After pitching itself as the series' big, breakout, open-world moment, it's almost comical that the first piece of downloadable content for Metro: Exodus immediately returns to what it was originally known for. The Two Colonels is a short, linear, claustrophobic experience that's not much more than serviceable in any meaningful way.
The underground metro is what this franchise does best, but The Two Colonels feels a little one-note. Equipped with the all-new flamethrower, you'll hunt down creatures while cleansing the environment of a dangerous slime that soaks its walls. It's more akin to Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light in atmosphere, tone, and gameplay structure than anything else - making for a sense of been there, done that.
The action itself is completely fine - the slow, methodical approach of pumping your weapon before lining up a shot is back, movement is incredibly weighty, and just repositioning the camera feels like a commitment - but it's nothing you haven't seen before. A small hub area does help to break the two main combat sequences up, but this two to three hour undertaking certainly isn't the most exciting use of your time.
Narrative-wise, the DLC follows colonel Khlebnikov - the father of Kirill, a young boy that main protagonist Artyom meets in the base game. It's an interesting subplot that expands 4A Games' world beyond the express train that careered through Russia, but it won't appeal to anyone outside the hardcore audience.
Metro Exodus: The Two Colonels is adequate in every sense of the word - it doesn't do anything impressively well nor insultingly bad. It's just okay, and while that might be enough to convince fans of the series to take a short trip underground, it's something that anyone else can safely skip.