Feature

Everything We Know About Metro Exodus’ Morality System

by Javy Gwaltney on Feb 21, 2018 at 02:00 PM

Though this may have slipped under many players' radars, both Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light had a morality system that held players accountable for their choices they made in each game. It's fair if you're among those who didn't notice, because there is no grand, ceremonious event that happens during these moments, no notification ping that lets you know you've made a good or evil choice. Instead, a quick (and subtle) flash of light hits the screen whenever you've made the choice.

In this way, Metro has always had one of the most interesting morality systems because it takes a stance on situations that other games would treat as morally complex. For example, in 2033 you come come across a Nosalis, a sort of mutant rat thing, in its nest, guarding what appears to be several valuable supplies you can use, like health kits and a new visor to protect you from the toxic air when you're roaming radioactive Moscow.

Though the Nosalis is growling at you, it's clearly not attacking you and poses no threat. Killing it will reveal that it wasn't guarding the items you were seeking but instead its pack of Nosalis cubs. The system hits you with a negative karma point, affecting what ending you'll get, though there's nothing to let you know you've made a choice that's affected your karma allignment, just a sinking feeling and whatever justification you form for killing the Nosalis.

For its part, it sounds like Exodus' system will likely not deviate too far from this. "We didn't want to make it like a game where you're posed with a scenario that literally asks 'do you want to be good or bad'?" executive producer Jon Bloch told us during our cover trip. "We want to see how people play, and then the game reacts to how you play."

Like Last Light and 2033, Exodus will be keeping tabs on the choices you make but it also expands that notion, figuring in how you approach combat situations. Do you knock out enemies, bypass them, or straight up kill them? The game keeps count of all of this, with your relationship to factions later on down the road being affected by the actions you take when you first meet them. During our gameplay demo, we watched as Artyom took on a cathedral filled with cultists and snuck out of the of the place, knocking guards out as he went instead of killing them. Later on in the same demo, Artyom rescued a group of cultists from bandits and they told him the location of a valuable weapon cache on the map as karmic repayment.

The team wouldn't tell us if your kill/subdue count would factor into how the game ends, creative director Andriy Prokhorov left us with this cryptic statement: "You will get what you deserve."

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