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Video Game / Metro Exodus

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This page assumes you have played both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light and will have unmarked spoilers for both games.

Metro Exodus is a First-Person Shooter developed by 4A Games, the sequel to Metro: Last Light and the novel Metro 2035, and the third game in the Metro series overall.

After the events of Last Light, Artyom leaves the Moscow Metro and heads eastward, accompanied by his wife Anna and some loyal Rangers, determined to find other survivors of the apocalypse. The journey, however, will not be easy; he must navigate the harsh Russian wilderness, scavenging supplies, and fending off mutants and hostile humans. The game takes place over the course of one year, with the seasons changing, which affects how enemies and mutants will act.

As many of 4A Games' employees have previously worked on S.T.A.L.K.E.R., they sought to combine S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s large, open-ended areas with the Metro series' more linear gameplay, calling the combination "sandbox survival". Weapon customizations return, with some new refinements, while a new Item Crafting system allows the players to create new materials.


The game was released on February 15, 2019 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows. It was originally available for pre-order on Steam, but it was announced on January 28, 2019 that the game will be sold exclusively via the Epic Games Store until 2020, though all pre-orders made on Steam beforehand will be honored.

This game features the following tropes:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Excluding Miller, Anna and Tokarev (the former two being major characters already), each Ranger has their time to shine in one chapter:
    • Volga: Duke and Stepan.
    • Mount Yamantau: Sam and Idiot
    • Caspian Sea: Damir
    • Taiga: Alyosha
  • After the End: For the first time in the Metro game series, Metro Exodus displays the ravaged landscape along with its denizens outside of the underground environment of the Moscow Metro.
    • When Artyom and Miller enter the Novosibirsk Metro, they discover that the entire survivor population essentially slaughtered each other in a brutal civil war, with the remaining survivors being finished off by mutants.
    Miller: So your people could survive a nuclear war, but not a civil one...'
  • Anticlimax: While you spend the final segment of the first game running around inside a Dark One's hallucination and go to war in the second, the final portion of this game has you sneaking around an abandoned city looking for medicine while dodging almost unbeatable mutants. Basically, it's a replay of the mission in Metro 2033' where the player searches for the D-6 access codes. The last controllable section has the player driving a car down a linear path, while the player character tries to remain conscious despite suffering heavy radiation poisoning.
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  • Artifact Title: Compared to the previous games, metros don't play that much of a role except at the beginning and endgame, with one mission being set in a carbon copy of D-6 just with more human entrails hung on the walls. The vast majority of the game is spent above-ground in wide-open environments. Low key Lampshaded by Miller who next to cheers with joy whenever they get to reenter a Metro environment for a mission.
  • Artificial Limbs: Miller has lower leg prosthesis designed by Andrei the Blacksmith to compensate for his missing feet and lower legs.
  • Asshole Victim: In a crapsack post-apocalyptic world where mutants, murderers, slavers and rapists roam the wasteland, the cannibals at Yamantau stand as the most despicable of them. The level where you encounter them is the only time in the game where you forsake stealth and get to kill them as the asshole as they are.
  • A Taste of Power: The introductory stages have Artyom starting with the more powerful of the two shotguns (which can be quickly upgraded with a mid-late game upgrade), and later a decently upgraded AK. He loses the shotgun before getting the AK, then he loses that after getting captured by Hansa.
  • Back for the Finale: Nosalis, the most common mutants encountered in the previous games, are entirely missing for most of the game until the final chapter. Justified due to the fact that Nosalis are common to tunnels, and you don't spend any time in said tunnels until that level.
    • The Metro setting itself. Absent for the vast majority of the game besides the brief introduction (which still mostly takes place near the surface), and possibly also early in the game, if you consider rushing through a copy/paste of D6 to be the Metro setting. At the end of the crew visits a new Metro under the city of Novosibirsk.
  • Badass Grandpa: Miller is grumpy, white-haired, and walks on prosthetic legs, but he can still throw down with the rest of them. An example is when Artyom, Anna, and Miller are ambushed by cannibals, Miller is the LAST one to fall, and the one that puts up the most fight when they were about to be chopped up for food. Later, when exploring the Novosibrisk Metro, Miller has no problem taking down scores of mutants, having more fun than a kid on the playground. Seems that age has done nothing to slow him down.
  • Battle Couple: Anna and Artyom
  • Bears Are Bad News: The Taiga level features a huge mutant bear that stalks Artyom as a Recurring Boss. Unsurprisingly, it’s the most dangerous adversary of the level.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Both the good and bad endings of the game have differing levels of this. In the bad ending, Anna and the other Rangers manage to find a clean area to settle, but both Artyom and Miller die before they can see it. In the good ending, Artyom survives and inherits leadership of the Spartan Order, but Miller has died. Also, the surviving population of Moscow are yet to be told of the world outside, with heavy implications from the mass grave that is the Novosibirsk Metro that it might be for the best if the people of the Moscow Metro remain in the dark.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Few people are truly evil in this game. And as bad as some of the other factions can be - religious fanatics that are entirely willing to kill you and have killed Nastya's father, ruthless bandits, cannibals - the Rangers are entirely capable of undertaking morally ambiguous actions of their own - the Rangers are no paragons themselves, being entirely ready to hijack a boat convoy by force.
  • Bookends:
    • The first chapter of the game begins with the Order leaving Moscow Metro. The final chapter has the Order entering another Metro, this time in Novosibirsk before leaving again at the end of the chapter.
    • The end of the introduction stage ends with Artyom getting severely irradiated and needing a transfusion. The game ends with Artyom getting lethally irradiated and needing a transfusion.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Early in the game, Miller and Anna have an argument brought on by Artyom's solo topside missions getting him constantly hurt. Miller wants his daughter and son-in-law to move to Polis and help train new Rangers and live in comfort after they retired from the Order. Anna argues that Artyom's hope of finding more survivors might be a dream, but the possibility of raising their children on the surface is worth the pain and risk. They agree to table the discussion, and later both sides separately agree that the other has a point.
  • The Cameo: Eugene, Bourbon and Khan make cameo appearance in Artyom's vision in the bad ending.
  • Cannibal Larder: In the Spring chapter, Artyom and the Rangers find themselves trapped in the Yamantau Bunker with a horrifying Cannibal Clan formed by the staff of the facility who descended into cannibalism when food stores ran short. The entire bunker is festooned with grotesque human remains in various states of "preparation"; pickled heads in jars, dressed-out bodies hanging from meat hooks, flayed flesh pinned to walls, cages packed with desiccated, gnawed-upon corpses, and everything in between.
  • Cassandra Truth: Artyom insists on going to the irradiated surface to scan the radio bands for other survivors, despite Anna and Miller telling him this is futile. Then he and Anna discover the secret Hanza base and destroy their radio jammers, revealing that people survived across Russia and the entire world.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The first part of the game is a quick retelling of the latter half of Metro 2035, namely, the plot point of Hanza covering up the survival of people outside of Moscow.
  • Cool Train: The Aurora, an old steam locomotive that you use to traverse the Russian countryside.
  • Crapsack World: While the world outside the Moscow Metro still has humans and life despite the general consensus by the majority of the denizens that they are the last remaining populace, it is nonetheless not ideal and just as bad as the situation in the Metro. This includes mutants, hazardous weather, bandits, and cults who terrorize local settlements and, later on, Artyom's group on the train.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Rangers have zero issue dealing with the Church of the Water Tsar, as they're just a band of lightly armed religious fanatics up against hardened, elite soldiers. The only reason why the Church isn't wiped out of existence is due to the Rangers' reluctance to simply slaughter them arbitrarily.
  • Damsel in Distress: Happens to Anna twice: once when she falls into an irradiated underground ammunition depot and another when she is captured by cannibals.
