- The Finals is an exhilarating new free-to-play arena-based shooter currently in open beta.
- The game designer said earlier that the shooter uses AI voiceovers for the most part.
- Following harsh critique, the developer has responded, saying that this isn’t its end goal.
The Finals — a brand-new first-person shooter — looks all nice and tight, given how it’s also free-to-play, but there’s one part about it that hasn’t settled too well with people. Earlier, Embark Studios designer Andreas Almström confirmed that the game employs heavy use of AI for most of its in-game character voiceovers, and people have responded harshly. The developer has now officially responded to the matter.
Talking to IGN, Embark clarifies, elaborating on Andreas’ previous statement, that The Finals comprises a combined use of AI-driven audio thanks to text-to-speech tools and manually recorded voiceovers just as well, and that it’s the context that matters what type of audio is incorporated. At present, AI adaptation remains a controversial topic in the gaming industry.
Sometimes, recording real scenes where actors get together — allowing character chemistry and conflict to shape the outcome — is something that adds depth to our game worlds that technology can’t emulate. Other times, especially when it relates to contextual in-game action call-outs, TTS allows us to have tailored voice over where we otherwise wouldn’t, for example due to speed of implementation,” says a spokesperson of Embark.
It’s worth noting that Andreas’ words regarding the scenario did not comprise a mention of any professional voice actor weighing in, but Embark says differently now. Prior to the forthcoming statement, it was understood that Embark took on the help of its own developers to record grunting sounds for in-game characters, such as when they jump, vault, or breathe.
In the instances we use TTS in The Finals, it’s always based on real voices. In the open beta, it is based on a mix of professional voice actors and temporary voices from Embark employees. Making games without actors isn’t an end goal for Embark and TTS technology has introduced new ways for us to work together,” says the studio.
Anyhow, it’s not like the use of AI has diminished the popularity of The Finals. The multiplayer shooter has clocked over 265,000 players on Steam in the past couple of days, and this is only its open beta that we’re talking about, which is slated to run until November 5. To put things into perspective, the title was unveiled last September.
The Finals does not have a concrete release date as of yet but is anticipated to arrive sometime later in the year for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
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