Top Critic Average
Still, the game is fantastic, and after playing it for my Exile’s End review, I can recommend it to both older gamers and those just getting started since it is a very polished experience.
I enjoyed playing Exile’s End on PlayStation 4 as it certainly reminded me of old-school games from “back in the day” and scratched that particular “more Metroidvania, please” itch. I highly recommend you get this one on PS4, especially if you’re looking for a game that will not try to over-explain things or to make your journey an easy one. If you want a challenge, this is the one for you.
If you’re into the retro thing or enjoy a good, not-too-lengthy Metroidvania, Exile’s End may be just the ticket. I put in about eight hours on my run, with some allowances for getting lost a time or two in the game’s pretty open and directionless approach.
Exiles End reminds me a lot of the 1991 game Crystal Caves, except Exiles End is slower and has less challenges and need for strategy. That being said, it does have the ability to save as well as checkpoints. The monsters are fairly easy to avoid or kill, especially at the beginning, and there is quite a bit of dead screen time where Jameson runs one way for awhile and then in the opposite direction with little to no interaction besides the occasional jump. While it definitely has the retro look with nice artwork and good music, it seems to be missing a lot of the feel that the retro games have.The story is decent but the game play does not provide much a challenge and frankly I cannot see myself going back to it.
Exile's End is sort of a mixed bag. Magnetic Realms nailed the retro inspiration and metroidvania format, but a few choices in the level design keep it from being something great.
For the price of entry and the type of game Exiles End is worth a look from fans of the genre. It’s got decent atmosphere, controls fairly well, and provides some fun exploration and fighting. It’s just not nearly as good as those that came before it, take it or leave it. I want to like the game more than I do, but getting endlessly lost, questioning my progression, and the weak start left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.
Despite a very slick-looking 16-bit environment and lifespan that covers several game modes, there's less to Exile's End than meets the eye - the game may look superb for a throwback to previous gaming generations but its rater flawed level design, monotonous feel and somewhat repetitive and uninteresting exploration make it an experience that does not live up to its expectations and which can't but wonder that if some things had been done differently, the game could be overall much better.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Despite being advertised as a cinematic platformer, Exile's End is really a Metroidvania-style outing. It contains great graphics and sound, and does a fine job of allowing the player to explore and become more powerful without holding their hand. However, the game suffers from a tedious opening sequence, occasional camera and combat control stumbles, and a lackluster map.Those who absolutely love to explore every bit of a game's world without any direction at all will love Exile's End. However, a few places don't give the player enough guidance, which leads to brute-forcing every possible path until you uncover the solution. This is a solid action exploration game, but needs a few improvements to be a smash hit for everyone.
But it’s also true that Exile’s End is not great. It’s just mediocre and it’s not optimized for the Wii U. While I got a kick out it, I suspect many of you will become bored or frustrated. Even I started leaning on online maps to find everything (breakable walls are rarely differentiated). It’s one of those games I’m torn on recommending. Watch some videos. Your mileage may vary.
Try it you love the genre, otherwise, I wouldn't rush out to pick this one up. For fans of Sci-fi and 2D Metroidvania platformers there's some enjoyment to be had to be had here, but what's there is fairly short lived and does little to differentiate itself from its peers in story or gameplay.
The price is on the lower end, but may still be too much for the entire package for most players. It can be knocked out in a few sessions in a weekend, so if you are desperate for a somewhat competent metroidvania and have plenty of patience to spare, Exile's End might have something for you.
Exile’s End is not a bad game by any means, but it never really reaches the heady heights of its influences. In what is so obviously a labour of love, this is a shame, but such is the risk with such blatant nostalgia. Often, going back is not a good idea.
Exile’s End is not a game you should avoid, but with the many quality games on eShop, it makes it hard to recommend. The game does a nice job to recreate the experience it was looking for, but failed at making what these games make fun: the interesting level design and challenge.
With a high level of difficulty and a pixelated aesthetic, 'Exile's End' is an affectionate tribute to a decidedly different era of gaming. My time with 'Exile's End' was decidedly mixed, although I must admit I'm not in the target demographic of players that really enjoy this type of experience. I admired the visual and sound design for creating some truly creepy environments, and for serving up a loving tribute to the Commodore 64/Amiga era, but I was left a bit more cold in the gameplay department. Getting lost in expansive, empty 2D maps isn't exactly my idea of a good time, and I've never been one to get terribly excited about "old-school" difficulty. With that said, fans of this sort of isolated retro experience might get a real kick out of Marvelous' take on the genre.
I wanted to love Exile's End, but the hard, honest truth is that I've played so many other titles like it that are so much better. Exile's End's main issue is that it doesn't do enough to stand out, to shake up the formula, or to be different. It tries too hard to say it's different to Metroid...But in the end all they did was make it into the same thing they wanted to drift away from.
The combination of tired "retro" design choices and brief length make Exile's End a tough game to recommend, even before recognizing that the Metroidvania genre is full of better options.