A new addition to the Metro series was revealed at today's State of Play showcase called Metro Awakening. It's coming later this year, and yes, it's a VR game.
Metro Awakening is not being developed by 4A Games but by Vertigo Games, whose previous releases include the VR shooter Arizona Sunshine and, more recently, the VR remake of The 7th Guest. It's a "story-driven first-person adventure built exclusively for VR" that promises to deliver the grimy underground world of Metro in "an entirely new dimension."
All the usual Metro trappings are on display in the new trailer, including subway tunnels, dead bodies, bad lighting, crappy guns, and—of course—weird mutant animals with big claws and teeth. Rather than following the adventures of Artyom, the hero of the previous games, in Awakening you'll take on the role of a doctor named Serdar, who's attempting to reunite with his wife in the mutant-infested Metro tunnels beneath Moscow—a journey that, according to the website at metroawakening.com, will eventually lead him to become some sort of "supernatural being."
The Metro games have always had a supernatural element to them in the form of ghosts and Dark Ones that were relatively common encounters throughout Metro 2033, the first game in the series. They became less prominent in the Last Light and Exodus sequels, so it's interesting that this new game appears to be embracing that aspect of the world.
Metro author Dmitry Glukhovsky, who contributed to the story and script for 2033 and Last Light, is serving as a "lore consultant" for Metro Awakening, and he seems enthusiastic about the new direction.
"This origins story is so essential to me," Glukhovsky said. "It feels like returning to the foundations and roots of the series—now at the level that VR technology can bring."
VR can definitely offer immersive experiences, but it's also very limiting in some ways—in terms of gameplay, and also in the size of the potential audience. The latest Steam Hardware and Software Survey indicates that fewer than 2% of users have VR headsets of any sort, a tiny slice of the overall pie. The good news for the vast majority of gamers who don't have VR headsets (including me) is that Metro Awakening appears to be sort of a spinoff project: Plaion said "the next mainline installment of the Metro series" is still in development at 4A Games.
Metro Awakening is being developed for PC VR, Meta Quest 2 and 3, and PlayStation VR2, and is expected to be out later this year. It's available for wishlisting now on Steam.