Mighty Rocket Studio’s Final Exam is available now on console and PC and brings with it the opportunity to kill lots of mutants around a school. It’s a novel idea and offers some tongue in cheek humor along the way, but is it worthy of your time and money. Take a look at our Final Exam video review for the full picture.
Final Exam review:
Today we’re taking a look at Mighty Rocket Studio’s Final Exam which is available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC platforms. Telling the story of four stereotypical high school students, the game simply and without much deviation, thrusts our quartet into a nightmare that’s only affects the poor mutants which have sprung up from nowhere.
In a nutshell, single players can jump in to local play and choose one of the four characters who each possess their own strengths and weaknesses, then it’s a roller coaster ride of fetch quests, and mashing of buttons through 8 school themed levels. This is pretty much the crux of the game as it throws hordes of mutants at the player from start to conclusion. There’s a bit of flair involved in how players can dispatch the enemies by performing simple gravity defying air combos, or switching between melee and ranged weapons on the fly. There’s even a few special attack moves and throwable weapons to spice things up. Make no mistake, there’s not too much depth here, and killing does get a little repetitive, but in all fairness, the game is rather fun. There’s a satisfying element to lashing out at all manner of enemies, which come in various ground and air based forms, with some simply running at you, and others swooping down or firing projectiles. This means players really have to pick their targets well and constantly dodge around the screen to avoid taking damage. There are numerous boss encounters as well and sub boss enemies which require being bashed quite a bit before going down, but these are pretty easily taken care of, especially if players spend the time searching each level for collectibles which are tied to levelling up the character and granting new weapons.
What is perhaps the best part of the game, and the most challenging, is the option to tailor the combo meter so that it has to be manually switched to recoup the bonus score. This means, skilled players can gamble by raking up a huge score before banking the points. However, if the player is hit then the entire combo is broken and has to be restarted. It’s a neat feature that adds a bit more complexity to the game, but also highlights some of the cheap attack moves the AI throws at you to deliberately break high scoring combos.
In terms of visuals, the game offers some colourful and pleasant looking environments to stroll around in, although some areas are repeated which is a shame. The side on perspective works well, and there’s some neat use of lighting and shadows bringing the often claustrophobic areas to life. The comic book approach is certainly welcome here and fits well with the game’s subtle humor.
The audio is also very good with some fast paced tunes and plenty of sound effects from all the blood splattering mutant killing. There’s no real voice acting for the main characters as you play, and somewhat lacks a bit of personality in this area.
Gamers will find that completion of the 8 missions is quite quick, but beyond this, there’s a bit of replay in obtaining high scores, completing the game with all the characters, and teaming up with a friend locally and doing it all over again. There’s an online mode for four players which opens up the playing field even more, but this works and does not work in equal measure. On one hand, it’s fine all four players splitting up and doing their own thing – which in turn loses the point of playing together – then on the other hand, when all four characters are on screen at once, it becomes a bit of a jumbled mess to actually see who is doing what. Either way, the four player online game is fun to mess around with, but sadly is not really up to par with playing solo or with just two players.
To conclude, Final Exam is a neat little game that does provide some fun filled entertainment for a number of hours. Sadly, the gameplay is lacking in terms of variety and scope, and is highly repetitive after killing so many enemies. There are moments where the game offers some change in how enemies are killed, but these are far and few between. However, all negatives aside, for the asking price of under £7, you can’t really go wrong, and with the game offering good visuals, and some fairly robust gameplay, Final Exam does come recommended.
Score – 7.5/10 – Review by Robert Cram