Metro Exodus on PS5: recoil, reloads, resistance, and realism

This Friday, our long-awaited PlayStation 5 upgrade for Metro Exodus goes live, as a free update to all current owners of the PS4 version, or available to purchase on disc as the Complete Edition for newcomers.

Here at 4A Games we’ve utilized every aspect of the PlayStation 5 hardware to dramatically improve the overall experience. We’ve doubled frame rate from 30 to 60 FPS, and quadrupled resolution to 4K, while completely overhauling our engine to deliver a fully ray-traced lighting experience that offers unprecedented realism; we’ve leveraged the lightning fast SSD to reduce loading times; and we support 3D Audio to further increase player immersion.

In this article, we’ll talk in more detail about our support for the DualSense wireless controller, and how these innovative new hardware features allow us to push player immersion even further.

As you may have guessed, creating that sense of immersion is one of our key goals for the Metro series. We’ve been refining our craft over the past decade, using narrative, audio, and visual tricks to draw players deeper into the game world.

A big focus has been how the player character, Artyom, feels connected to and embedded within the game world – we strip away the HUD / UI to the bare minimum, try and physicalize as much information to break down the barriers between the players eyes and the world; and we put a huge amount of effort into our first person animations, from complex weapon reloads to physical interactions with the environment such as opening doors and manipulating or picking up objects to make the world feel tactile and alive.

The DualSense controller has allowed us to push that tactile feel even further. The advanced haptic feedback gives each weapon a unique feel upon discharge, recoil, reload, or jam. Players will even feel the subtle differences within the same weapon class as they adapt and customise on the fly using our in-the-field crafting and customisation mechanics; adding a heavier stock to increase stability, or a suppressor to reduce muzzle climb all change how the controller responds in the player’s hands.

Some of Metro’s signature weapons are the hand-crafted, pneumatic Tikhar and the spring loaded Helsing, and we found the perfect use for the DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers to simulate the increased pressure or resistance when priming /charging these unique firearms. Maintaining high air pressure in the tank is essential to preserve the Tikhar’s lethality, and this has to be manually topped up by pumping the right trigger; as the pressure increases, so does the resistance on the trigger action so players can feel when maximum pressure has been attained.

We also use the adaptive triggers to mimic resistance when rowing, operating some machinery, or driving Metro’s all terrain vehicle acquired in the Caspian desert.

Of course, for Metro Exodus we retrofitted this new functionality into our existing design, but as creatives we’re excited about exploring new gameplay mechanics that can be enhanced with the DualSense controller in mind from the start to better deliver our goal of complete player immersion.

Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy experiencing Metro Exodus with the added immersion of the DualSense controller when it hits PS5 June 18.

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