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Now here’s a news story you don’t see every day: a video game release date has been brought forward, not pushed back.

Metro Exodus, the train-based follow-up (post-apocalyptic Thomas the Tank Engine, anyone?) to the claustrophobic, subway-confined Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light, is shaping up rather well.

We went hands-on with it at E3 2018 and – other than my game spontaneously loading someone else’s save, where they’d murdered their way through a bit I had completed stealthily and non-violently – looks to be both a technical success and an effective restructure into a semi-open world environment.

Now developer 4A Games and publisher Deep Silver has announced that Metro Exodus has “gone gold”. That’s development jargon for completion of the final build, named after the gold “master” copy that physical production is taken from, and means that – save for no doubt a bunch of early patches and bug-fixes – the game is effectively complete.

Because the development team are, rather unusually, ahead of schedule on this project, Deep Silver has taken the unusual step of bringing forward the Metro Exodus release date.

“Our fans have been waiting patiently for Metro Exodus ever since we announced the title at E3 2017. We had previously delayed the release date to ensure 4A Games had the time to deliver their ambitious vision for the game, but now we’re delighted to confirm that Metro Exodus has ‘gone gold’ and we are able to bring the release date forward to the 15th February 2019.” – Klemens Kundratitz, CEO, Deep Silver

To celebrate this unusual announcement, they’ve also given us a sneak peek at the Metro Exodus opening titles, produced by Santa Monica-based studio Elastic. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because they produce the titles for both Game of Thrones and Westworld, among others.

Haunting stuff. We’re looking forward to/dreading (delete as appropriate) hitting Metro Exodus in February 2018.

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