The end of 2023 saw some huge games arrive for VR headsets. Arizona Sunshine 2, Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR, Asgard’s Wrath 2 and Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted 2. That can make January a bit of a dull month for gaming news. Thankfully that wasn’t the case with PlayStation’s State of Play offering up a VR corker, Metro Awakening VR. If you’ve never played the franchise here’s why you should be excited for Metro Awakening this year.
The gaming franchise started with a book, an adaption of Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novel Metro 2033. Developer 4A Games released the game in 2010, with Metro: Last Light and Metro: Exodus following (the latter arrived in 2019). Thanks to the quality of Glukhovsky’s writing the Metro video game series has a rich narrative and lore set in a post-apocalyptic Moscow.
The Earth’s surface is poisonous and no longer habitable. So the world has taken refuge underground, in this instance, in the dark winding tunnels of the city’s subway system. Metro was always a survival adventure, scrapping together resources to craft items in preparation for what lurks in the dark.
Metro’s New Direction
If you’re a fan of the story and not just the survival action, Metro Awakening is a prequel, set five years before Metro 2033. Details released so far put you in the shoes of Dr. Serdar, who is trying to reunite with his wife. “As Serdar, you will navigate a complex storyline that tests beliefs in the rational and tempts you to embrace the awakening of the being you are destined to become,” says developer Vertigo Games.
This is the first reason to be excited for Metro Awakening. A new story gives Vertigo the chance to put VR’s mark on the franchise. Rather than a port which could have fans of the series making endless comparisons, a fresh approach allows the game to stand on its own merits.
And then there’s the gameplay. New mechanics can be introduced perfectly attuned for immersive gameplay whilst using iconic series moments to create further depth. Metro 2033 was known for moments where you’d wipe the visor of your gas mask, or hurriedly grab another filter so you don’t choke to death. These would make for some tense moments in VR. As the trailer detailed, Metro Awakening will enjoy full manual reloading mechanics, a standard feature in most modern VR shooters.
Metro for all
While Metro Awakening VR was shown at the PlayStation showcase it isn’t PSVR 2 exclusive. Vertigo Games has confirmed support for Meta Quest 3, Quest 2 and PCVR headsets on Steam.
What hasn’t been released so far is whether the various platforms will include unique features. We’re mainly looking at PSVR 2 here, utilising its eye tracking, foveated rendering, and headset haptics. With a launch slated for 2024, we’re expecting more news soon.
Check out the latest gameplay trailer here to see Metro Awakening VR in action.