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Metro Exodus Review - Brand New Days

  • First Released Feb 15, 2019
  • Reviewed Feb 13, 2019
  • PC
  • PS4

Light at the end of the tunnel.

Beyond the dark, oppressive tunnels and radioactive surface of Moscow are the societies that emerge from a nuclear apocalypse and prospective lands habitable for new life. It's a sensible change in setting that broadens Metro's horizons, though it sometimes loses the focus the series is known for. Still, the firefights and stealth deliver a familiar and incredible tension, complemented by streamlined survival mechanics necessary to face terrifying threats. But with Artyom and friends punching a one-way train ticket in hopes of greener pastures, Metro Exodus becomes a journey more about the enduring relationships and ties that bind an earnest crew of survivors.

In the opening hours, returning protagonist Artyom is shown with a tenacious insistence that human life exists outside the metro. It gets him into serious trouble, and it's further revealed that a larger conspiracy is at play. Your departure seems all too sudden and a bit of a disservice to the hardships endured in the previous games, but the heat of the moment and gut instincts of your companions help ease you into the premise of a year-long expedition to wherever the railroads lead.

The way the map works in Metro Exodus is a nice touch.
The way the map works in Metro Exodus is a nice touch.
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Thus, Metro Exodus takes the franchise in a bold direction by having a few significant chapters dedicated to open sandbox-style environments where you're free to roam, explore non-critical points of interest, and follow the main story path. Exploration tends to not be a reward in itself as these open areas are sparse and struggle to incentivize you to venture far off. Doing so pits you against mutants that force you to expend valuable resources for very little in return. Navigating isn't entirely enjoyable whether it be because of the sluggish rowboats in the Volga or empty lands of the Caspian. It sometimes feels as if Metro's methodical movement was thrown into much larger spaces it wasn't meant for. Thankfully, the game reins it in for its other chapters, especially when you make it to the lush forest of the Taiga that masterfully guides you to and from open areas and confined spaces at a tempered pace.

During your time in the open areas, optional side quests will organically populate your map by way of environmental hints or characters mentioning a point of interest in dialogue. These aren’t traditional side quests that get logged into a checklist; instead, they're opportunities to experience more of Metro’s tense combat scenarios and lead to potentially finding new equipment, scavenging additional resources, or extracting smaller stories that feed into the bigger picture.

Despite the addition of open environments, Exodus primarily plays similarly to previous games, and for the majority of the time it channels the series existing strengths. Carefully laid out levels strike a balance between freedom of approach and linear, focused paths to objectives when you face human enemies, creating a fine flow within missions. Sure, some guards will have their backs conveniently turned or make silly moves in combat, but the overarching thrill that you can swiftly kill or be killed lingers. Another Metro staple of fighting mutated beasts delivers a different style of tension. Irradiated spiders, nimble mutants, and lurking amphibians strike fear as you brace for their attack in ravaged pitch-dark corridors and flooded buildings. Even the harmless spiders that crawl on your arm and across your face further build a terrifying atmosphere. It's a state of vulnerability covered in a layer of dread that Metro gets right yet again.

Hardly do you ever feel either unfairly disadvantaged or overpowered, as weapons fire with impact and can be a challenge to handle. Each firearm has a roster of modifications that you'll scavenge from enemy weapons--sights, scopes, barrels, loading mechanisms--which give you control of how you want to fight. This wide variety of customization options can turn a dinky revolver into a formidable long-range weapon or a janky Kalashnikov into a devastating assault rifle--it's a satisfying system that gives gunplay an additional layer of depth. Modding can also be done using your backpack at any time, giving you the chance to adapt to situations as they arise.

