The Finals: Initial Review

Diving into the realm of online shooters can be a hit-or-miss venture, with many games barely making a blip on the radar amidst the giants like Call of Duty or Apex Legends. The Finals, however, seems to carve its niche in the genre, and after my initial night of gameplay, it’s beginning to reveal its unique appeal.

Imagine The Running Man, but in the context of 3v3v3 gun battles, and you get a glimpse of The Finals. The game employs a vibrant color palette and pairs it with lively play-by-play announcers, delivering an over-the-top, American Gladiators ambiance reminiscent of the ’80s vision of the future of sports. Striking a perfect balance between not taking itself too seriously and avoiding becoming a mere joke, The Finals manages to capture attention without being obnoxious.

The game features two core modes to kick things off. “Quick Cash” has teams racing to collect a vault of coins and deposit them at designated points on the map, leading to intense showdowns between the three-person squads. This mode effectively keeps the action flowing, and since taking over the deposit doesn’t reset its progress, rounds maintain a steady pace, steering clear of momentum-killing stalemates.

The other mode, “Bank It,” leans more towards direct PvP battles, with players carrying coins earned from vaults or eliminated enemies. The dynamic shift from pursuing kills to urgently needing to deposit coins adds an exhilarating layer of on-the-fly strategizing. It’s particularly satisfying to eliminate an opponent at the bank and seize the opportunity to deposit all their hard-earned coins.

Character customization plays a significant role in The Finals, offering a choice between three different weight classes, each with a distinct playstyle. The Light build prioritizes mobility, sacrificing stopping power for a grappling hook that enables quick navigation to high or distant locations. On the other hand, the Heavy class, reminiscent of Rainbow Six: Siege, alternates between wielding heavy weapons and smashing through walls like the Juggernaut.

However, the standout feature in The Finals is its destructibility. Players can choose unconventional paths, such as crashing through ceilings to catch opponents off guard. The game reaches its zenith when players blow holes in the ceiling, causing the vault to drop right in front of them. The battlefield, by the end of tense matches, becomes a chaotic landscape strewn with debris from collapsing buildings.

Matchmaking as a solo player is seamless, yet it has a noticeable flaw. In instances where I didn’t match into a full three-person team or lost a teammate, there was no automatic replacement. Finding oneself in a match solo, devoid of any hope for victory or reinforcements, can be disheartening.

After just one night of gameplay, The Finals has piqued my interest. The game show-meets-squad shooter dynamic resonates well with me, and the fast-paced action is genuinely thrilling. The combination of traversing the battlefield with a grappling hook or demolishing buildings alongside strict objective-based gameplay feels fresh, though the sustainability of this novelty with only two game types remains to be seen. What’s certain is that I’m eager to continue playing, and at this early stage, that’s all I could ask for.

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