Twilight Howl: Game Review 07

Written by: Brainard Linco

Welcome, friends, to the Twilight Howl, where we delve into the intricacies of remote socialization. Mostly through games. Online games. Games where you play with other people. This is a game review blog, okay?


Final Exam is a cooperative 2.5D hack and slash game that's reminiscent of classic cooperative games such as Metal Slug and Contra. Play as a group of friends who started the night headed for a party at their old high school and ended up in the middle of a monster invasion. With various unlockable equipment and character specific progression and skill trees, Final Exam is a great game to try if you and your buddies just want to go in guns blazing.

The Woolf Pack Experience: Bats, Bullets and Bombs

A good while ago, Woolfie played a game called Hero Siege. It was a game that involved Woolfie's four-person team of mindlessly violent idiots going around killing stuff and picking up valuables from among the trail of blood and tears that they left behind. Final Exam isn't much different.

Sure, the game is played as a 2.5D side-scroller instead of a top down pixelated RPG. Yes, we're picking up bullets and McDonald's takeout from enemy corpses instead of Legendary Buster Swords of Submission and Dominance +5. And yes, we're fighting alien monsters in a modern day setting instead of undead monarchs in a fantasy setting.

But other than those, it's basically the same game.

Bob is still the big, burly dude that catches explosions with their face. Stevia is still the one with an unhealthy fascination for ranged weapons. Jacob is still the only person who knows what the heck is happening. And I still have no sense of direction.

Those characters, combined with our loadout of bats wrapped in barbed wire, submachine guns, molotov cocktails and hamburgers, made for a rather interesting few hours.

Aside from the classic beat-em up style of combat, we also had to deal with objectives as we made our way through the first subway stage. Those bog-standard objectives such as flipping switches to open doors, turning off alarms, dodging hazards while fighting on top of a train, ferrying bombs across two points in the train to blow it up. That kind of stuff.

The initial setup for online multiplayer is as easy as accepting an invite through Steam, and while I had some issues with the game's audio conflicting with the voice chat app we were using. the game has a built-in voice chat system that makes the point moot. As a hack-and-slash game, Final Exam rewards combos and juggling, similar to most fighting games. Combos means more points and more points means more rewards to progress your character so the poor monster alien things that we've unilaterally declared war on had to contend with us playing cooperatively and competitively at the same time.

Yeah, I don't think they enjoyed our little trek through the subway that much.


Final Exam is a game that brought me back to my childhood, that point between playing in arcades and playing in computer shops. I'm talking about two player cooperative games on the Playstation and Playstation 2, the kinds of games where one had to invite friends (cousins, in my case) over to the house, spend the first few minutes setting up the console and the next few hours exchanging controllers when someone dies. That was the kind of feeling that Final Exam evoked for me, and it was wonderful.




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