As I write this, Halloween is now only a week away, and that means it's a great time to play some of the best horror and horror-adjacent games that the industry has to offer. If you're looking to do so, one series that I strongly recommend is the Metro franchise that's based on Dmitry Glukhovsky's novels of the same name. Though these post-apocalyptic first-person shooters aren't horror games in the traditional sense, they're more than spooky and tense enough to rattle some nerves — oh, and they're easily some of the best Xbox games, too.
In total, developer 4A Games has crafted three critically acclaimed entries in the series — Metro 2033, Metro: Last Light, and Metro Exodus. You can get all of them by buying the Metro Saga Bundle, and from now until the end of October, that bundle is discounted on Microsoft's Xbox store by a massive 80%. That means that instead of paying the full $60 price for the trio of games, you can get them for just $12 (provided you're playing on an Xbox console).
Metro Saga Bundle | was
$59.99 $11.99 at Xbox
While this amazing deal is active, you can pick up Metro 2033, Metro: Last Light, Metro Exodus, and all of its expansion DLC for just $12. All three of these games are incredible — and their horror elements make the series a great pick for some Halloween gaming.
Metro 2033 is the first game in the franchise, and it serves as an introduction to its primary setting and characters. In it, you'll take control of Artyom, a survivor of a nuclear war that began in 2013 living in the tunnels of the Moscow Metro that served as an emergency shelter. It's now 20 years after the bombs fell, and a new society has formed within the confines of the Metro. Nuclear winter and ferocious mutants roam the surface, and many of the latter have made their way to the passages below, as well. Recently, Artyom's home station of VDNKh has been viciously attacked by horrifying, supernatural creatures known only as "Dark Ones," and in his shoes, it's up to you to journey to the seat of the Metro's government and request aid.
The next two games, Metro: Last Light and Metro Exodus, continue the story and introduce many new characters, factions, and locations. Without spoiling anything, I'll say that Metro's narrative is one of the franchise's strongest elements, and that you'll become quite attached to its world and the people that inhabit it as you play.
In terms of gameplay, all three Metro games blend shooter mechanics with intense survival and stealth elements. Ammo and supplies are generally quite scarce, so in many cases, you'll want to sneak past enemies or eliminate them with silent takedowns. You'll also have to buy or scavenge gas mask filters to progress through irradiated areas, and will need to think — and shoot — quickly to survive whenever you encounter mutant threats. Note that while Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light are structured with levels that have set paths, Metro Exodus takes place across a series of non-linear open world areas that give the player more freedom to explore.
Every entry in the franchise is phenomenal and holds up well, especially since the Redux versions of 2033 and Last Light included in the bundle have improved graphics compared to the original releases. Metro Exodus in particular, though, is absolutely stellar. By far, it's my favorite open world shooter, and has some of the best visuals in all of gaming. Note that its two DLC expansions, The Two Colonels and Sam's Story, are also included in the bundle.
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