The Finals Is One of the Most Refreshing FPS Games We’ve Played in Years

A combative game show that's more destructive than Bad Company 2
The Finals Concept Art
Image Source: Embark Studios via Twinfinite

Another month passes and a new first-person shooter is released to the masses. Except The Finals is actually something special. Let me tell you why.

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The Finals, created by Embark Studios, is one of two games the company is currently working on. Made up of ex-DICE developers, Embark Studios have taken some of the best aspects of the best Battlefield games and integrated them into a virtual destructive game show. When you first boot up The Finals, you’re presented with making a character from one of three body types: Light, Medium, and Heavy.

Contestant customization screen in The Finals on PS5
Image Source: Embark Studios via Twinfinite

From there, you can customize the look of your character from an impressively variety of options. Options that range from face, hair, and eyes all the way to upper back, lower back, and wrist. It is safe to say that between the choices for face and body customization that visually standing out is easy and satisfying. But looking unique and distinct is only one part of The Finals’ bombastic package.

The other part of the game’s package revolves around your contestant’s build, specialization, weapon, and three gadgets. Each build, Light, Medium, and Heavy get their own unique choices for their loadouts. Light builds can use smgs, sniper rifles, turn invisible, and glitch grenades. Medium can use turrets, riot shields, jump pads, and zip lines. All while Heavy has access to shields you can shoot through, lmgs, C4, and RPGs. The build options each class has can easily create multiple interesting builds for players to experiment with and they can be unlocked as you play.

Now, the final part of The Finals lies in its more conventional shooter gameplay. These days, a lot of new shooters follow the trends of the industry. Before, it was the Battle Royale, and now it’s the Extraction Shooter. The Finals bucks these popular FPS sub-genre trends to deliver something that is immediately more conventional than the trailers would lead you to believe. That is, until you begin engaging with the game’s destruction.

And boy oh boy, does this game do destruction right. You can really feel the DICE pedigree as you learn how to blow through walls, floors, and everything else in between. This is because The Finals’ environments are far and away more destructive than any other shooter I’ve had the opportunity to experience. Walls don’t just break open and crumble into nothing as the geometry is replaced by particles that fall through the floor.

The destruction of multiple floors in The Finals
Image Source: Embark Studios via Twinfinite

Instead, they actually break apart and collapse realistically and remain in the game world. As you would expect, this creates piles of rubble that kick up lots of dust and smoke into the air reducing visibility in what was once a furnished hotel lobby or casino—it’s all so visually captivating. As you play, random map-wide events will occur, events like meteor showers that pierce buildings and do a lot of wall collapsing on their own.

It’s also quite visually refreshing to see the varied maps on rotation constantly have different times of day and different weather effects. And because the game runs on Unreal Engine 5, the textures, lighting, particles, ambient occlusion, and global illumination elevate The Final’s visuals to match its quirky style. But what good are varied, destructible maps without engaging objectives to tackle? Good news, The Finals has that too.

The main premise of The Finals is that you’re a participant in ‘the ultimate combat entertainment game show’. As such, each match comes with a couple of announcers that narrates the major events of each match, for better or worse. When it comes to objectives though, the three available modes give enough variety for competitive teams to flex their skills.

Because you’re playing within a game show of sorts, The Finals’ game modes revolve around earning cash from objectives or kills and cashing them out. The more cash your team as at the end determines your team’s rank amongst the match’s competition. In the mode, Cashout, your team of three will battle three other teams to find and earn money crates from “Vaults” randomly scattered around the map. You then take it to a deposit box and deposit the cash, unfortunately this takes a long time and other teams can make the deposit go to them, so you’ll need to defend it. First to reach the cash goal wins.

Meanwhile, the other casual mode, Bank-It, is a bit simpler. Killing opponents will make them drop all of their cash, plus $1,000 in the form of coins. You’ll also be opening vaults for $5,000 to $10,000 worth and taking all the cash you have on you to a cashout station. The first team to hit $40,000 wins!

The splash screen showing teams during Tournament mode
Image Source: Embark Studios via Twinfinite

Finally, there are the game’s tournament modes with offer Ranked and Unranked. This isn’t something I haven’t seen before but in practice it works pretty well. 8 teams will battle over three rounds to qualify for the final round and the win. In tournaments, respawns are limited and team wipes will lose that team money.

Where Ranked differs is that there is a 4th round added, meaning 16 teams will fight it out to win. The mode also features league progression for the truly dedicated, so you know I’ll be trying to climb. There is a lot to love with The Finals, it looks good, plays good, even runs good thanks to multiple settings options. However, during my hands-on, there were some visual and mechanical bugs in a few places. With the worst bug being me or one of my teammates disconnecting during Tournament rounds, and we couldn’t reconnect without restarting the game, which meant a guaranteed loss.

Hopefully by the time you read this, these issues will be ironed out and the game can enjoy a successful launch. I’ll be frank, The Finals lives and dies by the quality of its lobbies and servers. The rest is good and compelling, even great in some areas, but the connections and matchmaking need to be fully functional for the rest to shine. Here’s hoping for the best.

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Author
Ali Taha
Whether its new releases, or a new Destiny 2 season, Ali will flex his gaming and freelancer skills to cover them extensively. He started off writing features for Game Rant but found a better home here on Twinfinite. While Ali waits for the next Monster Hunter title, he enjoys publishing his progression fantasy novels as an indie author.