  • Disc-One Nuke: If the player knows where to look, they can find the majority of the weapon upgrades for the AK, Revolver, Ashot, and Bastard gun in the Volga level, before they even go investigate the church at the very start of the mission. So by the time the player gets around to even going to the church, they can have a silenced AK decked out like a LMG/sniper rifle, a silenced & One-Hit Kill double action revolver marksman carbine with 8 shots, and a silenced or double barrel One-Hit Kill shotgun, and a silenced submachine gun.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The final stretch of Novosibirsk gives you access to the Metro series' original two Infinity +1 Sword guns— the Volt Driver (bequeathed to you by Miller) and the Abzats/Heavy Automatic Shotgun (via finding the 20-round belt box upgrade for the Shambler in the Putrid Tunnel). As it happens, you'll definitely need them to deal with the mutants, leeches, and other monsters.
  • Emergency Weapon: Pneumatic weapons like the Tikhar and Helsing now work something like this. On the one hand, they have a number of disadvantages compared to the game's traditional ballistic weapons and they can't be swapped out for ballistic weapons. On the other hand, their ammunition can be handcrafted in the field, and in the Helsing's case, it can even be retrieved. Both of which are Godsends in the ammo-sparse sandboxes of the game.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Discussed by a group of bandits in The Volga if you’re in earshot. One bandit mentions to his group that Father Silantius feeds deceased members of his group to the Tsar Fish. The other members comment that while they are murderous bastards themselves, they sure as hell don’t turn their victims into fish food, letting them rot in peace.
  • Evil Luddite: The Church of the Water Tsar believe that the apocalypse was caused by technology, a belief reflected in their lifestyles, in which they rely on torches and fire for lighting. As an old recording indicates, they're not entirely wrong: the ball-lightening that zaps around the old train tracks and puddles at night is attracted to electronics, and the talismans the church places about act as lightening rods to protect them. Saying "God did it" and demonstrating miracles was an easier way to get people into a lifestyle that would allow them to survive than trying to explain the electro-dynamics of the situation.
    • Downplayed, in that they're more desperate to survive and (rightly) suspicious of technology-wielding, often-hostile strangers and bandits, and fearful of the dangerous electrical Anomalies, than evil. If Artyom deals with them with minimal violence, their leader will peacefully allow the Rangers to traverse their territory.
  • Face Death with Dignity: A bandit, of all people. This bandit can be heard over the radio after the mission to Taiga. While on a hunt for the Children of the Forest, they instead are ambushed by the very people they were hunting. As he realizes that his men are doomed, the bandit transmits a final farewell, but his position is overrun.
  • Fatal Family Photo:
    • Giul asks you to retrieve her mother's, which can be found on her desiccated corpse deep in Caspian-1.
    • A photo of several cannibals hanging out together can be found while tearing through the Ark. Far more than likely, the player has already personally killed, or is about to kill, every single person in that photo.
  • Foil: Strangely, a location acts as this for another location. The Novosibirsk Metro turns out to be a foil for the Moscow Metro. The depressing fate of the Novosibirsk Metro showing what may have happened in Moscow if the Invisible Watchers had not started manipulating the population.
    • Both were used as shelters from the nuclear war, although it seems that the people of Novosibirsk weren't as successful in reaching the Metro in time. Even the Russian Army got desperate enough to start blowing doors to the Metro open, destroying their radiation seals, which only succeeded in exposing the ones who did make it to lethal doses of radiation.
    • Both were apparently controlled by some form of upper class, the Moscow Metro being controlled by the "Invisible Watchers" while Novosibirsk was controlled by the "rich people". Novosibirsk's population knew who was controlling them, thus they had an easy target to rebel against which lead to a massive 2 sided conflict which was the death knoll of the Metro's human population. While in the Moscow Metro, the Invisible Watchers kept their existence and manipulations a closely guarded secret, to the point of becoming ghost-story like legends. The Invisible Watchers also split the Metro into various rival factions, ensuring that noone had an easy target to blame the Metro's woes upon.
    • Both Metros faced civil war after the bombs fell. The Novosibirsk Metro wiped itself out in a massive 2 sided civil war over the limited supply of the "green stuff" medicine, with the poorer underclasses rising up against the more well supplied "rich people". This only served to shrink the human population low enough for the Metro's mutants to pick off the survivors, until only 1 small child remained. Contrast with the Moscow Metro's constant inter-faction wars which are comparatively small scale and are actually instigated by the Invisible Watchers to keep the Metro's population low enough to not overload the Metro's limited food and water resources, yet large enough to defend against the mutants and prevent complete annihilation.
