Monday, May 20, 2024

Stating that the niche of competitive free-to-play shooters is over-saturated would be an understatement. The Finals aims to break that mould and differentiate itself by offering prospective players a fast and frenetic FPS that Embark Studios has aptly described as a gameshow at heart. Or, more simply put, it is a high-stakes game of death that doesn’t take the easy way out by being just another battle royale blip on the radar. Not to say there is anything inherently wrong with a battle royale approach, but having the focus shifted away from the tried and tested is always nice. Embark Studios has made certain The Finals is not only a refreshing competitive shooter but a genuinely fun game to boot, just as long as you have a competent team alongside you. If you’re like me and have missed out on The Finals, and this is your first time checking out the game, the gameshow-focused first-person shooter pits teams of three against each other in expansive urban environments with the focus generally centred around nabbing enough cash to come out on top.

The build of The Finals I participated in included a new Las Vegas-inspired map on top of the other real-world-inspired settings, such as Seoul and Monaco. The Vegas map, in particular, prominently features large interior environments such as casinos and hotel-style lobbies and bars, that all emphasize a sense of verticality as players rush between the expansive game rooms to the cramped stairways and fire escapes found within the map, in the hopes of securing their target before others. “The build of The Finals I participated in included a new Las Vegas-inspired map on top of the other real-world-inspired settings, such as Seoul and Monaco.” This quick-paced sense of movement is found throughout The Finals. Unlike the Vegas map, Monaco, for example, changes things up with a focus on carefully engaging enemies or avoiding them altogether, with its narrow streets and imposing architecture getting in the way of easy navigation. Alternatively, if you have a pension for mayhem or are a fan of the Battlefield series of games, then The Finals is the game for you—as any pesky building or structure in your way can easily be demolished, thanks to the inclusion of fully destructible environments. Players can pick from three distinct character types or builds, including medium, heavy, and light options. If you’re looking to cause the most damage or just clear a path for your team, the heavy is the way to go—featuring a sledgehammer, RPG and flamethrower, this hulking character class can quickly demolish buildings, literally punching holes in walls to create impromptu ways forward like the Kool-Aid man, if he dished out death rather than diabetes.

Conversely, a build like the light class in The Finals instead aptly feels nimble, equipped with SMGs, smoke and frag grenades, and the lowest HP pool in the game; light players excel in close-quarter encounters that encourage rushing the enemy and then running away to recoup and not get killed. Light builds also benefit when using weapons like Katanas due to their fast nature, allowing players to dispatch unsuspecting enemies quickly and making them a solid choice for denser maps.

My favourite class, however, would be the medium build, as I found them to be the most familiar and most straightforward to familiarize myself with when playing The Finals. As the class may suggest, players who pick the medium character class are best suited as mid-range marksmen focused on taking out anyone who encroaches on your team while securing objectives. The medium build also features one of my favourite default starting weapons, the AKM automatic rifle, which has great recoil and just feels great to use in most encounters. Outside of firearms and melee weapons, The Finals features an assortment of throwables and grenades, including everything from your standard frag grenade and incendiary grenades to goo grenades and jump pads. Goo grenades, in particular, are not only unique but come in clutch for creating impromptu steps, patching up the inevitable broken wall or cover, or simply creating a barricade during intense firefights.

In terms of the gameplay modes available to me during my time with The Finals, I got to experience Quick Cash, Bank it and a Tournament mode called Cashout. Starting with Quick Cash, three teams of three are tasked with securing and extracting a single vault that spawns somewhere on the map, ultimately encouraging players to all converge in one general area, which can lead to some chaotic fun. Bank it, instead, comes the closest in providing players with a death match-styled mode, with kills resulting in the opposing player dropping some serious coin, a la Scott Pilgrim style. I found these rounds to be the fastest, as the focus of each match is determined by how quickly a team can dispatch the opposition to rack up points the fastest. Finally, both ranked and unranked tournament modes in The Finals provide a bracketed style approach with 24 players in games of Cashout, which, similar to Quick Cash, spices things up by bumping the number of vaults up, spreading them throughout the map. If I had to pick favourites, I found myself most drawn to Quick Cash, as that mode not only encouraged player interaction but kept things simple by providing only a single point of extraction, unlike Cashout’s multi-vault approach, which fun too, is better reserved to those with some experience with team-based FPS titles.

Ultimately, if I had to give my final thoughts on The Finals, I’d say, even in a pre-release state or early access, The Finals is shaping up to be an excellent contender for a new up-and-rising free-to-play team-based shooter that borrows the best elements of games like Battlefield with the quirky and over-the-top aspects of Epic’s Fortnite, and I will be sure to jump back into the fray with friends once the game goes live.

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles