Top Critic Average
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.
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.
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.
It took me four and a half hours to complete Exile's End and I found the adventure to be mostly flat and unsatisfying.
Exile’s End is a good action-platformer that checks all the boxes of a good Metroidvania, but does so without much pizazz.
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.
Playing Exile’s End involves a lot more aimless running around than it should.
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.
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.
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.