Nvidia RTX Really Brings the World of Metro Exodus to Life

If, like me, you’ve recently bought one of Nvidia’s new RTX capable graphics cards, you’ve probably been waiting for something to show it off. Metro Exodus is that game.

Let’s get something out of the way first, though: Metro Exodus is a stunning looking game no matter what settings you play it on. I took screenshots of the game running at 4K at all graphical presets, including Extreme with RTX set at Ultra, and the results were surprising. Take a look at them below (click the images to view them at 4K).

Extreme Preset, RTX Ultra
Extreme
Ultra
High
Medium
Low

As you can see, there’s not an earth-shattering drop of quality moving from Extreme with RTX on to Low in Metro Exodus, meaning no matter how beefy your PC is you’re in for some serious eye candy. At Extreme with RTX on Ultra, however, there’s no doubt in my mind that Metro Exodus is the best looking game available right now.

Metro Exodus‘ RTX implementation admittedly isn’t always noticeable, but in certain scenes it makes the game truly feel alive. While vistas don’t really benefit much from the tech as you’ll see below, the more hemmed-in environments that you explore certainly do. Basically, without RTX turned on Metro Exodus looks like a very nice video game. With RTX turned on, the environments become almost real. Take a look at some comparison shots with both RTX turned on and off below (again, click the images for full 4K).

RTX On
RTX Off
RTX On
RTX Off
RTX On
RTX Off
RTX On
RTX Off
RTX On
RTX Off
RTX On
RTX Off

The visual improvements provided by RTX are subtle, but clearly visible in certain circumstances nonetheless. But of course, they come at a cost. While I’m not going to go into specifics because Nvidia will undoubtedly roll out new drivers in the next few days that are optimised for Metro Exodus, enabling RTX definitely hurts performance quite a bit. The title does also support DLSS though, and enabling it negates much of the performance impact at the cost of a little visual clarity.

In summary then, Metro Exodus is currently the best game to show off your RTX enabled graphics card, but even with RTX turned off it’s way ahead of the competition. Once Nvidia releases optimised drivers for the game, we’ll truly be able to see if the RTX features are worth the performance hit. For now though, I’m happy sacrificing a high framerate for the extra graphical detail.