Five years have passed since we last visited the post-nuclear war wasteland of the Metro series from 4A Games. But like the Dmitry Glukhovsky book trilogy that Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light were based on, a third game is on the horizon. 4A Games revealed Metro: Exodus, the first in the series to be properly developed for current generation consoles, at E3 2017 with an exciting gameplay trailer. The atmospheric tension and dire conditions that made the first two games in the series stand out was on display in full force. Exodus made another appearance at The Game Awards, allowing us to further unravel what to expect from the upcoming first-person shooter. Alas, while the game was initially slated to debut in 2018, we’ll now have to wait until 2019. Here’s everything we know about Metro: Exodus ahead of its launch next year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
A story of hope?
Metro: Exodus takes place in 2036, two years after the events of Metro: Last Light, specifically after the game’s “enlightened” ending. Players will once again step into the shoes of Artyom, a Ranger living in the ruins of Moscow’s underground Metro system after a devastating nuclear war. His goal is to leave Moscow and find a better life to the east. According to the game’s Steam description, Artyom will take the helm of a group of Spartan Rangers throughout the year-long journey. Each of the four seasons will be represented throughout Artyom’s quest.
In an interview with PC Gamer, executive producer Jon Bloch hinted that this third entry may be more optimistic than its predecessors. He said, “Let’s go see what’s out there and hopefully we’ll find something that’s new and interesting and a good place to live.”
We know from the first gameplay trailer that Anna, Artyom’s partner, will return and play a key role in the narrative. After Exodus‘ E3 showing, Bloch teased that other familiar characters would make appearances as well.
A mix of sandbox and classic Metro
The first two Metro games took place in the tunnels of Moscow, leading to confined, largely linear levels. Exodus, due to the scope of its story, will give players more of an open sandbox. “There’s still story within those levels that will guide you through the places you should go, but it supports being able to go where you want and do what you want,” Bloch told PC Gamer.
In other words, there will be a mix of linear objectives and non-linear opportunities for exploration. All of the missions will tie into the overall story, but there will be room to go off the beaten path. As shown in trailers, Artyom’s time above ground will see him scouring sprawling cities and wildernesses. The profound effects of the nuclear war are made more clear at surface level by the sheer amount of wreckage on screen, from rundown buildings to piles of vehicles that have become mere scrap metal.
It’s not clear how many different areas outside of Moscow will be in the game, but the first two trailers each showed a train on what would seem to be the Trans-Siberian Railway, suggesting you’ll cover a lot of distance. So far, we’ve seen the snowy terrain of Moscow and a hilltop town surrounded by forestry.
Revamped weapons system
The freeing nature of exploration will also translate to new mechanics and systems. Exodus will feature more weapon customization than previous entries. We saw a glimpse of this in the gameplay trailer when Artyom modified his shotgun with a revolver chamber. In terms of confirmed weapons, we’ve seen a shotgun, revolver, crossbow, and Artyom’s knife.
Judging by the monstrous mutated beasts littered throughout the nuclear wasteland, you’ll need to make good use of the customization system to survive.
Bloch claimed “a lot of features” haven’t been revealed yet, but it sounds as if the move to a true open world will also shift gameplay in a substantial way.
When can you return and escape from Moscow?
Metro: Exodus was slated to launch in fall 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. However, in a joint statement, 4A Games and publisher Deep Silver said that while development is “progressing well” and the whole team is “really excited by what we are seeing,” the partners want the game to be “at its absolute best.” As such, they’ve decided “to move the release date to Q1 2019.” In the meantime, you can replay the first two games in Metro Redux on PS4 and Xbox One.
Updated on May 16: The release date of Metro Redux has been pushed to the first quarter of 2019.