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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Metro Exodus is a first-person action/adventure game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. Using a variety of guns, explosives, and knives, players kill other people as well as mutant animals, while the human enemies use guns and the creatures use claws and teeth to try to eliminate the player. Combat frequently results in large amounts of bloodshed, and somewhat gory imagery when those creatures sink their teeth into your arms. The game can also be rather scary and bleak. The dialog includes lots of swearing, including "s--t," "f--k," and "bitch." The player toasts and then enjoys an alcoholic beverage with his comrades, and stills can be found in the homes of your enemies, as can posters of scantily clad women.
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What's it about?
In METRO EXODUS, the main character Artyom is still living in the subways of Moscow with his wife, Anna, and what many believe are the last remaining humans on Earth after the remnants of a war has devastated the world and unleashed a plague of mutated creatures. But when Artyom inadvertently learns that there may actually be life in the rest of the outside world, he, Anna, and the members of Spartan squad take a trip to the Wasteland to make contact. You'll spend time wandering around massive, open world environments, frequently getting into gun fights with survivors and mutants. Players will be able to scrounge around for supplies and other helpful items, and can even modify their equipment to have a better chance at survival. That's vital, because equipment is extremely limited: bullets are in short supply, and much of the world has been reduced to rubble. Cobbling together the gear you need to survive is the only way to lead your squad through the hazards of the wasteland to discover what's truly going on in this massive adventure.
Is it any good?
This first-person shooter series has traded in the fire fights and havoc of battling mutants and human jerks in the subways of Moscow for a larger surface world, where the hazards are just as deadly. Like its predecessors, Metro Exodus is a first-person action/adventure game set in Russia after a nuclear war destroyed society. But where the earlier games were largely set in the Moscow subways where you grew up, this has you exploring the Wastelands to the East. As a result, there's a lot more exploration, as well as opportunities to attack and be attacked from multiple angles, because the world is more open and spacious than cramped subway tunnels. All of which makes this feel like a less humorous, less '50s-flavored, more action-oriented version of Fallout 4.
It also, unfortunately, makes it slightly less exciting than the previous installments. While the earlier games were closer to first-person shooters, with some stealth elements thrown in for good measure, Exodus has you spending a lot of more time looking for stuff. It also swaps stores for the ability to craft your own ammo, but there's a limited amount of resources, so you don't always have enough ammo when you need it. The game also suffers from a number of technical issues, though none are fatal and most will probably be fixed over the coming weeks. Despite these problems, though, Exodus still does a great job of creating a stark post-apocalyptic world, one that feels...well, "alive" might not be the right word; "existing" is a bit closer. That, coupled with a solid mix of stealth and shooting, is why Metro Exodus is the bleakest but also best post-apocalyptic shooter since, well, the previous Metro game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Metro Exodus affected by the fact that you kill monsters and human survivors in the post-apocalyptic wasteland?. Would the impact be intensified if you were only fighting people?
You can sometimes choose between killing someone and just knocking them out, so what choice did you usually make and why? Did it matter if the person was surrendering as opposed to just someone you snuck up behind?
Metro Exodus is based on a series of novels, so which of your favorite books do you think could be made into a game, and what kind of game would it be? Also, would you like to read the books that inspired this game?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Deep Silver
- Release date: February 15, 2019
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Drugs
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.