4A Games is one of the most talented teams in the industry, but the PS4 version of Metro: Exodus – as noted in our original review – severely outpaced the technology of its time, even on the more powerful PS4 Pro. This next-gen version – available as a free PS4 to PS5 upgrade – feels like the experience that was intended in 2019. Running at 4K with a silky smooth 60 frames-per-second, Exodus also delivers 3D audio and ray tracing, which are all welcome improvements. The leap forward in performance is quite striking, similar in many ways to Remedy’s Control – another massively improved PS5 upgrade.
Minute-to-minute gameplay is obviously identical, although the added responsiveness offered by the DualSense is welcome. In a run-down, apocalyptic world, it makes a great deal of sense to have fluctuating trigger tension, and the nuance provided by the controller feels immaculate. Meanwhile, the gameplay and mechanics remain as they were: brilliant. The same goes for the level design and pacing, which are both unique and exquisite during protagonist Artyom’s 20-plus hour adventure.
All that said, the title’s most impressive accomplishment remains the writing. Exodus takes Artyom and Anna’s satirically under-developed “relationship” from Last Light and transforms it into not just something meaningful, but the most compelling facet of the entire game. Their relationship serves as the driving force for much of the title, and feels authentic in a way that exceedingly few games can pull off. The cast surrounding these two are no slouches either, providing a motley assortment of soldiers, mechanics, and refugees that live and grow alongside one another, across the title’s year-long journey.
The end result is a vastly improved version of what is by far the best title set in Dmitry Glukhovsky’s apocalyptic Russia – even if the voice work, in English at least, is uneven to put it kindly.