Workbenches and your backpack are saving graces in Metro Exodus, since there are no longer any shops to buy equipment and items. Gone is the clever system of trading in military-grade bullets for critical items; in its place is a crafting system that's both manageable and fitting for the survivalist mentality Exodus instills. You'll accumulate scrap metal and chemicals to craft medkits, filters, and ammo, and maintain weapon condition. Even when you're juggling systems such as keeping your flashlight charged and changing out gasmask filters, it never becomes overbearing and adds an enjoyable challenge of gear management even as you're fending off foes throughout.

For the most part, Metro Exodus does away with the supernatural by leaving the clairvoyant Dark Ones in the past. In venturing into the unknown, the game tends to rely on familiar post-apocalyptic tropes. You have the cultists who've brainwashed locals to shun technology, a society of cannibals who put up an orderly front, and slavers who exploit and abuse others. But Exodus uses them to lay the groundwork for its better moments between characters and the struggles they endure. And despite the story being less centered around Artyom--who oddly remains a silent protagonist outside of loading screen monologues--Exodus unfolds in a much more personal fashion. The broader examinations of humanity and psychological twists have been dialed back to make room for a more grounded story about the necessary sacrifices you make for the ones you love.

These characters are brought to life with an impressive amount of dialogue that seems to go on forever, but because the moments of levity have a degree of charm and earnestness, you’ll want to stay and listen.

The best parts of the story are found in chapters between the action where you simply hang out aboard the Aurora, the train that functions as headquarters. Here you have the chance to tune the radio to eavesdrop on transmissions that play off of in-game events or listen to some sweet tunes, but more importantly, it's your opportunity to unravel the endearing personalities that make up your crew. These characters are brought to life with an impressive amount of dialogue that seems to go on forever, but because the moments of levity have a degree of charm and earnestness, you’ll want to stay and listen. It's not without a few lines that feel contextually out of place, though the natural flow of dialogue and interactions between the team communicates just as much about them as the stories they tell.

Anna shares her thoughts about the life she hopes to build with you as she rests her head on your lap. Damir's commitment to his ethnic roots and what remains of his homeland of Kazakhstan leads to a bittersweet exchange. Stepan, the big softy, is an uplifting presence who also fills the air with his acoustic guitar. And Miller is the hardened leader exemplifying the tough love of a father figure who wants the best for you and his daughter Anna. These are just a few of the characters that represent the best in Metro Exodus' narrative.

Anna is one of the several great characters in Metro Exodus' story.
Anna is one of the several great characters in Metro Exodus' story.
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The exact narrative threads can change, however; Metro's morality system makes a return, subtly judging your actions without explicitly revealing itself. What's important is that it doesn't always force you into a non-lethal approach; if you want to cut the throats of the heartless slavers or take a shotgun to a cannibal's head, by all means do so, and as long as you don't hurt the innocent, you're in the clear. And with a keen eye or sharp ear, you may also come across unexpected events that'll pay off depending on your course of action. Consequences don't make themselves immediately apparent, but can lead to fascinating results as the story progresses.

It's worth noting that technical issues are strewn throughout Metro Exodus. In one playthrough (pre-day one patch), I've fallen through the game world just after an auto-save, inexplicably lost upgraded equipment I couldn't get back at a workbench, and had some rare, but noticeable framerate drops at modest settings with a fairly high-end PC. They didn't break the game, but can frustrate and negate hard-earned progress. In the few hours spent with the PS4 version, the game was stable, and as expected it ran on a lower framerate than a capable PC. It's not always a smooth ride, though it doesn't take away from the gripping journey that the game takes you on.

You may miss the mystery and intrigue of the previous games, but Exodus puts together a charismatic crew of friends and family that you'll want to follow to the ends of the earth.

At first glance, Metro Exodus gives you that wide-open, free, and dangerous world unbound by tunnels, though the scope of its tale focuses on what drives you personally and the lengths you're willing to go to protect what matters most. The open sandboxes may not be strongest addition, but the game still embraces the sense of vulnerability and post-apocalyptic terror alongside impactful weapons used in refined combat and stealth scenarios. You may miss the mystery and intrigue of the previous games, but Exodus puts together a charismatic crew of friends and family that you'll want to follow to the ends of the earth.