    • Survivors of both Metros sought out a hidden, secret location for a MacGuffin. In the Moscow Metro, it was D6 and its tales of food and water stockpiles; while in the Novosibirsk Metro, it was the Institute with supplies of a mysterious medicine which would heal people of various ailments common to the far more heavily irradiated Metro.
    • Kihil's father serves as one to Miller. Both were single fathers, members of their Metro's "Special Operations" divisions, and had the rank of "Colonel". Lieutenant-Colonel Khlebnikov apparently shared Miller's attachment to his respective Metro, as he refused to leave it until it was too late. Khelbnikov's fate reflects what would have happened to Miller and Anna if Moscow had turned out like Novosibirsk, and highlights Miller's attachment to his life in the Metro even when such was extremely detrimental to himself and his family.
  • Forever War:
    • If the Watchers are to be believed, then Russia and NATO are still in an official state of war against each other, even 20 years after the bombs dropped. While the game doesn't give a straight answer and the situation outside of Russia is kept vague, no NATO troops are found outside of Moscow, it's heavily implied that the Watchers are lying, and Artyom himself states that he believes it to be another lie.
    • The Invisible Watchers are also implied to keep the various factions in this state, besides occasion temporary truces and ceasefires, as a method of population control.
  • Gentle Giant: Stepan, who is the largest of the Rangers on the Aurora but a friendly and compassionate person who lobbies Miller to allow civilians onto their train.
  • Foreshadowing: The postcards you find ingame are often of locations you will visit later. Such as finding one of the Caspian lighthouse in Yamantau mission, or one of the Taiga church while exploring the Volga region.
  • Geo Effects: The terrain has a significant mechanical effect: cobwebs and undergrowth can slow Artyom's movement as he pushes through it, and trudging through mud and puddles makes his weapons dirtier and less functional.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation:
    • Thanks to a food shortage and living in the bunker for at least two decades, the soldiers and construction workers at Yamantau became insane cannibals still luring survivors to their base for food. Subverted, as it isn't the isolation that drives them crazy, but severe hunger and an outbreak of a prion based neurological disease from eating infected human flesh.
    • The Baron - the real one, not the body double who's taken his place - seems to have become this. He does not react to your presence until you shoot near him and orders around the mannequins near him as though they are actual guards.
    • The Admiral, one of the leaders of the Pirates, refused to abandon his fort, even as the area started to become irradiated. By the time Artyom finds him, all of the Admiral's subordinates have either died or fled, and the Admiral himself has gone completely insane, pretending that his deceased comrades are still alive.
  • Gun Accessories: The ability to customize your weapons returns. You can now strip attachments from dead enemies' guns, as well as substantially modify your weapons to fulfill different roles.
  • Ghost City: The city of Novosibirsk can be described as one, complete with many buildings undamaged and no signs of life, save for the occasional mutants, however, radiation levels are higher than in Moscow, to the point where one cannot stay outside for too long without accumulating lethal amounts of radiation.
  • Happily Married: Marriage suits Artyom and Anna quite well. Stepan and Katya also tie the knot late in the game.
  • Heroic Mime: Artyom keeps the tradition from the previous games of only speaking during opening/ending cutscenes and loading screens.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Miller uses his only dose of antiradiation medication to save Artyom as both of them are dying from radiation poisoning while fleeing Novosibirsk.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: Twice. Both at the end of the game and both to Artyom after getting a MASSIVE dose of radiation. First by Miller, who all but orders Artyom to survive, justifying it with it being too much trouble having to explain to Anna why her husband died; then by Stepan, who begs Artyom not to die, once the crew manages to get the still heavily irradiated Artyom back on the train for treatment.
