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Steam Fanatics Review-bomb "Metro Exodus" on Metacritic

"Metro Exodus" is the week's big AAA PC launch, and the latest entry to the post-apocalyptic horror-survival shooter franchise by 4A Games. The Ukrainian studio recently pulled the game from Steam and made it an exclusive with rival DRM platform Epic Games, in pursuit of a higher revenue-share. This invited inexplicable hatred from Steam users, who appear to have review-bombed the game on review ratings aggregator Metacritic.

Metacritic presents averages of reviews by media publications and user-reviews side-by-side. This is vital as it helps uninformed or undecided gamers know if a game is overrated by the media. In case of "Exodus," Much of the 0-rated user-reviews include lines that criticize the game's non-availability on Steam or its withdrawal from the platform. The Metacritic review-bombing is the latest episode in a long saga of animosity between Steam users and "Exodus" developer 4A Games. 4A Games did initially solicit pre-orders for the game on Steam, and abruptly stopped its sales late-January. Those who had pre-ordered would continue to receive the game and its updates. 4A muddied the waters further by responding to initial criticism from Steam users by threatening to desert the PC platform as a whole, inviting more bile from some really angry gamers. The game received "generally positive" reviews from professional game reviewers.

Metro Exodus Now Available For Preload On Steam

For those who got lucky enough to pre-order Metro Exodus on Steam before its defection to the Epic Games store are now able to pre-load the title in preparation for its launch. It will require 51 GB of storage space, so if your connection is a bit slower, you'll be waiting a while for it to download, which means the Steam pre-load period quite beneficial. For those that bought the title elsewhere and have to go through the Epic Game store, you will have to wait for the official launch since the platform does not currently support preloading of soon to be released games. This will likely make those with slower connections a bit irked since it means they will be waiting even longer to play the title come release day.

The fact Metro Exodus was pulled from Steam but can still be preloaded on the platform, while the Epic Game store will force users to wait will likely just add to the drama and controversy. However, if you step away for a moment and focus on the game itself one thing remains breathtakingly clear, the game is quite astonishing in regards to the graphics, even with RTX disabled. You can take a closer look for yourself in our performance analysis of Metro Exodus.

4A Games Releases New Cinematic, CGI Trailer for Metro Exodus: "Artyom's Nightmare"

Despite the controversy, review bombing, and overall reaction/counter reaction routine on the whole Metro Exodus and its EPIC Games Store exclusivity, the game is shaping up to be one of the hottest releases of 2019. With 4A Games' experience and ability as a developer having already been proven with their original Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light games, the controversy doesn't really matter: the game is expected to be a good one.

And as it stands, 4A Games is doing what it can to open up the lore and world of Metro to the highest number of people possible. As a part of that effort, they have released a brand new CGI cinematic for Metro: Exodus. Titled Artyom's Nightmare, this is a 4-minute long cinematic that showcases the beauty of pre-rendered graphics, the depth and scale of lore drenching the frames of this cutscene, and the games' mood. Even though CGI movies have fallen significantly in use, with most developers choosing the in-engine rendering mechanic, I'd argue that these story explorations are the bread and butter for today's CGI landscape, offering the most compelling atmosphere and image quality for story and content absorption, whilst avoiding the "reality check" of jumping from in-engine to CGI cutscenes (even though in-engine scenes are fast becoming virtually indistinguishable from actual CGI).

Metro Exodus Developer Discusses Boycott of the PC Platform for Sequels over Steam Review Bombing

Update 2: February 5th, 2019: A post on TwitLonger from the official @MetroVideoGame handle has looked to bring a more positive outlook to this whole scenario, in an attempt to bridge the gap between a lone developer's sentiment and the entire 4A Games studio. The post follows:
The recent decision to move Metro Exodus from Steam to the Epic Game Store was made by Koch Media / Deep Silver alone.

The recent comments made by a member of the 4A Games development team do not reflect Deep Silver's or 4A Games' view on the future of the franchise. They do reflect the hurt and disappointment of a passionate individual who has seen what was previously nothing but positive goodwill towards his work turn to controversy due to a business decision he had no control over. We respectfully ask that any and all valid feedback over this decision is directed at Koch Media / Deep Silver, and not the developers at 4A Games.

