Competitive, team-based FPS The Finals has just wrapped up its open beta which boasted an impressive 7.5 million players.
In a Tweet, developer Embark Studios thanked players for "an unforgettable week" before stating: "Now it's time for us to hunker down and get back to work on all the fixes and improvements you helped us identify. GG and until next time!"
We were very impressed with The Finals in its open beta state. In his coverage of the beta, editor-in-chief Jake Tucker suggested that the game "could be one of the next great multiplayer shooters."
The Open Beta has come to an end! An unforgettable week for us — a whopping 7.5 MILLION contestants entered the arena! Now it’s time for us to hunker down and get back to work on all the fixes and improvements you helped us identify. GG and until next time! #REACHTHEFINALS pic.twitter.com/JI1KXQMNdrNovember 6, 2023
However, despite the game's popular open beta and positive critical reception, it has attracted some controversy thanks to its generous use of AI voices. The game's in-universe announcers as well as the majority of the team voice lines use text-to-speech voice software, lending the dialogue a sense of awkward stiltedness.
Though it's usual for developers to use such software to create placeholder lines in early game builds, it appears that Embark Studios is committed to using these AI voice lines. In a 'Meet the Makers' podcast, developers from Embark confirmed that AI would be used in the finished product, describing it as "extremely powerful" for allowing new lines to be implemented in "a matter of hours instead of months."
Despite these issues, however, The Finals seems to offer satisfying and well-built game mechanics at its core, with team-based mechanics that center on three-man teams sticking close and having small-scale fights with the other squads - something fairly unique in the genre. The title's fast-paced, team-based combat prioritizes quick thinking and strategy, offering players plenty of gadgets to use in battle as well as a range of different character archetypes.
We still have no news as to a concrete release date for The Finals, but, if the open beta is any indicator, Embark's team-based title is, despite controversies, in a strong position as it makes the final leg of the development journey.
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Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.
Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure.
Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.