  • I Choose to Stay: Damir may decide to stay behind at the Caspian Sea in order to help his fellow native people fight back against the local bandits that have enslaved them. Can be averted, if Artyom goes out of his way to rescue every slave being held prisoner.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: What the people at the Ark at Yamantau Mountain turn out to be. Yamantau was still under construction when the apocalypse occurred; as a result, the majority of the bunker's inhabitants are construction workers and soldiers with very little supplies that drove them to cannibalism.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Anna develops one of these after falling into an irradiated ammo dump in the Volga region, though it isn't confirmed to be killing her until after they leave the Caspian. Finding a cure is the objective of the last portion of the game, and it ultimately gets Miller and possibly Artyom killed.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: New to Exodus is a dynamic day-night system, with enemy numbers and behaviour changing depending on the time. You can sleep in beds to change the time to what you want.
  • Item Crafting: Once you've scavenged resources, you can use workbenches to craft new ammunition and modify your equipment.
  • Karma Meter: Moral points are present, albeit downplayed: you no longer have to listen in to specific conversations to earn them, merely acting morally correctly - ie, not killing surrendering enemies, avoiding killing those who are defending themselves or otherwise morally blameless, and rescuing slaves and other captives - will earn them easily enough.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: If you haven't played Last Light then its significant point is spoiled: namely, that Last Light's good ending is canon. Downplayed if you haven't read Metro 2035, as the first part of Exodus is a rough adaptation of 2035's second half, including its major plot point.
  • Lighter and Softer: The overall tone of the plot is significantly more optimistic than its predecessors. The nuclear war didn't destroy everything, and the world is slowly making its recovery. You’re even married, and throughout the story arc, you’re accompanied by your wife and father in-law.
  • Like a Son to Me: Miller implies this in Artyom's fever dream in the Good Ending (and in statements made earlier when he rescues you).
  • Mood Whiplash: The joyous moment of Stepan and Katya's wedding is suddenly disturbed when Anna suddenly coughs out blood.
  • Necessary Evil: The Invisible Watcher's manipulations of the Metro's population. While it may initially seem cruel and horrible that the Invisible Watchers have been controlling the whole population, keeping them trapped and often fighting/killing one another, several things seen in the game show that it is honestly what will keep them alive for longer.
    • Idiot quickly deduces and explains why the Invisible Watchers keep everyone in the Metro and believing the surface is unlivable: if the Metro were to find out, there would be mass chaos; between the various factions, those that believe the surface is livable, and those who'd think it's a lie and would rather everyone stay in the Metro. This would likely lead to too many people dying in the madness and whose left would be torn up by mutants or the unknowns of surface life.
    • The Novosibrisk Metro sets an example of why the Invisible Watchers carefully control the population's numbers and factions: the leadership at Novosibrisk did not. At Novosibrisk, the society eventually destabilized due to overpopulation draining their limited medical resources. This eventually lead the desperate population to turn upon the leadership and the ensuing civil war killed so many people that the population was no longer able to fight back the hordes of mutants and monsters, which picked off the remaining population until the Metro was completely wiped out, save for 1 small child.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Ranger Hardcore difficulty. The target reticule is disabled, there is no quick saving, supplies are extremely limited, enemies become aware of Artyom’s presence much faster, most safehouses have their workbenches blocked, weapons require cleaning more frequently and the HUD is mostly grayed out, making it harder to see if your’re near something that can be interacted with. Artyom can also be killed with a single bullet at full health, making stealth a necessity rather than an option.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Artyom can take out unaware enemies this way if he chooses. Gameplay-wise, it has the same effect as stealth killing an enemy, except Artyom’s Karma Meter won’t lose points if he takes out human enemies this way, even if they surrender to him.
  • Not So Different: Artyom compares the denizens of the Moscow Metro to the Church of the Water Tsar after the Rangers leave the Volga. Both communities are deceived by their leaders: the Muscovites into believing that they are the only survivors, and the Church into believing that electricity is sinful.
  • Nostalgia Level: Four.
    • The first and oldest nostalgia is the Volga level. The open-world radioactive swamp environment, patches of radioactive/hazardous gas areas, NPC encounters, unique bandit locations, anomalies, and equipment degradation/repair should all feel VERY familiar to anyone who has played S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat. This doubles as a massive Shout-Out to the game series that inspired the development of the Metro series in the first place. So much so that, story aside, the Volga level feels more like a spiritual successor to Call of Pripyat than it does a Metro sequel.
