Metro Exodus won’t exit development this year after all.

The story-driven first person shooter, which aims to blend deadly combat and stealth with exploration and survival horror, will instead release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC early next year.

“The development of Metro Exodus is progressing well; we are all really excited by what we are seeing,” 4A Games and Deep Silver said in a statement on the game’s website.

“We want everyone to be able to experience what is the most ambitious Metro game to date at its absolute best and therefore we have taken the decision to move the release date to Q1 2019.

“We know that this will be disappointing news for fans that had hoped to play the game this year, but also know that you will appreciate the results that this additional development time and new release date will bring.”

4A Games will spend the intervening time polishing Metro Exodus, but it also seems that the studio is keen to give Red Dead Redemption 2 a wide berth, as many others have done.

“We have been constantly reviewing the games progress [sic] to ensure that we deliver a product that gamers and fans of the Metro series want and deserve, as well as keeping an eye on announcements from our competitor products,” the company said.

Like its predecessors, Metro Exodus is inspired by the novels of Dmitry Glukhovsky.

It continues protagonist Artyom’s story by allowing players to explore the Russian wilderness across vast, non-linear levels.

The storyline spans an entire year through spring, summer and autumn to the depths of nuclear winter.

"The story starts in Moscow and you play as Artyom and it picks up from Metro: Last Light’s enlightened ending," executive producer John Bloch said at the game’s announcement at E3 last year.

"That is canon. It doesn’t pick up directly, but as far as the two endings, it’s canon.

“We're not saying who joins just yet but there will be a lot of fan favourite characters."