The Finals Gameplay Unveiled, A Chaotic, Free-To-Play, Team-Based Shooter
Former DICE developers have finally given us a proper look at the game, will have a closed playtest soon.
Embark Studios was founded by former DICE employees led by ex-EA head Patrick Söderlund, and announced two games in development. These were ARC Raiders and a game codenamed Project Discovery (later revealed to be a game called The Finals).
While ARC Raiders was to be a cooperative, free-to-play, third-person shooter, Project Discovery was an FPS. We got a little teaser of what The Finals looked like but now the studio has finally revealed a gameplay trailer using pre-alpha footage.
- The Finals is a team-based, first-person shooter.
- The game will have destructible environments.
- The theme of the game is a reality show.
The Finals is the second project that Embark Studios is working on, in addition to ARC Raiders, which was revealed last year.
The studio has received industry giant Nexon’s backing for both projects.
ARC Raiders was supposed to launch first, in 2022. However, it was delayed to 2023 as the developer announced on Twitter. Later, in a blog post by studio head Patrick Söderlund stated:
We’ve got a number of super talented people with ample fps experience here at Embark, and the development of Project Discovery has progressed faster than we first imagined, especially over the past few months.
So much so, that we started facing the prospect of being able to release two games simultaneously. For a young, relatively small studio like ours, releasing two games in short succession would have strained our teams and resources, many of which are shared between the two projects.
As such, we decided to let Project Discovery be our studio’s first game to market, pushing ARC Raiders to a 2023 release.
It seems the studio was so satisfied by the progress they were making on The Finals that it decided to release the game as the studio’s first title. Not only that, he revealed that since Embark Studio is still a relatively new and small games developer, they were sharing resources and teams for both games and releasing two games at one time would have put them under a lot of pressure.
The Finals is set in a world where people watch and participate in game shows featuring real combat. As such, it draws many parallels to other similar media such as The Hunger Games, or Squid Games, more recently.
Gustav Tilleby is the creative director of The Finals. In a press briefing, he stated:
The vision has been to make a team-based first person shooter that pushes environmental dynamism, destruction and player freedom to the very limits of possibility,” Tilleby said. “That’s what we set out to do. So we want to build a game that provides players with the tools to meaningfully interact, change and use the world as they play. So it’s a shooter. It’s a game where aiming and shooting is important. But it’s it’s also a game where the players that can use the environment and adapt to the changes in the environment.
This aspect of the game can also be seen in the gameplay trailer which showcases a lot of combat options and focuses on the use of destructible environments and the resulting chaos it brings into the game.
About the game and the world it is set in, Tilleby said:
So in this game, you play a contestant in a virtual game show called the finals. It’s an over the top brutal experience, where you and your teammates fight for fame, riches and the favor of generous seasonal sponsors. There are many things that we want to explore when it comes to the world, like what’s going on outside of the game show and who are the show runners and all that stuff. But I’m not gonna spoil them with that today. That’s something that we want to develop over time release. So as a contestant in the finals, you will enter our hyper realistic virtual playgrounds. And these are arenas based on iconic real world applications.
This aspect is clearly showcased as the trailer begins with a game show-Esque announcer telling us about the so-called ‘contestants’. Further, upon being killed, enemies turn into coins, which is actually quite a comical take but further strengthens what Tilleby says.
Moreover, he said that the environments and arenas of The Finals will be based on real-world locations. To call this a game show spanning the world would be pretty ironic as there are many game shows that have their own versions worldwide depending on the local scene as well.
Further, the game will have destructible and dynamic environments and arenas. Of this, Tilleby said:
The environmental is fully destructible. You can wreck everything from furniture to entire buildings. You can interact with physical objects around you can pick them up and throw them and set things on fire. One of our key innovations that we’re bringing to The Finals is our own server side movement and destruction system. Where movement and destruction doesn’t happen on the client side of the game. It runs on the server.
This, again, is heavily featured in the gameplay trailer as we see chaos ensue as a result of the destructible environment, which adds a very fast and dynamic feel to the overall look of the game.
The trailer also shows us varying amounts of equipment and apparel, leading us to believe that it will have plenty of customisation options available to make our very own contestants, with various forms of armour or even clothing.
The Finals is currently slated to release for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/Xbox Series S. A closed Alpha has been announced for the game, which will begin on September 29, 2022. The alpha will be smaller in scale, but larger beta tests are planned and will arrive later. To get in on the alpha playtest, head on over to The Finals Steam page.
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