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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.

"To live without hope is to cease to live."

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/metroexodus.jpg
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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.

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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:

  • 100% Adoration Rating: All the Spartans approve of Artyom being their new leader.
  • 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...'
  • Aggressive Negotiations: Silantius is willing to let you pass safely his territory if you don't kill too many of his followers and you point a gun at his face.
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  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: If you tune the radio after Yamantau, you'll find out that at least one group of survivors is very happy that you killed the cannibals.
  • 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.
  • 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 prostheses designed by Andrei the Blacksmith to compensate for his lack of... well, everything below the knees.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Like the previous games, large mutated creatures run around without any visible food source to sustain their bulk. Granted, it's more excusable in the wild than it was in the irradiated wintry ruins of Moscow, but still.
  • Artistic License – Military: Radio transmissions may end with either over or out, but never both.
  • Artistic License – Pharmacology: Seems very unlikely that medicine sitting on a shelf in a heavily irradiated city would still be usable after 20 years. Granted, it is stored in a specialized lined case, but even that could only do so much.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Let's just say that radiation does not work the way it is depicted in the game. The surface of Moscow should not have dangerous levels of radiation twenty years after the war, and even if Novosibirsk was hit by a cadmium bomb, the radiation level would only be high enough to make long-term habitation dangerous, not kill people after a few hours.
  • 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 without judgement.
  • 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 the Hansa.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Gatling Gun. It's a veritable bullet-hose capable of dealing eaaily with hordes of enemies, but it chews through ammo (specifically, the rarer-than average 7.62x54mm ammo) like crazy. It also lacks an iron sight or any real long range capability. This is especially bothersome on the Ranger difficulties where enemies go down in 1-3 shots anyway. The Ark level, and the first mission the Gatling appears in, are one of the few times you can really let loose thanks to abundant ammo resources around.
    • The Bulldog in general. It's supposed to be a slower but more accurate counterpart to the common Kalash, with lower recoil and tighter spread at range, at the cost of fire rate and reload speed. In theory it could serve as a quasi-DMR for taking potshots at targets at mid-to-close range while using common ammunition. Problem is, as a long-ranged precision weapon, the Valve still blows it straight out of the water with superior accuracy, raw damage, and armor penetration, and ammo is not a problem if you don't waste your shots; as a close-ranged gun it pales in comparison to the Kalash or any shotgun because of its slower fire rate and reload, meaning inferior DPS. This being a game where anything not holding a gun will charge you at full tilt, the Bulldog stops being useful very quickly.
  • 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.
    • 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. For example, when Artyom, Anna, and Miller are ambushed by cannibals over at Yamantau, 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 Novosibirsk Metro, Miller has no problem taking down scores of mutants, having more fun than a kid on the playground.
  • 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 Novosibirsk Metro that it might be for the best if 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, what with them 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.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • As ever, the bog-standard Kalash is the least impressive gun in the game, with about average performance overall compared to everything else. However, it's also the most versatile firearm due to the sheer range of attachments it could support, allowing the player to hotswap mods on the fly to adapt it to almost any situation. Furthermore, as 5.45mm ammunition is incredibly common even on Ranger Hardcore, since literally 90% of human enemies in the game use it, maintaining the Kalash is much less of a hassle compared to shotguns or long rifles.
  • 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 appearances during 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.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: The Ranger difficulties disable the quicksave function, forcing Artyom to travel for long periods of time to hit a checkpoint, which could be up to ten minutes apart from each other. The Iron Mode introduced with the Ranger Update takes this to new heights by disabling saving altogether, and progress is only logged at the end of a chapter.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The first chapter 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.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Anna spent several months trying to convince Artyom that searching for signs of life outside of Moscow is a lost cause, though she's promptly proven wrong after both are captured by Hansa forces at the very beginning of the game.
  • Crapsack World: While the world outside Moscow still has humans and acceptable living conditions, it is not ideal and just as bad as the situation inMetro. This includes mutants, hazardous weather, bandits, and cults who terrorize local settlements.
  • 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 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. She becomes completely bed-ridden by a deadly disease in the later chapters, and saving her becomes a priority by the end of the game.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • If the player knows where to look, they can find most of the weapon upgrades for AK, Revolver, Ashot, and Bastard guns 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 there, 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, a silenced or double-barrel One-Hit Kill shotgun, and a silenced submachine gun.
