We checked out THE FINALS Beta this weekend and put it to the test. Learn everything you need to know about the upcoming shooter by Embark Studios-
Let's get one thing straight, if this is the Beta of THE FINALS then I don't want to know how good the final release will turn out. THE FINALS feels like the perfect middle ground between the more grounded gameplay of Call of Duty, the pace and movement of Titanfall, and the tactical use of destruction you'll find in Rainbow Six Siege.
It's fast, movement is swift but not too complicated with perks giving you extra abilities and everything has a snappy feel that not many other shooters besides Counter-Strike come even close to. But we're getting ahead of ourselves so let's start from the top.
Our THE FINALS Beta Impressions
On the surface level, THE FINALS seems like the wish-fulfillment some of those former Battlefield developers had when they started working on fully destructible environments. Can't reach an objective thanks to heavy enemy fire? Just blow up the floor beneath them and steal it.
Competitive Shootin' Reimiagined
It's played in short rounds that currently feature 2 game mods. Cashout teams of 3 go after cashboxes which they first have to crack open and then transport to a vault which they then have to hold to bank the point and Bank It which combines Cashout's vaults with the Dogtag move you'd find in Call of Duty.
And THE FINALS manages to keep 10-minute matches interesting to the last second. As the match continues and 3 to 4 teams fight for victory the points you get from clearing objectives increase letting the last place catch up and snatch victory even at the last second of a match. It keeps these 3v3v3v3 matches tense the entire time because every vault captured could be the game winning one.
That alone speaks to THE FINALS as an excellent shooter that stands alone on its ideas without looking too alien to its genre colleagues. But we haven't gotten to the game yet.
Gun n' Play
Movement and shooting feel fantastic from the start. The game has a speed that doesn't quite reach Unreal Tournament and Quake levels but it feels fast while not being too overwhelming. You have a fast sprint, jumps, and verticality at all levels. There are also jump-pads, zip lines, and elevators to toy around with.
That alone would make for a competent shooter but THE FINALS goes further by letting you destroy almost everything. Buildings and their insides completely collapse and the leftover scraps become obstacles, covers, and new paths for you to parkour over.
And trust me, getting the drop on someone by blowing their hideyhole into pieces never gets old. Just a few minutes into the match stairways would be blown into pieces and some buildings are just straight up missing. It creates an interesting sandbox that lets you approach almost every situation from any angle.
The only thing I'm sold on is the current loadout system. You get all sorts of grenades and weapons but your arsenal is rather limited at the start. It would be fine if this weren't a competitive shooter in which picking the wrong weapon for the wrong map can screw you over big time. I'd like an option to switch out gear at respawn to adjust accordingly.
The One Flaw
If you couldn't tell, I enjoy THE FINALS. It's a great, fast-paced competitive shooter with huge competitive potential while offering players enough sandbox elements to play around with. And I would give it a fullhearted recommendation if it didn't feature one fatal flaw.
"far enough in terms of quality"
"hours instead of months" – We are constantly banging out rush order sessions for like, within a day or two. You can literally get pro-grade VO for less than a grand total, bang out a couple recording sessions and bam you have all the audio you… pic.twitter.com/85JQmjHZtw
— Gianni Matragrano (@GetGianni) October 28, 2023
Legally acquired or not isn't the point here, it is the reasoning given by the developers at Embark Studios that rubs me the wrong way. “AI Voiceacting is now good enough to be viable in video games and will speed up the development process.” This sounds logical on paper but to me, this sounds more like they just didn't want to pay voice actors.
And with all the strikes going on with the writers' guild, the actors' guild, and potentially the voice actors' guild this is the exact scenario they are fighting against.
They will potentially make millions off this game and you can't tell me Embark Studios doesn't have the budget to pay a few voice actors to do a much better job than what is already in the game. Hell, if you want to go for this fake authenticity at least have some shame and pay someone 50$ on Fiverr.
So if you've enjoyed THE FINALS, please send Embark Studios angry emails about this in the hope they'll do the right thing. Because what they are doing now is just disrespectful to the craft and will only bring us one step closer to bland AI-generated slop. They have a good game on their hands. Anyone who has enjoyed the game so far should demand Embark Studios.
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