The Finals isn’t out yet, but it’s fair to say I’m already a bit of a fan of the bombastic first-person shooter (FPS). I’ve played two previous closed betas, and this latest open beta - offering crossplay for the first time in addition to a third map and a stack of extra guns, gadgets, and outfits - has just confirmed my feeling that The Finals could be one of the next great multiplayer shooters.
The fast-paced vibrant shooter definitely deserves to be, there’s nothing else quick like it on the market, as it blends the large-scale destruction of the very best Battlefield games with Overwatch’s complete disregard for FPS conventions in search of finding the fun. There’s a gameshow motif running through the whole thing, from arenas branded with “The Finals” down to the commentators keeping people up to date on exactly what’s going on.
There are no ammo counts, and you can reload your weapons infinitely. Gadgets recharge over time, and there’s no fall damage so you can take advantage of the game’s verticality and hurl yourself around like a human wrecking ball. But while many shooters designed to appeal to more casual audiences skew towards a forgiving mechanical loop, The Finals focuses on fast-paced chaos that’s so fun you don’t really care whether you’re winning or losing.
This is largely down to one game mode in particular. Quick Cash has become a fast favorite and requires you to bust open a vault and then carry the cash from that vault to a cashout point somewhere on the map. A small tweak to this beta has meant that there’s only one block of cash in play, but there are multiple cashout points. Get it to the cashout and defend it until the timer ticks down and you’ll get 10k. Collect 20k, and you win.
But obviously, it’s not that simple. Get to the cashout and you can steal it for yourself, but it requires a coordinated team to pull off the heist (standing next to it for what feels like an eternity while a siren blares) with two other teams actively trying to kill everyone on the site. Chaos reigns here, and it’s not uncommon for that Cashout box to be blown through several floors, knocked out of a window, or even completely encased in bulletproof foam to keep people away from it.
Nearly every environment in The Finals can be destroyed, and it’s not uncommon for buildings that are being fought over intensely to completely collapse under the weight of several different explosions.
Having a fun time in The Finals is largely down to finding who you want to play as. The light character hits hard and dies fast, with a limited amount of tools to impact the environment. They buzz around like wasps and can tote submachine guns (SMGs) or swords, turning invisible or zipping away on a grappling hook and leaving carnage in their wake.
The medium is middle of the road and works best as a support character. They can use a healing beam or drop a turret and they’re the only class that can carry the defibs, which allow you to instantly get a teammate back into the fight.
The heavy, my personal favorite, is all about being a distraction and shaping fights around them. They play like a tank in Overwatch 2, but instead of an impossibly big health pool, they have a lot of defensive abilities and can also blow a hole in things using a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG).
This RPG is basically a skeleton key in that it’ll open any route you want, whether that’s blowing that cashout through a floor, destroying a sniper nest, or even blowing out a bridge so players can’t get across it. It won’t stop people for long; mediums can get jump pads to propel them into the air or ziplines to create a permanent rope to get around the map. These can both be blown up, but the pace of The Finals means it’s impossible to defend anything for too long. Your best hope is to out-shoot your opponents or hope that the opposing teams fight each other before they get to you.
As a heavy this is okay - you want people to attack you constantly. As a light character, the game plan is more to avoid enemies, running off with objectives or hiding with a dagger to hop out and get a single one-hit kill backstab. There are several different ways to play each class, and it means there are a lot of different approaches, even if currently I find myself unable to stop playing with a flamethrower to burn people up close, an RPG for demolitions, and my ultimate ability - getting real angry and running through a wall - giving me a perfect way to enter any situation.
Really, you should be playing The Finals for yourself. You can download it right now from the usual storefronts, matches take ten minutes, and it’ll win you over instantly. If you don’t, pay attention to it. The Finals deserves to be huge, and the frenetic combat is genuinely incredible.
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Jake Tucker is the editor in chief of TechRadar Gaming and has worked at sites like NME, MCV, Trusted Reviews and many more. He collects vinyl, likes first-person shooters and turn-based tactics titles, but hates writing bios. Jake currently lives in London, and is bouncing around the city trying to eat at all of the nice restaurants.