    • The second is the mission to the Ark facility. The atrocities within and the Doctor's attitude liken back to being captured by the Reich. The scene where Sam and Idiot rescue Artyom and Miller is extremely similar to the scene in 2033 when Ulman and Pavel did the same; The scene even plays out similarly, with the Artyom's would-be murderer taunting him and waving a weapon in his face, while Artyom can see 2 Rangers sneaking up on the enemy and killing them, with the enemy threatening Artyom turning around to see the Rangers mere moments before the Rangers kill him too. The Ark itself was built as a carbon copy of D6, thus fighting through it likens back to the mission to secure D6 (just with more human guts hanging on the walls instead of Meat Moss.
    Sam: This whole place is just like D6. No imagination, haha!
    • The third is the mission to the Caspian-1 Sat Com facility. While short, the mission returns the player to a more traditional Metro setting, and sees the returns of the mutant spiders. The objective of finding a map to a livable location hearkens back to the search for D6's location and access codes. The scene of Artyom searching through the row of maps is played just like the scene of him searching the archives for the D6 files, complete with him searching several empty containers before finding the proper item.
    • Fourth and far largest example is the mission into the Novosibirsk Metro. The entire level is set up as a massive throw back to the original Metro 2033 and Last Light (to a lesser extent). The mission returns to the cramped tunnels opening up to still cramped ramshackle living/workplaces where the player can see how the inhabitants lived and search for whatever meager supplies can be found. Certain sections becoming enemy battle arenas where the player faces off against hordes of Nosalises. Ammo, healthkits, and air filters are rare requiring EXTREMELY careful resource management. Certain areas are littered with the decomposed corpses of battles (or massacres) long past. The paranormal aspects of the series return (the shadow-like ghosts, whispering pipes, hallucinations, and vivid visions of the past). One section invokes the boat levels of Last Light, with the player having to use a small boat to travel around a flooded station while trying to fight off aquatic enemies. The last section of the mission is basically the 2.0 of the original 2033's mission to the Library, with the player forced to evade extremely powerful mutant gorillas, while dealing with quickly dwindling air filters, extreme radiation levels, and hallucinations, all in order to find a lost MacGuffin and MacGuffin-location. The mission even shares the name of 2 missions from 2033: "Dead City".
    Miller: Haha! Just like old times!
  • Our Zombies Are Different: After two games without any, Exodus finally introduces a zombie-equivalent in the form of Humanimals— the mutated descendants of humans trapped on the surface, warped into feral, Morlock-like creatures by the effects of radiation. They eat people, but their condition is not infectious (being the result of genetic defects over generations), and are smart enough at least to use tools in a primitive fashion.
  • Papa Wolf: Miller. He is even willing to be branded as a traitor to his country, sacrificing his rank, his standing, the good name of the very order he founded, even his own life, if it means protecting his daughter. Turns out that this is because he used to be less than the ideal father, and was even abusive to Anna's mother. When it all lead to Anna's mother committing suicide, the shock knocked some sense into Miller and he became determined to protect his daughter and put her first no matter what.
  • Passing the Torch: Miller gives command of the Spartan Order to Artyom in a fever vision in the Good Ending.
  • Pocket Protector: Artyom was shot early in the game but survives as the bullet hits Hunter's dog tags.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Artyom and company have to deal with a few raider groups, cannibal clans, and wasteland warlords on their journey, but ultimately the game doesn't have an over-arching threat like the Dark Ones in the first game or the Red Line in the second game. Instead the story's focus is on the journey itself and making it to the end of the Russian Oregon Trail alive.
  • Put on a Bus: Despite playing a large role in the events of 2033 and Last Light, the Dark Ones are nowhere to be found in Exodus beyond a few glimpses and cameos, and nobody seems to even acknowledge their existence.
    • Pavel and Lesnitsky from Last Light are also absent. Khan makes an appearance in the bad ending.