    • The Tikhar is this if you know what you're doing. So long as the pressure meter in in the green or higher, a shot to the head means an instant kill on a human-sized target, whether or not the enemy is helmeted, making stealth sections that much easier when you're not feeling like punching your enemies out. Tougher enemies may require about five to six shots, but the Tikhar fires quickly enough that you could perforate them in an instant without making a peep. Furthermore, its ammunition is dirt cheap to craft due to not costing any chemical, and useful mods are found very early on as well, making it a reliable fallback - or a silent death machine depending on how you use it.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Hanza shield protection did take note that the so-called "spies" the enemy sent are mainly the elderly, women, and sometimes children wandering into Moscow for no real reason. This only convinces them that they must be doing a good job, since the foreign forces has to use non-standard infiltrators to fool their patrols. The officer even think Miller of all people is now a spy for NATO when he doesn't want to have his daughter and son-in-law killed because they discovered the existence of the jammers.
  • Dummied Out: There is a fully-animated, fully-scripted flamethrower in the game files that didn't make the cut. Apart from moderate issues with its fire particles and effects, the flamethrower is entirely usable if modded into a savegame.
  • 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. Becomes a Disc-One Nuke once you use them in New Game+ mode, though.
  • Emergency Weapon: Pneumatic weapons like the Tikhar and Helsing now work something like this. On one hand, they have a number of disadvantages compared to the game's traditional ballistic weapons and can't be swapped out. 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 these 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 insane: the ball-lightening that zaps around the old train tracks and puddles at night is attracted to electronics, and the talismans the church places around 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.
  • Face Death with Dignity: A bandit, of all people. 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 they are all doomed, the bandit transmits a final farewell on the radio before 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.
  • Forever War:
  • Foreshadowing: The postcards you find ingame are often of locations you will visit later. Similarly, diary entries and other collectibles can also foreshadow future locations.
    • Examples include finding one of the Caspian lighthouse in Yamantau mission, or one of the Taiga church while exploring the Volga region.
    • The "Torn Page" you find in the Volga describes something that sounds very much like the Caspian Sea region.
    • A report found in the Caspian Sea bunker describes the radioactive sediment issue in Taiga almost word-for-word.
  • 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.
  • Glass Cannon: As per tradition, the Ranger difficulties massively crank up the damage output of Artyom and his enemies, while also greatly reducing their health, though in practice this is only noticeable on human enemies. Mutant creatures are often still very bullet-spongy, especially the larger ones.
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: A few enemies will be wearing crudely made heavy armor and carry a machine gun. They usually serve as the last obstacle before the Cutscene Boss.
  • 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.
  • 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. Due to neurological diseases from consuming human flesh, everyone —except for "relatively sane" leaders who has enough self-control to operate radio to attract unwitting victims — became depraved ferals.
  • Impossible Task: According to Katya and several non-hostile cultists Artyom could converse with, Silantius was known to occasionally send some of them out to fight anomalies, "electric demons" as he calls them, without any protection or means to do so. It's practically a death sentence for those involved, and is usually meant to be one for those caught using technology under the umbrella ban enforced by the cult, such as Katya's husband.
  • 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.
  • 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 struggle 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 the rest getting 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 Metro was no longer able to fight back the hordes of mutants and monsters, who picked off the remaining population until the Metro was completely wiped out, save for one small child.
  • New Game+: Added as of March 26th with the Ranger Update, which gives the player the ability to retain weapons and attachments unlocked in previous playthroughs along with adding in new ones, though suit upgrades aren't kept and will have to be found again. Included with the update are Self-Imposed Challenge modes such as a one-weapon limit, disabled backpack crafting, stronger enemies, or purely immersive ones like real-time day-night cycles.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Ranger Hardcore difficulty. 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.
    • The Self-Imposed Challenge modes introduced with the Ranger Update cranks this Up to Eleven. For even more masochism, these stack with Ranger Hardcore. Have fun playing through the entire game as a Glass Cannon, using only one gun, being unable to craft supplies on the field, fighting uber-tough enemies, with no manual or checkpoint saving.
  • 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. 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.
    • Second example is the mission taking pkace in 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.
  • Pacifist Run: The game can be rather loose about this, since many enemy factions are openly hostile towards Artyom and simply cannot be negotiated with, but completing major plot missions without killing members of specific groups is one of the many requirements for a Golden Ending. Artyom is free to kill mutants, the Hansa soldiers at the beginning, bandits, the Yamantau cannibals, and the Munai-bailer slavers with impunity, but must stay his hands when dealing with Silantius' cultists, the tribal slaves in the Caspian area, and the Taiga Pioneers and Pirates. The latter categories must not be harmed, period, or the circumstances that arise may hurt, kill, or cause certain members of the Aurora to leave and become unavailable during the endgame, which affects the outcome.
