PLAY

The Finals

A free-to-play game about stealing your money. Wait, come back!

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Few things are as satisfying as murder and stealing. They’re also fun in videogames, which is why we’ve spent most of our time out on bail this month enjoying free-to-play team

FPS The Finals.

You play as part of a team of three – one heavy

(big health, slow movement), one light (stealthy, but weak), and one medium (take a wild guess) – competing with other teams to stash a set amount of money. In Bank It, our favourite mode, kill an opponent and they’ll drop $1,000. That’s more than most print game journalist­s make in a lifetime, but small change compared to the major payouts an in-game vault offers. These hold several thousand dollars, are marked on the map for everyone to see, and take an infuriatin­gly long time to give up their dosh.

Intentiona­lly infuriatin­gly, mind, with their countdown timers bringing back fond memories of Payday 2. Once you’ve got money you need to bank it before another player kills you and loots it for themself, bringing back fond memories of Titanfall 2. Running around the map trying desperatel­y to bank your winnings is terrifical­ly tense, especially when you remember you can blow up buildings to forge your own routes, bringing back fond

PS5 Embark Studios Embark Studios

2023 memories of Battlefiel­d. Constantly reminding us of three other great multiplaye­r games is no bad thing, even if it does leave The Finals somewhat lacking a killer hook of its own. Blowing up buildings to make personal paths is still a literal blast and banking a jackpot feels like winning the jackpot. We’ve been putting off writing this to play ‘just one more game’ for hours now, which is always a good sign.

SHORT CHANGED

We’re less sold on the oxymoronic Quick Cash mode, where revives are limited. Having to choose if/when you revive introduces some interestin­g strategy but also

We love how enemies burst into coins when killed, presumably to cover funeral costs. means you spend way too much time merely spectating, bringing back far less fond memories of Battlefiel­d. Perhaps this would be less of an issue if the game showaping presentati­on weren’t so obnoxious. We suspect it’s so the marketing can say ‘THE WORLD’S GREATEST FREETO-PLAY COMBAT GAME-’ and hope you’ve stopped

The insipid commentary is irritating enough to inspire the next John Connor.

reading before ‘-SHOW’. The insipid commentary, apparently powered by the amazing future-tech of AI, is irritating enough to inspire the next John Connor. Still, these are nitpicks about what’s otherwise a great debut, one well worth investing some time in.

Abbie Stone

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