The future release strategy of the Metro series lies with Koch Media / Deep Silver. Our decision to partner with Epic Games was based on the goal of investing in the future of the series and our development partner at 4A Games. We have every intention of continuing this franchise, and a PC version will always be at the heart of our plans.

Steam Desertions Bode Well for Half Life 3 Prospects

When Steam hit critical mass in the mid 2000s, digital distribution of games was close to non-existent, Internet speeds were too low to transmit 8-10 GB games that would ship in DVDs, and game patching was a mess. Steam solved many of these problems by offering distribution, DRM, aftersales support (automatic updates), and even multiplayer services across its network. Steam didn't become popular on its own, though. Valve Software was mainly a game developer, and it marketed Steam by making its AAA smash-hits "Half Life 2" (and its episodes), "Counter Strike," and "Left 4 Dead," exclusive to the DRM platform. Even if you bought those games on DVDs, they would have to be installed and supported through a Steam account. Those games served as tech-demonstrators for Steam, and how efficient an all-encompassing DRM platform can work.

Steam maintained its dominance for a good 8-odd years until big game publishers such as EA and Ubisoft wised up to the concept of multi-brand distribution platforms Steam mastered. Steam operates on a revenue-sharing model. For every Dollar spent on a game, a percentage of the money is retained by Steam toward its services. EA and Ubisoft figured it wasn't rocket-science to copy Steam, and came up with their own platforms, EA Origin, and Ubisoft UPlay, both of which are multi-brand. They figured their capital-expenditure toward running these platforms was less than what they'd pay Steam at scale. EA restricted all its titles to Origin, while Ubisoft made some of its games available on Steam, even though UPlay would remain a concentric DRM layer to those games. Then something changed in 2018.

Metro Exodus Ditches Steam for Epic Games Store as Timed Exclusive

Metro Exodus is an upcoming post-apocalyptic first-person shooter that could be a trilogy finale. Just weeks ahead of its launch on the PC platform, 4A Games made a groundbreaking announcement: that the game will not be available to order on Steam, at least from tomorrow through Feb 14, 2020, and that its PC version will be an Epic Games Store timed exclusive. The game will launch at USD $49.99 in North America, and 59.95€ in the EU.

Pre-order sales of the game have stopped on Steam, however, those who bought the pre-order on Steam have the option of either receiving the game upon launch, or canceling their pre-order for a full refund. Those who choose to stick to Steam will get their game as usual, including update patches, and support on Steam Community. Epic Games Store is vacuuming game studios in droves due to a favorable revenue sharing deal compared to Steam, when lets developers keep 88 percent of the sales.

System Requirements for Metro: Exodus Outed; Denuvo Protection Included

The system requirements for 4A Games' Metro: Exodus, the studios' first open-world effort that comes with baked-in NVIDIA RTX support, have been outed. The minimum system requirements for 1080p gaming at 30 FPS uses the Low IQ settings, and should be achieved by an i5-4440 CPU, paired with a 2 GB VRAM graphics card (GeForce GTX 1050 or Radeon HD 7870) and 8 GB of RAM.

For the Extreme IQ settings, at 4K 60 FPS, though, you'll require, obviously, a beast of a system. An Intel Core i9-9900K is the CPU of choice here, paired with 16 GB of RAM and the top of the line NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti. These requirements pressupose the absence of any RTX features, however, so prepare to see your maximum resolution with those features on coming down quickly as you scale the ray tracing capabilities. RTX-specific performance profiles will be released by 4A Games in the coming days.

New Story Trailer, Screenshots for 4A Games' Metro: Exodus Released

4A Games is taking advantage of the hype surrounding CEs to increase hype for their upcoming open-world take o the Metro universe. Based on Dmitriy Glukhovsky's novels of the same name, Metro: Exodus brings a new open-world design, improved game systems and graphics, featuring support for ray tracing via NVIDIA's RTX. The new story trailer showcases both the game's graphics and gloomy, yet hopeful atmosphere, and the screenshots show exactly how it can look in the best scenarios. Look for the trailer after the break.

