, bunkers and abandoned hydro stations, where the sun does not reach, where you scare nightmarish spiders with the beam of your flashlight or vice versa you put out all light sources to go unnoticed.
Unfortunately, in order to survive these moments in the capacity to which the authors are oriented, you will have to pay a considerable amount of money. However, even despite the modest characteristics, the GeForce RTX 2060 card, for example, MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6G, can send a player to the gloomy catacombs of the capital’s metropolitan and Siberian millionaires, to nuclear waste storage facilities, the lair of a river monster and a bunker filled with cannibals, showing them mysterious horror and darkness.