Metro Exodus: Everything You Need to Know About This Post-Apocalyptic Thrill Ride

4A Games has returned to post-apocalyptic Russia with the third release in the acclaimed Metro franchise. Metro Exodus shares the same story as its predecessors, Metro 2033 (2010) and Metro: Last Light (2013). But unlike those games, Exodus escapes the dark, brooding setting of Moscow's subway and surfaces to a beautiful, vast world.

Metro Exodus is, without question, the most ambitious entry in the franchise, but is it for you?  Here is everything you need to know about Metro Exodus.

What is Metro Exodus?

Metro Exodus is the third entry in studio 4A Games' popular Metro series. Like the previous games, this first-person shooter survival horror game is based on a novel written by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky and set in the fictional world described in the first book, Metro 2033.

The setting is a post-apocalyptic wasteland of Moscow after a nuclear war wiped out most of humanity. The only survivors take refuge in the Metro System, a dangerous subway system that's not completely safe from the radiation and mutant creators on the surface.  

Set two years after the events of Metro: Last Light, Metro Exodus follows protagonist Artyom and his wife Ana as they try to escape Moscow aboard a train called the Aurora. Their expedition introduces a variety of new settings, from deserts to forests, that diverge greatly from the dark, gloomy tunnels of the previous games. While Metro Exodus is still a story-driven first-person shooter, the game's expansive, sandbox levels feel more open and less scripted than ever.

What platforms is Metro Exodus on?

Metro Exodus is available worldwide on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in digital and physical formats. Console gamers can purchase Metro Exodus for $60 from major retailers or directly from the Microsoft Store or PlayStation Store.

PC gamers can purchase and download Metro Exodus from the Epic Games Store, but will first need to create an Epic Games account. You have the option to purchase a standard version of the game for $50 or a $75 Gold Edition that includes the Metro Exodus Expansion Pass.

Metro Exodus was previously available for pre-order on Steam, but publisher Deep Silver announced an exclusive deal with Epic prior to the game's launch. Steam pre-orders will still be honored and any updates or DLC will be made available to those playing the game on Valve's platform.

The download size of Metro Exodus is between 50GB and 60GB, so make sure to clear space on your hard drive before you install.  

What is the plot of Metro Exodus?

Picking up two years after when Metro: Last Light left off, our protagonist Artyom, his wife Ana and a group of surviving Rangers are ready to escape from the radiation-filled ruins of Moscow. Convinced of life outside of the capital city, Artyom makes frequent, dangerous trips to the surface in search for signs of life.

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On one of these trips, he finds a working locomotive called the Aurora. Artyom also learns that communications with the outside world have been purposely jammed, and that life outside of Moscow does actually exist. After picking up a radio broadcast from the Special Restoration Committee, Artyom and his crew set their sails for the "Ark base," located at Mount Yamantau.

The survivors will make their way across various terrain, from the Taiga forest to a desert off the banks of the Caspian Sea. Groups of enemies and radiation-poisoned cities will test their resolve during their journey to find or establish a safe community. Be warned that the decision you make along the way that will have a massive influence on how the story unfolds.  

What about gameplay, and what's new?

The core gameplay of Metro Exodus will feel familiar to those who played the previous editions. That is, it's an often horrifying first-person survival shooter that emphasizes stealth and attrition. Long cutscenes and hands-off sequences are mixed in with intense gunfights and close encounters with enemies.

The key difference between Metro Exodus and its predecessors is that Exodus is much more open. While it's not a full-blown open-world sandbox game like Far Cry: New Dawn, Metro Exodus dumps you into vast landscapes and lets you explore and scavenge for as long as you want. This feels appropriate when you consider how the story evolves from the cramped tunnels and passageways of underground Moscow to the expansive Russian countryside. Exodus combines these sandbox elements with tight, linear sequences that keep the plot from derailing.

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With heavy recoil and poor accuracy, there is an unrefined feel to the weapons you can craft and modify in Metro Exodus. Speaking of which, crafting plays a big role in the game. Since supplies are hard to come by in post-apocalyptic Russia, you're forced to create your own resources using materials you've gathered. You'll need to craft bullets, gas masks, ammo and other useful consumables to stay alive. You can also upgrade your guns --- which are categorized as handguns, shotguns, rifles and special weapons --- on the fly using mods, like extended magazines, scopes and stocks.

What are critics saying about Metro Exodus?

Metro Exodus has received positive reviews from critics and gamers alike. The game currently holds a score of 84 on Metacritic. Although it criticized the game's combat, PC Gamer gave Metro Exodus a 78 percent rating and called it an "incredible trip through a stunning post-apocalyptic world."

IGN gave the game an 8.5 out of 10, and felt the story was "exhilarating and densely atmospheric." Metro Exodus earned a 4.5 star rating from GamesRadar+'s Austin Wood, who praised the game's delightful characters and its stunning settings.

Overall, Metro Exodus is an excellent game for anyone who likes the horror survival genre or just wants an intense, gorgeous first-person shooter.

Credit: 4A Games

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. Previously, he was a Senior Writer at Tom's Guide and has also been a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.