The Finals, a new free-to-play shooter developed by Embark Studios, has taken the gaming world by storm. With over 225,000 players on Steam alone during its launch week, the game has managed to retain a solid user base in the subsequent weeks. However, it is important to note that The Finals almost didn’t come to fruition. In a recent interview with Game Informer, creative director Gustav Tilleby revealed that the development team initially hesitated to create another shooter, considering the concept to be “boring.” Fortunately, the collaboration of experienced Battlefield developers and a unique focus on environmental destruction resulted in a remarkably solid game.

The excitement surrounding The Finals lies in its ability to seamlessly blend fast-paced team skirmishes with vast environmental destruction. As players navigate the game’s maps, they have the power to tear down walls, level buildings, and destroy bridges that enemies often utilize. This dynamic feature ensures that each match evolves, as the initial level is transformed into a ravaged landscape by the match’s conclusion. The influence of the Battlefield series is unmistakable, given that key developers at Embark Studios previously worked on recent Battlefield games at EA Dice. This emphasis on environmental destruction truly sets The Finals apart and serves as a key hook for its multiplayer engagements.

With its high-energy style and easy pick-up-and-play approach, The Finals caters to the Twitch streaming generation. Its gameplay is perfectly suited for the fast-paced, visually captivating nature of live streaming. Remarkably, the game has been thriving on streaming platforms, captivating audiences and retaining solid numbers. This success can be attributed to the game’s unique features and its alignment with the preferences of modern gaming enthusiasts.

Developing The Finals proved to be a challenging endeavor for Embark Studios. According to Tilleby, the game required a deep focus on player agency and a commitment to providing players with the means to overcome obstacles on their terms. This emphasis on empowerment and creative problem-solving significantly contributes to a unique player experience. Tilleby himself is a proponent of systemic games, which grant players control and allow them to tackle challenges in their own innovative ways. The development process for The Finals involved extensive prototyping, play testing, and efforts to translate this guiding vision into practice.

Embark Studios has committed to establishing and maintaining player trust by meticulously crafting the game’s roadmap. Rather than making grandiose promises they cannot fulfill, the developers have chosen a more cautious approach. Their focus lies on keeping cheaters out of servers and consistently delivering new content for upcoming seasons. By prioritizing the players and their experience, Embark Studios ensures that The Finals will continue to gain momentum and maintain its player base.

The Finals has proven to be a remarkable success story in the highly competitive world of free-to-play shooters. Its ability to captivate players through a unique blend of fast-paced combat and environmental destruction has solidified its position in the gaming industry. Embark Studios’ commitment to player agency and continuous improvement guarantees an exciting future for The Finals. As the game evolves and embraces player feedback, it will undoubtedly carve its place among the most beloved multiplayer shooters of its time.

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