Metro: Exodus Goes Gold, And Sees Release One Week Earlier Than Originally Announced

4A Games has announced that they're happy with the development on Metro: Exodus as it stands today, and have announced that the game has gone gold (meaning, that it is in a state where it can be produced en-masse and shipped to the achingly awaiting public). Metro: Exodus, the third game accompanying Artyom's struggle to survive in post-apocalyptic Russia, is the first game from the developer to feature an open-world design, and confidence should be going through the roof as it relates to this particular title's quality.

The game has a launch date for February 15th, and will be featuring support for NVIDIA's RTX technology (expectedly, upon launch day). We'll be here to see how that works out in this particular title, of course. In the meantime, 4A Games and publisher Deep Silver have released the full title sequence for the game, which should whet your appetites for the survival game that's coming soon.

Latest Metro: Exodus Trailer Showcases the Beauty of NVIDIA RTX

NVIDIA is pushing its RTX dialing up to eleven, today partnering with 4A Games to launch a stunning, 6-minute trailer showcasing their RTX global illumination technology that's being baked into the next installment in the popular Metro series. An image speaks more than a thousand words, and in here, there are approximately 21,600 of them (provided there are no frame drops, eh).

Metro: Exodus is prepped for launch on February 22nd, 2019, and will leverage NVIDIA's RTX tech for its new, open-world approach, built upon 4A games' aptly named 4A Engine. It's interesting that in the presentation, RTX calculations are said to take up three rays per pixel per frame - so some quick math leads to the immense amounts of computing power being leveraged here. Is it worth it? Perhaps you can tell after looking through the video.

CORSAIR Partners with Deep Silver on METRO EXODUS

CORSAIR , a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced a partnership with major video game publisher Deep Silver and developer 4A Games, bringing custom PC and peripheral lighting integration to the highly anticipated game METRO EXODUS with CORSAIR iCUE software.

METRO EXODUS is a sprawling, story-driven first-person shooter developed by 4A Games that blends pulse-pounding combat and stealth with exploration and survival horror, creating one of the most engaging in-game worlds ever seen. For the first time ever, METRO players will leave the underground tunnels of post-apocalyptic Moscow to lead a band of Spartan Rangers on an incredible, continent-spanning journey across the radioactive ruins of Russia.

Games With NVIDIA RTX, Part 2: Metro Exodus, Mech Warrior 5 - Mercenaries

The highly-awaited Metro Exodus, based on Dmitry Glukhovsky's Metro novels, also was presented as an RTX game. 4A Games praised the ease of RTX's implementation into their custom graphics pipeline. This came after 4A Games had already developed their Global Illumination system that was present and developed based on the previous games, and RTX's implementation basically overruled all of their techniques for that particular set of graphical effects. Sampling the environment with single-ray bounces allows for temporally coherent scenes and surfaces linked by refracting and bouncing rays of light.

A very impressive part of the presentation revolved around opening up windows for more light to penetrate the environment, with actual changes in ambient lighting, brightness, shadows and details changing dynamically. 4A Games also mentioned the emergent graphical effects that weren't programmed into the pipeline, such as pulsing lights dancing with the light sources, as part of a massive technological leap.

NVIDIA Announces Partnerships With Multiple Studios to Bring RTX Tech to Gamers

(Update 1: Added the full 21 games list for RTX support.)

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang at the company's Koln event announced partnerships with multiple games studios. This is part of NVIDIA's push to bring real time ray tracing and NVIDIA's RTX platforms' achievements to actual games that gamers can play. These encompass heavy hitters such as Battlefield V (DICE), Hitman 2 (IO Interactive), Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics), Metro Exodus (4A Games) and Control (Remedy Entertainment).

However, not all games are made equal, and NVIDIA knows there are significant gaming experiences coming from other, smaller studios. That's why partnerships have been established with the studios developing games such as We Happy Few (Compulsion Games), Atomic Heart (Mundfish), Assetto Corsa Competizione (Kunos Simulazioni), just to name a few. Of course, RTX's nature as a technology depends on NVIDIA's push for the initial implementation wave, and the company will be looking to bring developers up to speed with all needed programming skills, needs and difficulties inherent to the adoption of any new development framework. However, that DICE have already implemented an Alpha Version of NVIDIA's RTX technology into Battlefield V is surely a good sign.