Back To Top
The Good
Endearing characters and earnest interactions bring you closer to the crew and journey
Top-notch world building with intriguing stories throughout, despite the genre tropes
Crafting and customization systems put you in control without sacrificing tension
Impactful gunplay makes the challenging combat scenarios thrilling
The Bad
Open sandbox areas are a bit sparse and occasionally a pain to navigate
Technical issues (performance spikes, crashes, bugs) can be frustrating
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Michael's been through the dark, unforgiving tunnels with Artyom in Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light and still believes those games to be the gold standard for single-player FPS. He spent around 20 hours with the PC version of Metro Exodus and about three hours testing out the PS4 version. Review code was provided by Deep Silver.
162 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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Avatar image for gamepursuit

My review. It's a good game. I think it is a solid 7.5.

Avatar image for prince__vlad

I liked it, it's different than the other two. Last level was a traumatizing journey. The end is good and realistic, not like other shitgames where the hero lives even if he received 1000 RADS. Games made by Ukrainian companies are top notch, especially the graphics and the atmosphere. (STALKER, METRO). I will buy it when the price is right for me though.

PS - For me game crashed just two times , in the last levels , but after hours of playing, probably memory process not optimized enough. In rest it didn't give me too much of a trouble. Maybe my rig was the cause (i7-8700/ Corsair 16GB RAM/ MSI GTX 1070 OC edition/ 8GB VRAM)

Avatar image for santinegrete

Finally got around purchasing this game! If you're in PC please read:

-Game first execution may fail, don't be afraid of Safe Mode.

-Back-up your saves from User/savedgames directory, the saves suddendly dissapear or get corrupted sometimes. I hope a patch is coming, but if there's not and you couldn't wait like me, please have this in mind.

Avatar image for santinegrete

@santinegrete: well some patches fixed it and now you can have new game+!

Avatar image for cmoorey

I have it on Xbox x and I'm really enjoying it so far, beautiful looking game. But I have experienced a few crashes (1 every hour) where the game just freezes up and you have to quit out and restart. The loading times take too long as well, airing on the side of irritation (around the 2 min mark) - especially after you've had to quit and restart.

I'd still recommend Metro but if buying on console maybe give it one or two months for bugs and performance issues to be ironed out.

Avatar image for dynamotnt

to be fair the more I play this game, the more underrated I feel it is. on hardcore mode it's so immersive and tense, probably the most immersion I've felt outside of say, outlast or amnesia or old skool ghost recons/rainbow six. really punishing, hard and above all else, fun.

game does crash though, I saw some dude glitched, laying down in the air I went to knife him and got stuck in a knife animation, I reloaded and killed/looted him and game crashed for the 4th time so far. bit annoying.

but the game doesn't crash over and over for me, just once in a while and lets me play unhindered for a few hours.

Avatar image for Shadowdanc3r

I was wondering in the rain
Gas mask of life, feeling insane

Avatar image for carlos-parra-1985

The video review format is terrible. Dont do this. Rather wait for the full review than watching something like this.

Avatar image for Mogan

@carlos-parra-1985: I mean, you could just read the review. It's right there.

Avatar image for ziltoid

Well I'm quite the S.T.A.L.K.E.R fan but at the same time I didn't enjoy the Metro games much.

The game seems really cool but I'm still worried I might jump in expecting too much of a S.T.A.L.K.E.R vibe and get my expectations crushed again.

Avatar image for dynamotnt

@ziltoid: if you couldn't get behind the metro games then I doubt u would this. this has more open world elements to it then previous metro games. and if you know anything about stalkers development it was an absolute nightmare primarily because they tried to do way too much and so much of it was scrapped.

best thing to do is download the free call of Chernobyl mod for stalker COP. if you want an unabridged stalker sandbox it's the best, most stable and graphically impressive mod availiable.