  • Reality Ensues: A couple examples:
    • When asked how they'd be able to tell if NATO troops are in Russia, Sam points out that - as he's been gone for 20 years - he'd have absolutely no idea how things have changed.
    • It's mentioned in the Taiga chapter that the Aurora crew have to repair some of the rails as they go, and that some of the railroad routes wouldn't be able to support the Aurora's weight. Though the game doesn't go into it, this would be especially bad for the Aurora, as the average steam locomotive is very heavy.
    • Because the game shifts from the dry metro to either humid areas or the desert, the gun will easily get clogged and must be properly maintained.
    • The Aurora was originally only supplied for a relatively short trip around the surface of Moscow. As it was hijacked and never had a chance to bring on more coal, what coal was onboard runs out, forcing the crew to use whatever non-critical flammable items they could find (chopped wood, twigs, etc). Also, during the winter and around the Volga area, water for the boiler was plentiful. When the crew enters the Caspian Desert, thus no longer having an easy supply of wood or water, the train runs out of fuel and is stopped until it can be resupplied.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Miller. While he can be stern in many of his orders, he is never unreasonable. Everything he does is for the good of his soldiers (especially his daughter), making the best decisions he can on his knowledge of the situation. He is also usually willing to look the other way for minor infractions of standard procedure. Such as when he noticed that Damir had filled his canteen with vodka, but ignored it until they found the Ark's broadcast signal, where he had Damir share the vodka with everyone as they christened their new train.
    • Silantius wants nothing more than to be rid of the Rangers and take care of his followers, and if you don't kill too many of them he will allow the Aurora to travel across his bridge peacefully, even giving advice on how to cross safely.
    • Olga, in the Taiga chapter.
  • Regional Redecoration: After the war, the Caspian transformed from an inland sea into a saltwater lake surrounded by harsh desert.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: A new addition to the series is a weapon condition system. Firing a weapon too much or spending too much time in dirty conditions will cause dirt to build up. While this won't make a weapon unusable, it will degrade performance and occasionally cause jams that can be cleared with a tap of the reload button. This can be remedied by cleaning the weapon at a workbench.
  • Retcon: Exodus does retcon a few minor plot points and background events from 2033 Redux and Last Light.
    • The biggest one is that in Last Light, you can clearly overhear a Ranger talking to a gun trader about having been in radio contact with a outside survivor group, another mentions seeing a plane flying off the distance. Both of these clear evidence of outside survivor groups and that radios work - granted, the way the gun trader responds implies that said Ranger has a history of telling tall tales and that he isn't believed at all. Come Exodus, apparently everyone suddenly forgot this and also the radios are jammed.
  • The Reveal: Early in the game, it is revealed that Moscow did not survive the nuclear war alone: populations elsewhere in Russia and across the world also survived, but this fact was kept from the Metro population by the Invisible Watchers, who set up a network of radio jammers and imposed a policy of executing outsiders to hide the Muscovite survivors from the rest of the world.
  • Sequel Hook: In the good ending, Artyom decides it's time to live up to the Spartan Order's ideals and bring more survivors to the Lake Baikal safe zone. In addition, many of the Rangers openly express their desire to return to Moscow to rescue their family and friends.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Caspian Sea fills the role in this game, having suffered desertification due to the apocalypse.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sinister Minister: Silantius, leader of the Church of the Water Tsar, a cult which hates technology and its users and worships a giant mutant catfish.
  • Slave Mooks: The Munai-bailer make use of "combat-trained slaves".
  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: In the games the capitalistic Hanza had previously been depicted as the Only Sane Man of the Metro's 3 major factions, especially considering that the other two are the Nazis and the Reds. Early on in Exodus it's revealed that not only is Hanza responsible for concealing the existence of life on the surface from the Metro's inhabitants, their soldiers also mercilessly exterminate anyone who discovers this secret. Artyom comes into conflict with them early on after learning the secret, and is eventually forced to flee the Metro along with the Rangers to escape them.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Technology: The Munai-Bailer control their Kazakh slaves partly through the use of spectacular, if crude, pyrotechnics, which the slaves worship as "Fire Gods".
