Just dropped fresh in the video game market comes Embark’s first creation: ‘The Finals.’ This is the Beta version, and we like to present our experience from the viewpoint of the casual gamer. The Finals is played in the future where the player moves around an arena style environment with the map as its center. Imagine Tron Legacy Disc Wars meets Extraction in a close quarter style map with numerous levels and opportunities for destruction. It’s fast paced, fun and everything around you can change quickly while you fight for fame and virtual sponsors.
Gameplay and Design
Everything Around the Visuals and Characters
A bright light in this Beta rollercoaster was the great visual aesthetics. The textures and detail of the environments were great, and we did not expect maps this well-made – especially when your last beta was Battlefield 2042. The technical issues were relatively small with some matchmaking problems and instances where the character was not reacting to some controller inputs.
A lot of things can be destroyed in one way or another on the two offered arenas Monaco and Seoul. You can easily end up standing on the 3rd floor of a building and be on the 1st floor in a matter of seconds. The Destruction looks solid and when you put down a fortification wall it will remain in the game and tumbles around during a destruction event.
The Finals offers three-character types or classes, each with their own gadgets and weapons. Be it a nimble character able to evade grenades with his grapple hook like the small character or a medic style, jump pad throwing, balanced medium sized character, to the big and LMG wielding colossus with the most amount of health. It made us plan our moves and had a nice change to the play style. Currently it feels however that the big character is overpowered as no matter what you do there is always one with his stick or flamethrower to smash you down.
Next, let’s talk about the character skins. They flashed on my screen like a rainbow, each more vibrant than the last – they were a little bit of everything, allowing character customization for every gamer. There were plenty and it is clear that this will be the money driver.
Examination of Game Objectives
It’s pretty straight forward in terms of the objective. Basically, you gather coins from different locations on the map and then run to another area where you try to cash in while fighting off the teams in 3v3v3 or 3v3v3v3 game modes.
We played ‘Quick Cash’ and ‘Bank it.’ In ‘Quick Cash,’ you’re a trying to use your lightning-fast moves toward the one cash box lying around on the map to then later deposit the funds at the cash out stations. It is a mode with shorter respawn times and only 3 squads. In ‘Bank It,’ you’re calculating risks and returns as you run to a cash box, put the cash into your pockets and get on your way to the cash out stations. Collect as many coins as possible. Watch out, when you lose your gunfight all your coins will fall on the floor for others to grab.
The rounds feel rather short, which you can work around by playing a Tournament with several rounds to weed out the best squad.
Squad Focused Gameplay
The squad focused gameplay was a bit of a concern. Often game modes with small player counts will result in you being crashed into the ground or ignored on your quest to be the best squad. Same here. The TTK (Time-to-Kill) feels high due to amount of health. Therefore, the gunplay sometimes ends up as spray and pray endeavor hoping that one clip is enough. It is all about teaming up and perfect communication, but the game can become so hectic that there is no real time for communication. Once you are down you are outside the game waiting for a long time to respawn back into the game or a squad member to maybe never revive you. The fast movements together with the bad visibility of the enemies added another layer of complexity. Suddenly the enemy appears right next you after he hauled through the window from three roof tops away and you can barely see them before the entire floor collapses. Give them that, the destruction of buildings looks great though.
Comparisons and Competitive Edge
This isn’t Call of Duty or Battlefield, and ‘The Finals’ isn’t just another rendition of the same script. It’s a nice change of pace from those titles. Gunplay is pretty decent but needs tweaking and the controls are simple. It feels unique, fresh, and nerve-wracking in the best possible way. The Finals surely has a unique charm that might give it a fighting chance in the battle royale of the gaming market. With innovative game modes and excellent character designs, it stands out from other FPS genre games. The game, however, feels very competitive and it remains to be seen if the game can retain a player base for the casual gamer.
Conclusion and Final Reflection
The journey through the beta version of ‘The Finals’ was like a roller coaster ride. The matchmaking problems due to more players jumping on the Beta than expected to the great visuals and different game play, it was exciting, to say the least.
While the graphics and character design are top-notch, the high TTK could be a problem for some players. Adjusted movement speed and enemy visibility could add the much-needed cherry on top of this pie.
The Finals has the potential to emerge as an unorthodox game that offers an unforgiving experience. A crisp breath of fresh air in the genre with vibrant visuals and fast gameplay but we are undecided if this game can be a staple in the casual gamer community with its seemingly high level of competitiveness.
This is not Call of Duty or Battlefield, and it doesn’t try to be.
What did you think about the Beta? We’d love to know!
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Special thanks to @S4BERSUN for the review!
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