The Finals: Season 2 First Look

embark studios

The first major content update for the finals is imminent with the forthcoming season 2. This competitive shooter impressed us in our review with how the destructible environments and tools combined to create jaw-dropping moments, and it looks poised to expand on that with new gadgets, a new level match type, and more.

After a few hours of playing with all the new toys, one thing is abundantly clear: the finals are just getting started. The upcoming season in the finals is centered around CNS, a hacker collective that infiltrated the finals game show. The 80s thought a cyber future would look like an aesthetic fit perfectly with the digital American Gladiator Vibes and is infused throughout the new content, whether it's the stylish new outfits for characters or the cool new tools heading to the arena.

Every class gets a new gadget that focuses on hacking the battlefield and testing it out in our hands. The preview showed a lot of potential for some fun and creativity. Strategies: Our gameplay session began with several games of Quick Cash, the classic 3v3 V3 mode where teams buy to score points by stealing and banking a vault of digital coins in the new CIS Horizon map.

first look

Its cool polygonal aesthetic stands in sharp contrast to the clean cityscapes of the previous levels. With two other players at my side, I set out to put the new gadgets through their pace. Paces, first up, was the heavy class that trades mobility for durability and firepower. Another team had already captured the bank, and we needed to retake it in order to score.

One of my go-to moves in this situation is to get below the bank and steal it by dropping it through the floor. This time, however, I opted to give the anti-gravity cube a go. I opened a hole in the ceiling, gave the cube a toss, and used Presto instant grav LIF. That sort of vertical movement is something the Heavies lacked, and I can't help but smile thinking about what went through my opponent's mind as I levitated up through the floor, spewing fire in all directions from my flamethrower, eliminating my opponent.

first person shooter

Next, I tried out the light class's new Gateway Gadget, and honestly, I love it here. This gateway lets you toss out two ends of a portal and instantly travel between them. It's fantastic for getting the drop on unsuspecting players and is a really handy tool for traversal when you throw one end somewhere that's hard to reach.

At one point, my team was locked in a fierce battle for the bank and a burning office building, rather than risking a head-on charge that surely would have ended with my exploding and a hail of bullets. I planted one end of the gateway outside and threw the other right in the thick of the enemies, allowing me to instantly appear behind them with my sword.

Swinging, the medium build has a double dose of hacking tools thanks to the data reshaper gadget and the new dematerializer ability. The former took me some time to really figure out; it transforms objects like tables and chairs into other more useful things like explosives and canisters. It's entertaining, but it was hard at first to know exactly which objects it worked on, and because its use is so situational.

first-person shooter

I'm not sure I see sacrificing one of my gadget slots to bring it along too often. The dematerializer, however, is extremely useful; it's your classic wall hack. Turning any wall, floor, or ceiling into a decidedly unsolid surface is something anyone can run and shoot through until they decide to turn it back.

It's great for escapes or stealing a bank. One memorable moment saw me playing as a heavy rushing a wounded enemy to finish them off with my charge and slam ability, only to have them erase the stairs with a dematerializer and send me crashing into the wall below them. Instead, these moments that come out of the unscripted chaos have always been one of the best parts of the finals, and the new equipment seems to fit that mold perfectly.


The game where two teams compete to move a platform wins. Once we finished those matches, it was on to the new game type called Power Shift. This 5 versus 5 match has two teams vying for control of a hovering platform. It's kind of like King of the Hill meets tug of war; whichever team has the most players on the platform will see it travel on a course towards their goal, smashing through buildings like the Juggernaut as it goes from the first team to reach their goal to the furthest along when time expires.

We won, we played several matches, and the mode has me cautiously optimistic. The action is constant, and the fast responses do a great job minimizing downtime. You can change your class between lives, which is really handy. I found out early on that my sword-wielding light character was just too fragile to get up close to the action, and using a ground pound from a heavy was a much more effective way to introduce myself to a platform full of the other team.

That's not to say that there isn't a role for lighter characters.


The idea of being able to cloak myself and sweep the other team off of those rooftops was just as useful as holding the objective, which really emphasizes the multi-layer strategy that comes with games like this. My one concern is the balance between offense and defense. There are a lot of strong defensive abilities in the finals, and the value of playing extremely defensively in the other modes is limited by the objective appearing in different locations.

In the point shift, it's always on the platform. Once a team is entrenched and starts throwing up barricades and dome shields, it becomes extremely difficult to dislodge them. Several of the matches I was in were decided pretty early on by whoever took control first. Ensuring a competitive back and forth will go a long way towards determining if Power Shift becomes a destination mode or just an occasional one.

Cleanser, season 2 of the finals, seems to be doing a great job of adding new options across the board, whether it's tools for each of the new classes to use on the battlefield, a unique new map, or a brand new mode. It has all the markings of a solid second act and has me excited to jump back into The Fray with friends when it arrives on March 14th.

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Season 2 of The Finals seems to be doing a great job of adding new options across the board, whether its tools for each of the classes to use on the battlefield, a unique new map, or a brand new mode. Watch our hands-on impressions of the new content.