Metro has always been one man's journey through an oppressive world, and exodus is full of revelations and twists to the universe, it's a dream come true to a metro fan. but it is more of the same, with a few open bits that are filled with anomalies, roaming packs of monsters and bandits, and it's fuckin difficult. I'm on hardcore difficulty though, but still one tiny burst from an enemy gun and your dead, 2-3 hits from a watchmen and your dead, the roaming packs are constantly on you making simple exploration very difficult.

The Volga is basically the first open world area you visit, and I'd say it's definitely bigger then the first 3 areas of stalker combined. with some hidden underound structures and creepy monsters.

Avatar image for ziltoid

@dynamotnt: Thanks for your in depth answer!

I used to play S.T.A.L.K.E.R with the misery mod, the balance was kinda crazy but damn did I have fun!

As you said the open area sections are the part that got me interested in this one, but that's also the issue, I feel like I want it to be a S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 rather than a Metro game.

Avatar image for naomha1

@ziltoid: You won't be disappointed. At all. I'm a HUGE S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fan and the whole Metro series is kinda like being at home in a different room but it is still the same house.

Avatar image for mari3k

20 h... huh ?

Avatar image for AyatollaofRnR

I tried going back to the Redux versions and couldn't get into them. Felt to cramped and clunky.

But still liked the concept. I think opening the environments up like they have in Exodus is more my kind of game.

Avatar image for justthetip

@AyatollaofRnR: I’m normally not a fan of open-world, but I agree with you. I used to love the first two games, but feeling too cramped is exactly what I was thinking the other day. I know other people will say that’s what made the games great, but I feel like they were way too linear.

Avatar image for julittok

@justthetip: Maybe cramped is the feeling they were looking for? You are part of the leftovers of humanity living like rats in the subway, cramped is how you should feel.

Avatar image for santinegrete

@julittok: exactly, that's what defined the metro experience. And this open approach is what makes this Metro game special from the rest, and dare to say, more intriguing for anyone who didn't dig previous games.

Avatar image for naomha1

So, I'm having an issue. Seems EPIC's site refuses to send me a "forgot password" link no matter how many times I've tried to click the thing. 2 weeks I've been going through this bs and no email, no nothing from them. Screw EPIC.

Does anyone know if you buy the hard disk if it is mandatory to install or play through EPIC? If so, I'll have to wait until it comes out on Steam. I'm not playing this game on a halfa$$ed site that can't be bothered to help out its customers.

HUGE FAIL 4A AND KOCH MEDIA. No one wants ANOTHER store to have to deal with. Bring it back on Steam asap.

Avatar image for SirNormanislost

@naomha1: check your spam folder, i know that's where the validation requests for my league account went

Avatar image for beantownsean

Played Metro 2033...hated the AI and eventually ran out of ammo stuck in some tunnel. Maybe I'll pick it up again one day, I'd prefer to play through the entire series.

Avatar image for santinegrete

@beantownsean: if you don't want to bother and want to jump to metro exodus, an intro cinematic can help you into perspective.

Just go Redux on anything, Metro 2033 vanilla uses outdated design and has some bugs (I love it but I understand is not for everyone)

Avatar image for srfilk86

@beantownsean: If you start again, don't spend any currency on weapons or upgrades. You pick up loads of weapons in the field. Save your money for bullets and filters and grenades.

Avatar image for good_coop89

@beantownsean: Running out of ammo and just scraping by is kind of what it's about. I say give 2033 Redux a go, and at least play until the encounters with the "librarian" mutants...

Avatar image for beantownsean


I did fight some mutants, I made it as far as Chapter 4. I'm not completely out of ammo, but I end up running short every time I've tried.

I tried an unlimited_ammo tweak just to get by the section I'm stuck in, but it doesn't seem to work.

I suppose I could always grab some random save game off the interwebs, but I'm not all that interested in picking it back up at this point.

