When Geoff Keighley takes the stage for The Game Awards, it's expected that there might be a new game releasing before the end of the night. This year, that game is The Finals, the highly-destructible FPS from ex-DICE folk that attracted hundreds of thousands of players to its open beta last month.
Season 1 of The Finals begins now. On top of the maps and modes that were in the open beta, launch day adds a new map set in Las Vegas, a few new tools, and a full Season 1 battle pass. The light class has two new loadout options: throwing knives that serve as your primary weapon and a "vanishing bomb" gadget that I envision working like a ninja smoke bomb that grants temporary invisibility.
In an interview ahead of launch, developer Emark Studios told PC Gamer a few over-tuned weapons from the open beta have been nerfed—including the medium build AKM, the light Silenced Pistol, and the heavy Flamethrower. Those were probably the top three weapons that killed me during the beta, so fair enough, though selfishly I hope the AKM still has its same controllable recoil.
If you didn't jump into the beta in November, you might be confused as to what kind of FPS The Finals is trying to be. If you ask Embark, it's an "entirely new take on shooters," though I'd describe it more like an objective-focused arena shooter with an impressive destruction engine. Just about anything in its city-block-sized maps can be reduced to rubble as up to four squads of three fight over cash boxes. Other than destruction, the most unique thing about The Finals is its quirky weapons and loadout system—you can only carry one weapon at a time, and that weapon doesn't have to be a gun. Swords, knives, hammers, and flamethrowers are (in theory) just as viable as a traditional rifle or shotgun.
I've had a good time in The Finals so far, though I wish every mode wasn't so sweaty. Every match feels like the last ten minutes of a battle royale where positioning and teamplay are everything and gunfights can abruptly end when a third party decides to pick off your squad. Even the more casual mode available at launch, Bank It, is only marginally so. I'd love to see what The Finals plays like in a non-serious TDM or capture the flag setting, if only so I can focus less on the objective and try to squash someone with a building instead.