Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition Review

First released in 2022, Metro Exodus wasn't only a graphical showcase on its own on consoles and PC, but it seemed to be one of the first major games to support ray-tracing technology. In the original release, however, ray-tracing was an optional feature you can toggle on or off within the settings menu. Now, Metro Exodus is back with an all-new Enhanced Edition for PC (and consoles later on) that is built from the ground up with ray-tracing in mind. The developers go and reworked many of the game’s systems to consider full advantage of the technology, and the result is truly jaw-dropping. The sport already looked fantastic two years ago, but the graphical upgrades (and surprising performance improvements) do wonders to enhance the game’s overall atmosphere.

This review will primarily focus on the fancy additional features from the Enhanced Edition. It’s largely exactly the same game as the original release, however with several technical improvements. You can read our original review of Metro Exodus for opinion of the sport overall. When i first played Metro Exodus on PlayStation 4, so going from 30 FPS with a controller to 100+ with a mouse and keyboard while benefiting from all of the new graphical options that come with the Enhanced Edition would be a treat. I had been skeptical that the ray-tracing will make much of a difference at all, but it’s definitely noticeable. I jumped in to the Two Colonels DLC first, also it turned out to be an amazing showcase for the fancy new lighting and shadow tech within this latest version from the game. When you’re cramped at nighttime tunnels the series is renowned for without a penny but a flamethrower to light your way, you really understand the way the game handles shadows and lightweight sources.

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition’s ray-tracing is a step up within the original release’s implementation for several reasons. The game now features ray-traced emissive surfaces with area shadows as well as an infinite number of ray-traced light bounces for light sources. The atmosphere and transparent surfaces receive ray-traced bounce lighting too, and there’s a brand-new ray-traced lighting model with color bleeding for every source of light in the game. Fires will fill rooms having a red glow, your flashlight will reflect the color from the wall you’re pointing it at, and lightweight sources placed near colorful objects will spread those colors in to the rest of the room because they would in real life. It may sound simple on paper, but it’s quite the sight to behold when it’s running in real-time. It’s among those things you wouldn’t think you would notice, but it does wonders to enhance the overall image quality making scenes feel a lot more real.

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition boasts some crazy new bells and whistles, so much so that a ray-tracing enabled graphics card is the minimum spec required to run it. That’s right, the minimum video card necessary to run farmville is definitely an RTX 2060, a pretty significant step up in the original release’s minimum requirements. That’s just for 1080p gameplay at roughly 45 FPS, so you won’t be able to fire up the settings or make use of a higher resolution if you prefer a stable framerate. Thankfully, Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition includes support for NVIDIA’s DLSS technology, and also the performance estimates don’t factor that in.

Metro’s DLSS implementation is great, as continues to be the case with recent DLSS implementations like Death Stranding, using the Quality setting looking as good as well as than native resolution while boosting performance by a great deal. Even if you lower the setting to DLSS Balanced or Performance, you still get a great-looking image while seemingly pulling additional frames from nothing. I know DLSS has been done before, but for a game literally built around ray-tracing, it’s crazy it runs this well.

I played the game by having an RTX 3070, which the developers say can perform 1440p at 60 FPS with visuals set to ultra and ray-tracing quality set to high. Using these default settings, I was in a position to push 80 fps in outdoor areas with DLSS set to Quality mode and 100 in indoor zones. If I swapped to DLSS Performance mode, which is a slightly degraded image, I would reach 100 FPS outside and around 120 inside. Being able to push this many frames with ray-tracing enabled while playing at 3440×1440 is immensely satisfying, and you should be able to get decent performance with an entry-level ray-tracing video card thanks to good optimization and DLSS.

I only have a few minor gripes using the PC version of Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition, however they really aren’t that big of the problem. The game defaults to fullscreen and doesn’t have a borderless windowed or windowed mode, that is annoying for somebody with multiple monitors. There’s additionally a really strange bug where the game repeatedly minimizes itself throughout the opening movie. This sometimes persists with the main menu, but it generally stays up after bringing it to fullscreen a couple of times. The settings menu is also fairly barebones. The primary two options you are able to change are Quality and Ray Tracing Quality, but you don’t have any granular treatments for graphical features. You can adjust the VRS level and toggle some things on or off like Hairworks and PhysX, however the settings menu as a whole is quite simple. Again, these are merely minor annoyances, however i felt like I should point them out.

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition is, to put it simply, the best way to go through the game. The hardware requirements are steep, but when you’re lucky enough to have a ray-tracing enabled graphics card, there’s no reason to experience the initial release rather than this version. Sure, ray-tracing was a feature in the base game, but the Enhanced Edition continues to be built from the ground up with ray-tracing in your mind also it absolutely shows. Whether you’re held in the series’ staple claustrophobic tunnels or staring out across an expansive vista in the new open-world sections, Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition looks absolutely stunning because of its significant graphical overhaul.

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