Metro Quester - PS4 Review

Metro Quester by developer Thousand Games and publisher KemcoPS4 review written by Richard with a copy provided by the publisher.
Estimated reading time: 5.5 minutes

An apocalyptic future where humanity needs to fight against mutated monsters for resources and food. A dungeon crawl to get to what you want. Will you brave the dangers in an attempt to thrive? Or will you be consumed by the monsters infesting the world?

Metro Quester is an old-school dungeon crawler that looks like it'd be right at home on the MS-DOS. No, this isn't a bad thing at all. Taking inspiration from what I'd guess is the original Rogue title, yet without the randomization, we get what Metro Quester feels like, at least to me.

You play as a band of would-be explorers and artifact hunters. Powerful monsters hold the secret of relics, which you are now hunting. Your team of five have the goal of defeating these monsters in order to find the relics. But it won't be easy as you need to find food to survive, and you only have a certain amount of purification power that allows you to explore. Returning to camp replenishes your purification as well as health and revives any knocked out teammates.
Metro Quester is a pretty simple game when you break it down. You explore a map that gets filled in as you explore, and remains every time you set out to explore, and have a limited time to explore before you need to return to camp. There are monster icons that you can touch to start combat, resource collection points, false walls and mud to clear away, safes to open for gear, and more for you to find out.

The field map you traverse functions in traditional rogue style rules. Your character moves, enemy characters move, repeat until you run out of purification power. If you make contact with an enemy unit, you will enter into a turn-based combat. There are also resource points that you can interact with in the hope of getting either food or resource points. These will return the next time you set out from your base, which is measured as a day value.

You are tasked with maintaining your food stores during set periods, with the value required increasing as your number of party members increase. Failing to find enough food will result in penalties to your exploration team, so make sure you fulfill your food quota! Food can be obtained both through resource points on the map as well as from defeating certain enemy types.

Now let's talk a bit about the combat. Combat is a turn-based system where you have 5 party members going against enemies of varying sizes. Each character has a number of moves they can choose from, each costing a different amount of action points. Moves are based on both equipment and what your character has as a class, so swapping weapons could mean you no longer have access to the moves you want to use.

Each character can choose up to three actions per turn maximum, as long as they have the action points to support it, and each move can only be selected once. If you have multiple of the same move, such as if you have two of the same weapon equipped, you can use the move twice, one move per weapon. All moves have both a hate value and speed value associated, and dictate the likelihood you get attacked by enemies and the turn order in which you use your moves. Some moves will also have extra resource costs associated with them, such as "medicine", for example. These extra resources are shown during battle, and purification energy can be converted into resources if you have the appropriate move to do so, usually afforded through equipment.

After combat ends, you will be fully healed and cleansed of status effects, at the cost of purification power, if required. While this depletes the amount of time you can spend out exploring, it does help keep you up and going. Couple this with the fact you can run from battles means you can salvage what could be a party wipe at the cost of some purification power.

After running out of purification power, or choosing to return to base, you can level up your characters (yes this isn't automatic) up to whatever their current level cap is. While leveling is "free" at lower levels, it will start costing resources. Unused members won't get experience gain unless you have a specific accessory that grants experience sharing, so pay attention to that as well. Another use for resources is for improving your weapons. If you have multiple copies of weapons in your storehouse, you can fuse them with a resource cost in order to improve them.

As you've been exploring the map, you will come across camping locations. You can move your base to any of these camping locations at the cost of 30 food. No, that isn't a lot, and it helps when you're exploring a new area to reduce the purification power required to explore, as you'll now be closer to where you want to check out. There are also tough enemies and boss monsters that may be nearby camping points, letting you avoid unnecessary resource drain before engagement. You do want to fight these monsters, as not only do they normally hide loot behind them, but beating one also increases your maximum level cap, making other fights easier.

Metro Quester is...weirdly endearing? It looks right at home on an MS-DOS, and I'm pretty sure at least half of the people reading this don't even know what that is. Graphics are really basic, the game looks incredibly bare bones and retro, and the start menu interface feels more like a command prompt menu than a video game start screen. I love it. Admittedly at first I was a little hesitant, but don't let the appearance fool you, Metro Quester is surprisingly in-depth and really fun. I had a great time exploring the map trying to discover secrets, uncovering and filling in the map, and collecting materials to help the exploration. Once I got used to the combat and started getting a better understanding of it (please read the in-game manual and tips, trust me it's worth it), I had soon found a few hours had flown by.

Metro Quester is a very unassuming title holding a lot of fun. An extremely retro feeling with a surprisingly fleshed out combat system as well as resource management and exploration planning make metro quester a neat little dungeon crawler that is really enjoyable. Don't let this gem pass you by based on how it looks at first glance, a game doesn't always need to be fancy to be fun, and it's definitely worth the price it's currently going for.

Score: 9 / 10


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