  • 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.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The suit upgrades and some specific weapon mods can only be found in certain chapters. While generic mods such as sights can be looted from enemy weapons, more specialized ones like drum magazines or belt boxes are unique and cannot be found again if missed.
  • Pocket Protector: Artyom gets shot early in the game but survives as the bullet hits Hunter's dog tags.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure: Sam is unfamiliar with Russian literature and misattributes a passage from Tolstoy's War and Peace to Dostoyevsky, to the crew's amusement.
  • 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.
  • Ragnaroof Proofing: Most obviously, the railroad the Aurora is travelling on: it should not be intact after 20 years without maintenance. Also, prewar wooden houses seem to be in far too good condition for being abandoned since the war. Same goes for underground facilities that haven't been maintained during the same period. Nevertheless, the crew states they have had to repair or reroute around sections of the railroad that were too damaged (plus that 1 section collapses on you), most of the houses in places like the Volga and Caspian are utterly unlivable, and the underground facilities you visit are literally on the verge of complete failure (example being Caspian-1 which only had a few minutes more before the generators failed for good, and cracks in the concrete walls allowed toxic fumes from the surrounding volcanic vents to leak into the facility and kill the survivors).
  • 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. Then it was hijacked, so it never had a chance to bring on more coal. When the coal onboard ran out, they could just get some more from stations along the way, and even when that ran out the crew could use whatever non-critical flammable items they could find (chopped wood, twigs, etc), but as they got farther from Moscow, the stations had less coal as they had already been raided by others who needed fuel in the past 20 years. 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 coal, wood, or water, the train runs out of fuel and is stopped until it can be resupplied.
    • The Cannibal Clan leaders are not affected by prion disease like their goons, since one of them is a doctor who makes sure their prey is safe to eat. Most workers, however, did not wait permission to eat after starving for so long which spread kuru among the non-officers.
    • While the doctor can give Artyom non irradiated blood to keep him alive after all his excursions, he mentions that not only it's wasting a lot of blood that could potentially be used to help other wounded people, but the accumulation is getting pretty bad. Artyom writes in his journal he has little chance of having healthy kids with Anna because of it.
  • Reality Is Out to Lunch: Things get weird in Novosibirsk. All the paranormal activities proper to the Metro series is concentrated there.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Miller, most of the time. While he can be stern in many of his orders, 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.
    • Olga, in the Taiga chapter. Unless the player kills off a large number of the Pioneers, she will remain far more reasonable than the Pirates and willing to let the Aurora crew leave peacefully.
  • 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, and another mentions seeing a plane flying off the distance. Both of these are clear evidence of outside survivor groups and radios working - 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.
  • 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 Summer Campy. 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.
  • Thirsty Desert: The Caspian sea turned into a barren desert. Only Damir, Anna and Artyom are hydrated enough to scout ahead while the rest are simply strong enough to keep guard or bedridden from a heat stroke like Stepan.
  • 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 - even if they did encounter NATO troops, his loyalty to the Spartans would win over his former homeland.
  • True Companions: The Ranger squad immediately turns on Hanza's men when they realize Artyom and Anna are the targets.
  • Up to Eleven: Novosibirsk's radiation level is so high the map found in Caspian-1 listed it as unknown or outlier in the legend instead of highly radioactive.
  • 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.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: More frequent than previous games. Some factions simply can't be negotiated with because they have no words in the matter like Hansa, ask too much like the Munai-bailer, or are simply too crazy like the cannibals. In the case of the latter, the game even gives you an achievement for killing them!
  • 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 Yamantau 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, unless you pay close attention to detail. 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.
  • The Women Are Safe with Us:
    • Averted with several factions. The Church of the Water Tsar imprisons Katya and her daughter for supposed crimes of heresy, while in actuality their leader has plans to force the former into marriage. The cannibals are happy at the idea of tasting women (again), and the Baron demands them as payment for safe passage.
    • The Children of the Forest treat women with respect, however, despite some low-ranking members openly professing to have less-than-pure fantasies. In their case, it's more of a juvenile curiosity than the abovementioned antagonists, due to them being literal manchildren.
  • 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.
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