Avatar image for dynamotnt

@beantownsean: you just have to be smart. use shotgun for things close, and headshots from things far away. if you hunt every nook and cranny in 2033 you can easily get 1000 millitary grade ammo by the end of the game, and that's including spending cash on new weapons and upgrades. it's slow, methodical and a full on treasure hunt.

but exodus is different, it's a risk reward system some areas will be full of mutants and have nothing in there, some will ingredients you can use to craft everything in the game. more often then not I have found enough ingredients to make more ammo then what I spent getting through the muties, but im on hardcore difficulty so it's insane anyway.

Avatar image for vigariox

@beantownsean: I didn't like Metro 2033 too, frustrating and not in a challenging way, just not fun. Metro Last Light is the real deal though, that game is beyond amazing imo. My advise is to not pick up 2033 again, your feelings won't change about it tbh, will just make you hate the series. Go Last light right away, the game will tell you what happened.

Avatar image for jmason86

Not a fan of this new video review style with no audio narration. Hoping for a return to that tried and true style.

Avatar image for zmanbarzel

@jmason86: Most likely, you won't. These video reviews are shared a lot on Facebook, where something like 90 percent of videos are watched without sound.

Avatar image for justthetip

@jmason86: Lol. Almost no one watches the video reviews.

Avatar image for sdvfnsdlfu2349879237r20uwjeif

I'll buy it once it arrives on STEAM. I have plenty of other games to play until then like Assassins Creed Odyssey. Glad to hear the reviews are so good. Hopefully we will get a new STALKER game soon as well?

Avatar image for naomha1

@sdvfnsdlfu2349879237r20uwjeif: Supposedly work has begun on a new Stalker game. So stoked to see that come out!

Avatar image for starjay009

Oh and I really am not concerned that the open world elements are "sparse". The first 2 games were outright linear shooters with the second one offering a degree of open world illusion. If Exodus can maintain the same formula as Last Light, then I am going to have a blast.

Avatar image for starjay009

Most sites giving this one an average of 8 which is excellent in modern day gaming journalism. IGN have given it an 8.5. So yeah... I am waiting for my pre-order to drop at my Gamestop tomorrow. CAN'T WAIT !!! Getting it for my X1X btw. Too bad it ain't coming to Steam just yet otherwise being a PC gamer mostly, it's a no-brainer for me to buy it for PC. Won't go anywhere near EPIC store. Still, the game will look and play very well on the X in 4K. Loved the previous 2 games a lot too.

Avatar image for Wanz44

This has been one of my favorite series. Exodus is supposed to be the length of the prior two combined. Can't wait.

Avatar image for peterroberts123456

cant wait to get this. the others had so much potential but were too crampted for my liking. this is my kind of game. it will keep me happy till rage 2.

Avatar image for Dragerdeifrit

weird, this review lists open world segments as a pain to navigate and gunplay as impactful and thrilling, while other reviews say the open world segments are masterfully crafted but gunplay is weightless and clunky... wtf? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Avatar image for gameroutlawzz

@Dragerdeifrit: The gunplay in the past 2 games was solid imo.

Avatar image for justthetip

@gameroutlawzz: It felt clunky and weightless to me in the last two games. I still enjoyed the games for other reasons, but the shooting felt like a weak point.

Avatar image for ronaldmcreagan

What kind of crappy video review is this? I'm not getting any commentary at all???

Avatar image for Shinnok789

@ronaldmcreagan: bad case of laryngitis?

Metro Exodus More Info

  • First Released Feb 15, 2019
    • PC
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox One
    The latest installment in the post-apocalyptic first-person shooter from 4A Games shoots to thrill on Xbox One.
    Average Rating100 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Metro Exodus
    Developed by:
    4A Games
    Published by:
    Deep Silver, Square Enix, Spike Chunsoft, Microsoft
    Shooter, 3D, Action, First-Person
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Drugs