The Finals is an upcoming combat-centered first-person shooter from Embark Studios. The game strives to break through the saturated market of FPS titles by bringing many new features, such as an immersive environment.
I recently joined the game’s Closed Beta 2 to find out where the game sits right now. Is it a Valorant competitor? Can it replace the now-defunct Hyperscape? Will it take some market share from Apex Legends?
Here are my first impressions.
The Finals Visuals, Music, and Audio
The Finals’ visuals are one of its strengths. The environment looks fantastic, and the customizable character design is a neat feature.
The game is eye candy. It blows titles such as Apex Legends (which has excellent visuals, by the way) out of the water – all thanks to Raytracing. It is hard to compare its key visuals to Valorant because of the different art styles, but if I were to choose, I would pick The Finals over other FPS titles right now.
The Finals take pride in its responsive environment. Throw a grenade, and the surroundings shatter with it. You can even use bombs to create pathways for escape.
Visually, the explosions look great, but sometimes, it feels like there is too much going on in the game. There are times when I struggle to look for the enemies, especially if their character skin blends well with the area. The enemies glow red after being hit for some time though so that is a bonus.
Do not get me wrong, I love the game’s visuals. It looks great and it felt very immersive. However, I still think that too much visual clutter is detrimental to some players.
The music is kind of bland and feels repetitive. The announcers can also sound annoying at times. However, the emcees do sound like someone you can hear from a real-life sporting event—props to the developers for that.
Audio is one of the key features that an FPS game should focus on and Embark Studios did a great job here. I can clearly hear the enemy’s footsteps though sometimes I confuse them with my teammates. There are no audio bugs so far and everything sounded clear.
The Finals Characters and Design
There are three character classes to choose from – Light, Medium, and Heavy. The design changes depending on the class that you choose.
The light class leans towards stealth plays with cloaks and grappling hooks. The medium class is an all-rounder with heals while the Heavy class is a tough character that can easily defend an area.
All in all, the character classes are well-designed. Each one has a unique skill set that is essential to a team. You can even have the same classes on a team. It all depends on how you want to play the game.
Again, this is just my initial impressions but it felt like the Heavy class is a little too tough to deal with. If your enemy has three of them on a team, they can bunker down, set up defenses, and good luck trying to penetrate their fortress.
What I love about the characters in The Finals is that you are not tied to the skills by default. There are unlockable abilities that you can use. For instance, the default ability of the Light class is a grappling hook. You may then proceed to unlock the Cloak or the Zip Line if you wanted to.
The Finals Gameplay Impressions
The goal of the game is simple. A match is composed of three teams with three players each. You need to head to the vault, grab the cash, and make a cashout in the area. The cash out takes time so you need to defend while it is in progress. Other teams can wipe your squad and steal the cashout.
Sounds easy right? Well, it is easier said than done. The Finals involve a lot of elements besides gun fights. You need to be mindful of your abilities, your team composition, and your loadout.
I haven’t played it thoroughly but I spend a considerable amount of play time to say that it is a job well done for Embark Studios. The gun fights are intense and it does not have a low time to kill (TTK). It’s around the same time as Call of Duty: Warzone so if you are coming from that game, it might feel familiar.
The TTK gives enough time for counterplays. You can escape, use abilities, and drop some heels to win a duel. The TTK is not as high as Apex Legends wherein you can have a full reset. There is just enough time frame to either win or lose a fight.
In addition, the gameplay involves the environment. It may sound repetitive but, their implementation is just too good. You need to have quick thinking to maximize your surroundings. There are clear borders on some buildings where they are meant to explode but, it’s not noticeable at all, especially with the number of actions going on on the screen.
The intensity does not just come from shooting guns. The mental aspect of thinking “Should I throw a Goo Grenade and build a cover or should I just use my jump pad and reset?” is great for adrenaline junkies.
There are different game modes such as Quick Match, Unranked Tournament, and Ranked Tournament. The unranked and Ranked Tournament involves four teams with three players each. Each match consists of three rounds.
The problem: Performance
The game is still in Closed Beta and there are still hiccups here and there. What’s concerning though is the PC specs needed to run the game at an acceptable rate.
My PC currently has a 1440p 144hz monitor and I am running a Ryzen 5 processor with an Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics card. It is not the highest PC out there but I was expecting to hit at least 144hz in low settings.
Unfortunately, I was not able to. The game runs at around 70-90fps with everything turned off. I tried to run the game at the highest settings possible and I was able to get 40-60fps.
The problem now is, if the developers want the game to blow up then further optimization is needed. If possible, then at least with the same performance as Apex Legends or just close enough.
Take note, Valorant runs even on the weakest computers out there and if Embark Studios want to take a slice of the pie, they need to optimize the game. Not everyone has the latest gaming hardware, right?
The Finals Impressions: On the right track to blow up
The Finals has a huge potential to be one of the best releases in 2023 or 2024. The gameplay is great and the visuals are top-notch. It is also free-to-play so with the right battle pass it will definitely catch up with the best FPS titles today.
There are performance issues right now but again, the developers still have a lot of time to iron everything out. They just have to take it slowly instead of releasing an unfinished disaster.
The Finals is coming out soon on Steam. No release date has been announced yet. Catch The Finals latest Closed Beta 2 highlights here.
What do you think of our first impressions of The Finals? Leave your thoughts in the comments!