Artyom and his wife Anna join the crew of Aurora train as they travel east hoping to find answers to their questions and to find a peaceful place to live. He is convinced that there must be a better place than Moscow metro system to live, without the constant fights between factions, constant struggle for survival in the underground tunnels and constant danger from mutants. While saving Anna that was caught by Hansa he accidentally stumbles upon a radio jamming station, which means that there could be survivors outside of Moscow, but there was no communication with them because of the jamming stations. Lieutenant Miller gathers the few Spartans and decides to steal Aurora and flee Moscow.
First game of the series that takes the main characters out of the dark tunnels of metro and sends them on a long trip in hope to find place to live. The title was advertised as "open world" game, but it should be put in quotes, because it is more open than the previous games was, not in fully living and breathing world that we know from titles like Fallout 3 or Far Cry 2.
Game was improved when it comes to exploration (at least in Volga chapter of the story), there are elements imported from Stalker Call of Pripyat (weapon modifications, weather system, day / night cycle), there is also crafting of ammo and gas filters, which is a nice touch, there are bits, where you can choose a path to walk. But... and here is where the problems start. The game is as linear as the previous ones were, the explorations is rather limited, the paths you can choose are still rather limited.
The studio behind the Metro games have a hard time breaking with tradition that the games are very linear, their replayability is very low, there are loooong unskippable cutscenes, there are quick time events that are not that great and there is a really horrible narration style (you keep getting caught or stripped of your equipment, long dialogues during which you have nothing to do, games does not signal when you take over control over your character). While it is better game than both previous titles (Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light), it does have elements of open world, still it carries a lot of original mistakes in game development and most of the times you end up in dark corridors with only one way to get through to the next part of the game.
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There are areas on Earth where things happen that are escaping any logical explanation - tiny little crystals that are able to give energy to start the car, gravity traps that can kill or mutilate human being within second, unexplained phenomena inviting and dangerous at the same time.
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race against time to find Caroline