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Full team of THE FINALS contenders dressed in all black looking at a camera
Image via Embark Studios

THE FINALS is live now, following surprise The Game Awards launch

A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.

Embark Studios really gave us a surprise during The Game Awards, Dec. 7 by announcing and immediately releasing the long-awaited free-to-play arena shooter THE FINALS.

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THE FINALS went live at the end of The Game Awards along with its first season and is now available for everyone to play on PC, Xbox Series S|X, and PS5. The game gained a lot of traction during its last open playtest at the beginning of November reaching 267,874 peak concurrent players and sometimes even overtaking Apex Legends.

THE FINALS player shocking an opponent with another behind with a knife.
Players were shocked by how fun the game is. Image via Embark Studios

The game has a good reason to be this popular as it’s an entirely new concept for an online shooter—a spectacular gameshow (not a battle royale, thank god) with dynamic action and a fully destructible environment where it’s all about how well you can adapt to the changes on the battlefield. You never know how long that building will remain there, it only takes a few rockets and sledgehammer swings from an opponent to have a new problem on your hands to deal with.

Another big part of THE FINALS according to the developers is the ability to choose how you play. “It’s not a hero shooter, it’s a hero builder,” is how they described the game during a closed playtest and said it’s all about how you can stand out as an individual player whether it’s through weapon loadouts or cosmetics.

Blue M11 weapon skin lying on the table with a coin and a few bullets
Gotta look good while doing it. Image via Embark Studios

Cosmetics in particular is what pleasantly surprised me during playtests. We have skins in almost every game but only in THE FINALS I felt like all the cosmetics fit the aesthetic of the game. It’s a game show, so it’s not surprising to see players wearing all sorts of outfits, and the detailed customization of those outfits allows you to be truly unique with your looks.

Fans have been eagerly awaiting the game’s release. The r/thefinals subreddit alone was flooded by threads from players who can’t wait to play THE FINALS again and even dreamed they played the game. Well, the day is finally here, so go at it and try not to crash the servers in the process.

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Edward Strazd
Freelance News and SEO Writer for Dot Esports, covering everything from live service games like Destiny 2 and Fortnite to new releases. Writing about games since 2021. When he's not writing, he's probably grinding for loot in Destiny 2.