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The Finals Review: A Spectacular Blast of Fresh FPS!

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Within a genre often marred by repetitive gameplay and saturation of live-service models, The Finals emerges as a glorious demolition derby of strategy, chaos, and creativity. Developed by Embark Studios, a team peppered with veterans from the Battlefield franchise, this free-to-play game feels like a much-needed adrenaline shot to the heart of the genre, revitalizing the thrill of tactical destruction and team-based antics.

The Finals sets itself apart with a core gameplay loop that feels like an Olympic sport designed by a committee of mad architects and demolition experts. The game thrusts players into a futuristic gameshow where three teams of three battle it out to secure cash boxes in the destructible arenas of Seoul, Vegas, and other vividly recreated cities. The main mode, Quick Cash, is a frantic scramble for wealth, requiring teams to locate, secure, and deposit cash boxes. The game is as much about sharp shooting as it is about sharp thinking, with the environment playing a crucial role in each match’s outcome.

The Finals is unapologetically chaotic. The destructible environments are not just a backdrop but a core aspect of the strategy. Walls, floors, and entire buildings can collapse, changing the landscape of the match in real-time and forcing players to adapt on the fly. This creates a dynamic playground where no two matches are the same, and the thrill of creating or falling victim to a cleverly orchestrated destruction is a constant. Whether blasting a hole in a wall for a surprise attack or collapsing a floor to deny the enemy a route, the game rewards creativity and punishes predictability.

The game offers three classes: the nimble Light, the balanced Medium, and the tank-like Heavy, each with unique gadgets and abilities that encourage distinct playstyles. Light players zip around with grappling hooks and cloaks of invisibility, Mediums support the team with healing beams and deployable turrets, and Heavies bring the pain with rocket launchers and sledgehammers. These classes add depth to the game, fostering team synergy and strategic diversity. Finding the right mix and mastering the tools and tactics of your class are key to victory.

Despite its innovative gameplay and stunningly destructible environments, The Finals is not without its flaws. The balance between the classes sometimes feels skewed, with the Light class often feeling underpowered compared to the beefier Heavies. The arsenal, while varied, has clear winners and losers, leading to a somewhat narrowed field of competitive weaponry. The game also struggles with pacing issues in Quick Cash mode, where a single mistake can lead to a dramatic and often frustrating swing in fortunes.

Moreover, while the destructible environments are a source of much of the game’s novelty and excitement, they can also lead to moments of frustration when players find themselves trapped or unable to reach objectives due to the ever-changing landscape. The game’s AI-generated commentary, intended to add to the game show atmosphere, can feel repetitive and lacks the dynamic quality of human interaction.

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Yet, for all its imperfections, The Finals is a breath of fresh air in a genre that often feels stale. It’s a game that encourages and rewards ingenuity and adaptability. The sound design and music add to the immersive experience, with every explosion, gunshot, and structural collapse feeling impactful. The promise of new strategies emerging from the rubble keeps each match feeling fresh and exciting.

The Finals is a daring and mostly successful attempt at reinvigorating the multiplayer first-person shooter. It’s a game of thrilling highs, forgivable lows, spectacular collapses, and exhilarating comebacks. It’s not just a game; it’s a demolition party, and everyone’s invited.

RATING: 4.5 out of 5.0

The Finals is now available to play for free on PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X.

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  • Luis

    Wish I could watch these movies everyone else gets to see but I'm too busy playing games 24/7. Thanks Dad for the trust fund!

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2 Responses

  1. Rose Boyce says:

    I can’t complain even if I get my ass kicked every game. It out Battlefields Battlefield!!!!!!

  2. Unleashed says:

    Game got too hard, too sweaty. wish there were more casual modes.

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