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Metro Exodus developer calls sandbox survival game ‘most ambitious project yet’

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The story takes place over the duration of a year

Four years after the release of Metro: Last Light, developer 4A Games is back with a sequel to the game, Metro Exodus. Executive producer John Bloch is calling it the most ambitious project the studio has ever taken on.

Following the debut of in-game footage that premiered during Microsoft’s Xbox conference earlier this evening, Bloch sat down with Twitch to talk about the game. Without a trailer detailing Exodus’ story, information about the game was scarce, but Bloch has confirmed a few important details about the title.

“The story starts in Moscow and you play as Artyom and it picks up from Metro: Last Light’s enlightened ending,” Bloch said. “That is canon. It doesn’t pick up directly, but as far as the two endings, it’s canon.”

Bloch added that players will eventually leave Moscow and embark on a journey across a post-apocalyptic Russia. As they make their way through into unfamiliar settings, they’ll encounter familiar faces from previous games in the series.

“We're not saying who joins just yet but there will be a lot of fan favorite characters,” Bloch said, adding that Exodus will be a mix of new settings, weapons, items and characters mixed with returning, familiar elements that fans will know.

In a press release, 4A Games added that Arytom and the survivors who will accompany him on his journey will board the Aurora, a heavily modified steam locomotive, in their attempt to discover a new place to live in the East.

It’s that ability to travel and really explore the world introduced in Exodus that Bloch wanted to stress. Players will finally get the ability to explore more than just Moscow — and spend time in a new open-world.

“We've gone up to the surface a couple of times before but as you can see, we are combining the classic Metro experience, which is these linear levels that were underground, with these sandbox levels,” Bloch said. “There’s a lot more exploration and chance to experience the world and do a lot more things.”

Even with the newfound freedom, however, Bloch said there is an overarching storyline that will tie more traditional, linear levels with sandbox environments to try and balance request from players that 4A Games has received. Bloch added that the story takes place over a year and as it progresses, the seasons will change. This means that unlike previous Metro games, players will get to experience summer and spring along with a more traditional winter environment. This will affect the monsters and animals they encounter, along with hazards posed by different seasons.

“There's a big storm brewing in the horizon,” Bloch teased.

Metro Exodus will be released in 2018 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC.