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The Finals

The Finals


Release Date

ESRB Rating




Bob Hoose

Game Review

Free-to-play online shooters such as Fortnite, Apex Legends and Overwatch 2 are incredibly popular games in this age of competitive play. And—through advertisements and microtransactions—they’re incredibly lucrative, too, in spite of that “free” label. So new titles packed with super-smooth shooting mechanics and blood pressure-raising gameplay tend to be eagerly welcomed by fans of the genre and gamemakers alike.

The Finals, a team-based arena shooter,is the latest entry on that long gaming list.

Story wise, The Finals isn’t what you’d call a deep game. Gameplay centers on teams of three players who are named as contestants in a multiplayer televised game show event, complete with holographic onlookers and commentators describing the action. And the general objective is a co-op heist blended with scenery-destroying PVP (player versus player) shootouts.

The game offers three different modes: Quick Cash, Bank It, and Ranked and Unranked Tournament. But the one that players will most often turn to is Quick Cash, where three different teams each try to grab a small vault filled with money and transport that vault to a cashout point. The vault, however, can be stolen at any time by one of the opposing teams, so the result is a fevered and constant three-way struggle until the cashout point clock runs its course. The first team to cash out twice wins the day.

Bank It features a 12-player, four-team competition where your objective is to extract the maximum amount of cash within a 15-minute timer. And the Tournament mode features a total of 16 teams that battle it out with the goal of extracting more money than their opponents by the contest’s end. Ranked tournaments can land you on a national hierarchical leader board.

Gamers choose from three different avatar types (Light, Medium and Heavy) to flesh out their teams. Each has a distinct playstyle, weapons, gadgets and special abilities. Lights are athletically speedy and stealthy and use the likes of suppressed submachine guns, for example, but they’re more fragile overall. Mediums attack with assault rifles but tend toward healing and supporting roles in addition to laying down defensive items such as turrets. And Heavies are all about absorbing and dealing out tons of up-close damage.

But it’s not just players who take damage. A huge aspect of The Finals is the fact that, with the right sledgehammer smash or explosive blast, nearly every in-game structure can be crumbled and destroyed.

When players “die,” they explode in a shower of coins that an opponent can collect. Those deceased players then turn into a small statue that their teammates can carry away from danger and revive. Fallen players can revive themselves too, but this requires using a Respawn Coin from a limited team supply.

The Finals is an online only game, and players are most often randomly teamed up with other online players. Gamers can, however, add and play with friends through a fairly streamlined process. But to do so they must create and accept the terms of an Embark Studios account when they launch the game.


Players who enjoy speedy gameplay and tight teamwork will find a great deal of joy in this T-rated game. Bounce pads, ramps, grapple hooks and ropes allow teams to quickly traverse the various, intricately defined maps with incredible grace. The game also requires teamwork and awareness of other teammates to achieve any strategic success.

In addition, the destructibility of the surrounding buildings offers completely unexpected twists and turns as floors, walls and, sometimes, complete buildings can be crumbled with toddler-kicking-a-wood-block-tower glee.


All of the above said, however, each of those elements might also be concerning for some.

This game is solely focused on death-dealing, theft and destruction, and that could be a concern for parents of young players. (The one advantage being that there’s no blood or mess in the T-rated mix.)

And this is definitely no game for those out for a casual gaming stroll. The speed and reaction time required for play is lightning fast. Frenetic attacks come from all sides at, seemingly, all times. And the 16-team Ranked Tournament action is so punishingly difficult as to be nearly impossible to enjoy for the average gamer not amped up on Red Bull and sugar.

There’s also the above alluded to in-game monetization. You can certainly play this game for free, but the pushed microtransactions—which offer access to battle passes, higher levels,  bigger rewards, outfits, store items and the like—make trading real cash for in-game money appealing.     


The Finals offers lots of high-action bang for lovers of online shooters. And it’s a gore-free shooter to boot. But this is no easy gaming stroll. And it might cost more than its free-to-play label will suggest.

Bob Hoose

After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.