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The most fun, refreshing shooter I’ve played all year | Review - THE FINALS

The most fun, refreshing shooter I’ve played all year | Review - THE FINALS

861 View2023-12-12
Since my previous review during the open beta, THE FINALS has officially launched on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation, marking its official entry into the highly competitive market of team-based FPS games, announced during The Game Awards show.

+Stunning visuals and lighting effects
+Dynamic high octane FPS gameplay
+Best in class destructible environments and physics
+Diverse game modes and map variants
+Smooth performance
-No text chat for better communication

⭐️Score: 9/10
📖Story and Premise
THE FINALS features a captivating dystopian-themed setting, reminiscent of "The Hunger Games" and the adrenaline-fueled nature of battle royale games like Apex Legends. The game adopts an immersive virtual reality TV show premise, complete with in-game commentary and an enthusiastic audible audience. The presentation is without a doubt top-notch, and only adds to the excitement of playing it.

The core gameplay of THE FINALS is a solid refreshing team-based FPS experience, offering a unique blend of realism and arcade shooting elements. The game puts you on a team of 3, battling other teams of 3 across diverse game modes and map variants.

The movement maintains a sense of weight and strategy while allowing fast movement especially when using the Light class with has extra speed but low health. The introduction of jump pads, ziplines, and zero fall damage also adds a lot of mobility to the players. The class-based system features distinct abilities and gadgets for each class, and you’ll pretty much need to have one or two of each class in order to succeed.

The release brings forth a few notable changes, with a seemingly subtle but divisive shift in movement speed, which has become a point of criticism in the community. Personally, I didn't find this adjustment noticeable in my gameplay experience, but it's worth noting for those who are sensitive to such nuances. The developers have acknowledged that they didn’t implement such changes in movement speed numbers, and the culprit is probably in the animation and server changes that they have tweaked leading up to the release.

The combat is absolutely explosive and high-octane, with a notable high Time to Kill (TTK) that distinguishes it from other shooters. I’ll almost always run out of magazine to kill one person, and this changes the entire gunplay to more of a strategic one than a battle of quick reflexes and one-taps.

The abilities are well-integrated, adding strategic depth without overwhelming visual clutter. The game's standout feature continues to be its destructible physics system, thanks to former Battlefield developers. Destruction isn't just cosmetic; it's a tactical tool that can be leveraged for a strategic advantage.

🎙 No Text Chat, only Voice.
My only gripe is the lack of text chat, as not everyone uses voice chat, and the ping system isn't a valid replacement for direct communication. Therefore, I highly recommend playing with a group of three friends to fully enjoy the team-based matchups. While playing solo is still viable and winnable, you'd have to rely on non-verbal communication with your teammates if they don't have voice chat enabled, and you’d have significant strategic disadvantage against players who use it.

💥Destructible Physics
The destruction system is unparalleled compared to other games — even Battlefield itself — allowing players to use the environment strategically. Walls, floors, and pillars can be destroyed, offering a level of depth rarely seen in modern shooters. The physics-based destruction requires players to target critical points, adding a satisfying layer of strategy to the gameplay. Nothing is exempted in this destruction, even Objective elements such as Vaults or Cash-Out Stations will fall out the floor and get tossed around along with the destruction.

📜Game Modes
THE FINALS features three main game modes – Quick Cash, Bank It, and the lengthy Tournament Mode. Each mode offers a distinct experience, catering to both casual and competitive players. The maps, including Skyway Stadium, Monaco, Las Vegas, and Seoul, feature multiple variants that change one part of it or another. Some variants will have sections under construction, some will have moving objectives, some will completely change the elevation of some parts. To add to that, the time of day changes so it can be night time in one match, day time in another.

Progression comes in the form of weapon and gear unlocks, currency to purchase more, and a Battle Pass System for those who’d want to turn this from a Free-to-Play experience to a paid one with premium cosmetics. No pay to win schemes so it’s all good for me.

📊Technical Performance
I have no complaints about the performance, aside from the initially long launching times attributed to the anti-cheat system. The actual in-game performance is very smooth, featuring support for GPU technologies such as NVIDIA Reflex and DLSS. Even on consoles, the developers performed some kind of magic to optimize it, achieving a smooth 60FPS experience on the Series S.

I previously said this is “The most promising, refreshing, upcoming shooter that I’ve played all year”, and that stands true, just remove the “upcoming”. It hits all the spots of what makes a game fun for me: Battlefield-style destruction, team-based gameplay, a focus on objectives instead of frags, and some awesome presentation to glue it all together. If you’re looking to play a new competitive FPS game to end the year with a bang, then undoubtedly you should play THE FINALS
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