Announced at Microsoft's E3 show earlier this week, Metro Exodus marks the first of the post-apocalyptic shooter series to take place predominantly above ground. Billed as "more sandbox survival" as opposed to strictly open world, 4A Games' latest will also draw from GSC World's similarly themed Stalker series as far as world design is concerned.
4A was of course founded by former members of GSC and, speaking to PC Gamer from the E3 show floor, executive producer Jon Bloch explains exactly what players can expect from Exodus.
"It's a combination of the classic Metro gameplay that everyone is used to from previous games where it's that linear style of gameplay. The level that we show in the trailer is later in the game and is one of our non-linear levels," says Bloch. "We're doing this mix of classic gameplay and this new non-linear style and we wanted to maintain what our fans expect, what they've known, and what they're used to and love, while also introducing something new.
"This will blend what we've done over the past two games, plus something that the core team at 4A Games has done in the past with the Stalker games. We're not entirely open-world, then, it's more sandbox survival and everything is tied together with an overarching storyline that still carries the player through. They're still feel like they're playing a Metro game."
The trailer Bloch mentions there can be viewed here:
Most interestingly, Exodus' dynamic world is seasonal which means players will face different enemies in different environments, and will also learn more about the travelling companions as the journey wears on.
Bloch continues: "The game picks up where Metro: Last Light left off with the good ending. Artyom is back and now he needs to join together with a small group of survivors and board a train and escape Moscow. He goes on an epic journey that spans the continent and goes across post-apocalyptic Russia. The whole journey takes about a year and we get to see all the seasons in the year and we get to see that journey and how the time and everything that happens along the way affects the characters and how the characters change.
"It's a long journey so when you get to a new place it'll be a new season in that new place. So you get both a new environment plus a new season and you're meeting new people. There might be new wildlife that lives there, there's going to be different societies, different ideologies, all these different experiences each time you step off the train.
"You also get to see how the characters change along with you—the things they go through, the things you go through and how everything affects the group in general."
Metro Exodus is due next year, however check out Samuel's full interview with Bloch and creative director Andriy "Prof" Prokhorov in this direction.