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Metro Exodus under test: Impressive graphics including raytracing and DLSS (Update)

Metro Exodus under test: Impressive graphics including raytracing and DLSS (Update)

tl; dr: Metro Exodus shoots a tech fireworks including DirectX 12, Raytracing and DLSS. ComputerBase has various graphics cards and processors in the technical test. In addition to the benchmarks, the focus will be on the visual impression of raytracing and DLSS, which once show a good side and a bad side.

Metro Exodus is a graphics firework

Update 14.02.2019 15:31 clock

Like the predecessors Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light, the latest part of the action series Metro Exodus wants to convince not only with the game itself but also with the technology. To achieve this, the developer 4A Games uses the in-house 4A engine, which, however, has been massively redesigned compared to its predecessors and now uses, for example, Physically-Based Rendering for lifelike surfaces.

And it was worth it. Because Metro Exodus is in places graphically a feast for the eyes. Especially the outside worlds look partly spectacular. With a huge farsightedness, the representation of different seasons and numerous particle effects and a very atmospheric lighting, the game heaves into the graphic top 3. However, the game also has graphic weaknesses. The animations are – as always in Metro – no more than usable average. The interior levels also look good, but nothing more. In places, Metro Exodus can easily compete with the graphics top dog Battlefield V. But not consistent.

Metro Exodus can use DirectX 12, GameWorks, Raytracing and DLSS

To make the optics run smoothly, there is a DirectX 12 renderer. As the benchmarks will show, this is not a nice, but ultimately useless accessory as in many other games, but the API of choice. In addition, 4A Games has worked closely with Nvidia, so there are various, PC-exclusive effects. All graphics cards run the GameWorks HairWorks and PhysX effects. In addition, the game offers two Turing-exclusive features.

Metro Exodus is the second game delivered in Germany that not only supports raytracing but also DLSS. While Battlefield V raytracing is responsible for the reflections, the technique is used in Metro Last Light for Global Illumination. DLSS is supported in all three major resolutions, not only in 3,840 × 2,160, but also in 1,920 × 1,080 and 2,560 × 1,440.

Today, the editorial team has dealt with the general graphics options, DirectX 12, Raytracing and DLSS in Metro Exodus – the game is technically very much. But there are still some more test series planned. Tomorrow's update will add the usual graphics card and processor benchmarks.

The latest PC versions of large games now have an enormously extensive options menu with numerous convenience features. Metro Exodus is not one of them. Because there are hardly any adjustment options, comfort features certainly not. Important for the performance is the option “quality”, which exists in the levels low, medium, high, ultra and extreme. These are almost graphic presets, except that the individual graphics options are not available.


Metro Exodus - graphics menu
Metro Exodus – graphics menu

Metro Exodus - graphics menu
Metro Exodus – graphics menu

Metro Exodus - graphics menu
Metro Exodus – graphics menu

The optical effects between ultra and extreme are low at first glance. On Ultra, both lighting and shading change minimally, which will not be noticeable in practice. In addition, the visibility is slightly lower. This does not matter in indoor levels, but in the atmospheric outdoor levels this is quite noticeable. Although the visibility is still high on Ultra. That is also the problem at high. It loses additional visibility, so visible in outer worlds things start popping up. That being said, once again the lighting and shadows are taken back one step, again not problematic.

From the middle setting also begins to suffer the general graphics. For a large part, Metro Exodus still looks good, but in some scenes visible graphic losses attract attention. The same applies even more to the lowest setting – but the main problem remains the visibility. Ultra can therefore be easily switched back for a plus in performance and high is still a good compromise. Next, the quality should be reduced but only in an emergency.

Metro Exodus – Graphic Presets

    • Quality Low

    • Quality means

    • High quality

    • Quality Ultra

    • Quality extreme

    • Quality Low

    • Quality means

    • High quality

    • Quality Ultra

    • Quality extreme

The Radeon RX Vega 64 and the GeForce RTX 2070 are taking similar steps on the presets. The Ultra level brings a plus of 31 percent on the AMD and 25 percent on the Nvidia graphics card, high then brings another 19 and 21 percent. The maximum performance can be improved by 155 and 149 percent.

Apart from the quality switch, there is only tessellation, texture filtering and shading rate. The latter is down- and upsampling from the factor 0.4 × to 4.0 × to the set resolution. Tessellation hardly shows a graphic effect, at least for samples, and costs a comparable number of FPS on an AMD and Nvidia graphics card. The anti-aliasing can not be configured in the game and is always on. But that's not a bad thing, because the anti-aliasing works. Even in Full HD only a few objects flicker and there is only a slight blurring. The latter disappears completely in higher resolutions and the flicker is reduced to a minimum.

HairWorks and PhysX have little influence

The two GameWorks effects “HairWorks” and “Advanced PhysX” work on both an AMD and Nvidia graphics card. However, the results of both techniques are sobering. According to Nvidia there should be a substance simulation by PhysX. However, the editors did not notice a difference when playing, whether PhysX was switched on or off. Even in terms of performance, the option does not change anything.


HairWorks One
HairWorks One

HairWorks Off
HairWorks Off

HairWorks One
HairWorks One

HairWorks Off
HairWorks Off

After all, HairWorks has an optical effect, albeit a very small one. In the first third of the game, we noticed a monster guy using HairWorks. These are some coarse, white hair tufts, which are completely different to the actual hair (white, coarse instead of black, dense hair). The movement of the hair looks good, but it does not work to match the monster. And there are also clothes that have, for example, fur calculated with HairWorks. These are very rare.

Metro Exodus – HairWorks

    • HairWorks Off

    • HairWorks One

    • HairWorks Off

    • HairWorks One

If a “HairWorks monster” is in sight, the performance is easy. Both Radeon RX Vega 64 and GeForce RTX 2070 will lose five percent in performance. So the loss is lower than for example in Final Fantasy XV, but the benefit is also lower.

On the next page: test series, test system and graphics settings

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