The Finals, developed by Embark Studios, is a team-based first-person-shooter that packs a punch with its emphasis on destruction and mayhem. As a Battlefield series fan, the game’s chaotic and dynamic gameplay feels familiar, yet The Finals introduces a unique twist by pitting multiple teams of three players against each other. While my first match left me feeling a bit lost, the game quickly grew on me, revealing its vibrant and colorful shooter style with a touch of game-show-infused excitement.
One standout feature of The Finals is its multi-team setup, where three teams of three players compete in 3v3v3 or 3v3v3v3 matches. This leads to a constant stream of dynamic firefights as squads vie for control of the game’s crucial currency. The chaos is palpable, with defending teams desperately holding on while attackers clash with both defenders and rival attackers. The game’s over-the-top action is enhanced by a lively and colorful aesthetic, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of 1987’s The Running Man but with intense gun battles.
The Finals offers two main game modes to fuel the chaos. In Quick Cash, three teams battle for possession of a vault filled with money, which must be taken to a Cashout Station for deposit. This mode blends elements of Capture the Flag and King of the Hill, resulting in thrilling showdowns as squads converge for all-out battles. The sense of forward momentum is exhilarating, especially with the countdown timer adding a layer of urgency. Bank It, the other mode, focuses more on combat, with players starting each life with money. The goal is to deposit this cash before potentially losing it upon death, adding strategic depth to the intense firefighting.
After playing a set number of games, players gain access to The Finals’ Tournament mode. This competitive version of Quick Cash features modified rules, with two matches played concurrently and the best teams advancing to a knockout round. The top two teams then move on to the finals, culminating in a showdown to determine the tournament champion. The addition of a ranked version adds depth, featuring more knockout rounds, rankings based on performance, and end-of-season rewards. Despite a somewhat lengthy respawn timer, the quick and riveting matches make it hard to resist jumping back in.
Destruction and Creativity:
What sets The Finals apart is its comprehensive destruction mechanics. Nearly every wall can be blown open, and players can destroy bridges, buildings, or open up roofs strategically. The game encourages creativity, allowing players to use gadgets like goo guns to create temporary bridges or barricades. Grappling hooks and jump pads offer additional ways to navigate the destructible maps. The innovation behind this destruction, occurring server-side to prevent performance issues, provides players with a sense of agency and creativity in competing for objectives.
Maps and Variety:
The game’s maps are inspired by real-world locations, offering a mix of expansive exteriors and compact interiors. Ziplines, ladders, and jump pads provide options for vertical traversal, while random game show modifiers add unpredictability. The inclusion of variations, such as sandstorms or inflatable ducks, keeps matches fresh. However, with only four maps, the variety does feel a bit limited.
Balancing and Progression:
The game introduces three weight classes, each with unique weapons and gadgets, adding variety to gameplay. However, there are notable balance issues, with heavy classes dominating Tournament mode. The progression system, while offering varied weapons and gadgets, feels slow, hindering experimentation with different builds. The inclusion of a battle pass, featuring cosmetic items, avoids pay-to-win concerns, ensuring a fair playing field.
The Finals stands out in the competitive shooter space with its thrilling destruction, fast-paced gunplay, and unique approach to familiar objectives. While it faces some balancing issues, a slow progression system, and a limited map selection, these drawbacks pale in comparison to the intense action and explosive gameplay. The game’s potential for growth and its absurdly fun nature make it a standout in the crowded competitive shooter genre. With a few tweaks and additions, The Finals has the potential to become a success story, offering players an exhilarating and chaotic experience that keeps them coming back for more.