  • Take Up My Sword: After Miller dies and Artyom is on death's door. The deceased Miller has a heart to heart with Artyom in between slight times of consciousness, during which he promotes Artyom to the rank of Commander and gives him supreme command of the Spartan Order. With such command he tasks Artyom with taking up his fight, to use the Spartan Rangers to save people.
  • Teenage Wasteland: Downplayed in the Taiga chapter. Much of the population of this small settlement there before the war were the staff and students of a Boarding School. The area was small and remote enough to be spared the worst of the nuclear bombardment, and thanks to lots of class camping trips and practical education the staff were able to teach the kids to survive by hunting and foraging in the forest. The staff all died off over time, leaving only the children behind. They're all grown up by the time the game takes place, but still talk like and preserve the traditionsnote  of school children.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Miller always sends Artyom to deal with every problem that requires shooting, sneaking or any other plot-relevant action. Lampshaded by Duke when he complains that he's not getting enough of it himself. This is explained in the fact that Miller believes it's Artyom's fault the Rangers are in this situation in the first place, so it's naturally his job to take care of everything.
    • Averted in the final mission, where Miller goes to retrieves to map to some unradiated and unpopulated land. He succeeds and the map is waiting for Artyom when Miller rescues him.
  • Token Heroic Orc: Sam. Sam is actually a citizen of the (presumably) former United States of America. He had been part of the security forces at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, and had just happened to be in the Metro waiting on the subway when the missiles were launched. When the crew explores the surface, on the lookout for any occupying NATO troops, Sam lets them know that he had been with the Spartans for 20 years, and he owed his life to Miller, thus even if they did encounter NATO troops, his loyalty to the Spartans would win over his former homeland.
  • Villainous Friendship:
    • While searching through the Ark, the player can come across the picture of several cannibals together for a group photo. Its obvious that the cannibals were a Band of Brothers. They were even able to suffer starvation without killing/eating one another, but it averts being What Measure Is a Mook? by the cannibals all being such utter bastards.
    • During the chapters aboard the train, Artyom can occasionally listen in on bandits talking to one another over the radiowaves. One such conversation has two bandit leaders setting aside some feud because they considered each other good friends and did not like the idea of having to kill one another.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Miller is under the belief that Russia has been occupied by NATO, but if that's the case, then NATO forces never traveled farther than Moscow since the Rangers don't find a single NATO soldier in their journey east. Whether or not the western nations are still intact or just as damaged as Russia is not made clear. Though the franchise's supplementary works, Universe of Metro 2033, showed that countries like Poland and Italy were just as devastated as Moscow with survivors huddling in subway tunnels. It's heavily implied by Artyom and Sam, though, that the stories of NATO occupation might just be a lie from the Invisible Watchers.
    • The Caspian-1 bunker holds an audio tape that implies the western nations are far better off than Russia, post nuclear war. The Caspian-1 satellite had viewed the presence of city lights, in "enemy territory', after the nuclear missiles landed, but the staff at the Caspian Sat Com facility had lost all lines of communication with the outside world. This ensured that if any Russian missile facility was still capable of firing a follow up strike, they never would.
    • Furthermore, the fate of Russian government as the Yumantau Bunker's inhabitants are construction workers and guards who became cannibals after they were stranded with meager food supplies as it was still being built. It is implied that the Invisible Watchers of Moscow's Metro are the remnants of the actual Russian government, who had sought shelter in the Metro-2 transit system (and D6), due to the Ark facility not being completed in time, D6's design being the same as the Ark's, and the Metro-2 system running between all major government buildings.
    • The fate of the Children of the Forest is rather vague. Alyosha pleads for them to leave. There's a radio broadcast the player can intercept from a bandit that confirms that the Children did flee the valley, as he states his gang were planning a large raid, only to discover the valley had been abandoned.
  • You Are in Command Now: After Miller dies in the "good" ending, he returns in a dream-like vision, where he promotes Artyom to the rank of "Commander" and gives him supreme command authority of the Spartan Order. In the living world, Artyom is unanimously voted commander of the Spartan Order, confirming Miller's order of promotion.