Metro Exodus Pushed to Q1 2019

Metro Exodus was originally set to be released in Autumn of this year. However, Deep Silver and 4A Games recently announced that the game has been delayed until the first quarter of 2019. They want to continue polishing the game to deliver the best user experience possible. In Metro Exodus, the player takes control of Artyom and must lead a band of Spartan Rangers across a hostile, post-apocalyptic Russia to search for greener pastures in the East. Earlier this year, 4A Games also announced their collaboration with NVIDIA to feature the company's RTX real-time ray tracing technology in Metro Exodus. We'll get to see it in action at E3 this year as both Deep Silver and 4A games have confirmed that they will be releasing some new gameplay of the game at the venue.
The development of Metro Exodus is progressing well; we are all really excited by what we are seeing. We have been constantly reviewing the games progress to ensure that we deliver a product that gamers and fans of the Metro series want and deserve, as well as keeping an eye on announcements from our competitor products. We want everyone to be able to experience what is the most ambitious Metro game to date at its absolute best and therefore we have taken the decision to move the release date to Q1 2019. We know that this will be disappointing news for fans that had hoped to play the game this year, but also know that you will appreciate the results that this additional development time and new release date will bring.

4A Games' Metro Exodus to be First AAA Game to Feature NVIDIA's RTX Technology

After the world was introduced to the Microsoft and NVIDIA partnership to bring real time raytracing solutions to DirectX 12 via NVIDIA's RTX initiative, we now have confirmation of what is expected to be the first game studio - and AAA game experience - to feature the technology. In a post from their official Twitter account, 4A Games has announced that they are collaborating with NVIDIA to bring RTX's effects to their upcoming Metro: Exodus open-world video game.

The company further warned users to keep at attention towards the impending release of a proof of concept video to be released during GDC. 4A Games is one of those companies that has been delivering incredible experiences through and through, and has already dabbled with NVIDIA's technologies in the past (particularly with their first game, Metro 2033). Here's hoping that AMD can work its drivers into great performance levels in supporting this DX12 technology on their graphics cards as well.

Metro Exodus Officially Launches in Autumn 2018

Deep Silver and 4A Games today announced that Metro Exodus is set for release in Autumn 2018, on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation4 computer entertainment system, and PC. Revealed during The Game Awards, The Aurora Trailer offers a glimpse of post-apocalyptic Moscow - a hostile world locked in an endless nuclear winter. The desperate survivors who cling to existence beneath the surface in the ruins of the Metro have long given up hope of a life beyond Moscow... all except for one.

As Artyom, you must flee the Metro and lead a band of Spartan Rangers on an incredible, continent-spanning journey across post-apocalyptic Russia in search of a new life in the East. This thrilling story-line will span an entire calendar year through the changing seasons. Inspired by the internationally best-selling novels Metro 2033 and Metro 2035 by Dmitry Glukhovsky, Metro Exodus continues Artyom's story in the greatest Metro adventure yet.

Metro: Exodus Announced at Microsoft's XBOX E3 Presentation

At Microsoft's XBOX E3 presentation, the worldwide premier trailer for the next in the Metro line of games debuted. Named Metro: Exodus, the new Metro game is expected to continue 4A games' mastering of graphical showcases and of atmospheric game worlds. The new game is still based on Dmitriy Glukhovskiy's books, Metro 2033 and Metro 2035, though there is now a divergence between the game and the story that has already been portrayed in the books.

4A games' have been known for being graphical powerhouses, especially the Redux versions (which you should grab if you already haven't). The new Metro takes away from the previous games' linear exploration towards an open-world approach. The jury, as always, is still out to see in what manner that will impact the studio's focus and storytelling ability. This is one of the more cinematic first-person experiences, if the trailer is anything to go by. Captured in-engine, I have to say this really got my eyeballs staring in awe at the amount of detail and atmosphere in the game world. And did you see those animations? Here's hoping they make the final cut for the 2018 release date of the game. At this time, Metro: Exodus has only been announced for Windows PCs and the XBOX family of consoles. Check the games' trailer after the break.
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