The first look at the second season of The Finals

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POSITIVE
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, matchtype, and more.
After a few hours 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.
Their “what the ‘80s thought a cyber-future would look like” aesthetic fits in 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 them out in our hands-on preview showed a lot of potential for some fun and creative strategies.
Loading PlayOur gameplay session began with several games of Quick Cash, the classic 3v3v3 mode where teams vie to score points by stealing and backing a vault of digital coins, in the new SYS$HORIZON map.
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 paces.
Inspector GadgetFirst up was the Heavy, a 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 presto, instant grav lift.
That sort of vertical movement is something the Heavies have 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 all around from my flamethrower.
Loading PlayNext I tried out the Light class’s new Gateway gadget, and honestly I love it.
This 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 hard to reach.
At one point my team was locked in a fierce battle for the bank in a burning office building.
Bamboozling the other team really never gets old.
“ The Gateway gadget lets you toss out two ends of a portal and instantly travel between them.
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 explosive canisters.
Or, on the flipside, it can turn explosives into useless objects that aren’t going to hurt your team.
The Finals Gameplay Screenshots 18 ImagesThe Dematerializer, however, is extremely useful.
It’s your classic wall-hack, turning any wall, floor, or ceiling into a decidedly un-solid surface anyone can run and shoot through, until you decide to turn it back.
It’s great for escapes or stealing a bank, and led to some really funny situations.
Those 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.
Fight the Power(shift)Once we finished those matches it was on to the new gametype called Powershift.
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 traveling on a course towards their goal, smashing through buildings like it’s the Juggernaut as it goes.
First team to reach their goal, or the furthest along when time expires, wins.
Loading PlayWe played several matches, and the mode left me cautiously optimistic.
The action is constant, and the fast respawns do a great job minimizing downtime.
You can change your class between lives, which is really handy.
“ My one concern is the balance between offense and defense.
That’s not to say there isn’t a role for lighter characters.
One of the most effective strategies is to put a few guys on the platform and surround it with long range shooters on top of the nearby buildings.
We found ourselves on the wrong end of exactly that in one game, and a speedy and aggressive Lightweight was the perfect counter to it.
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 multilayered strategy that comes with games like this.
Loading PlayMy 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

With the release of Season 2, The Finals will get its first significant content update soon. In our review, this competitive shooter won our over with its combination of destructible environments and tools to produce breathtaking moments. It appears ready to build on that with new features like matchtypes, gadgets, and new levels. Playing with all the new toys for a few hours has made one thing very evident: the Finals are just getting started.

The focus of The Finals’ upcoming Season will be CNS, a hacker collective that gained access to the Finals game show. The “what the ’80s thought a cyber-future would look like” aesthetic permeates all of the new content, from the characters’ chic new attire to the innovative new tools that will be used in the arena, and it blends in perfectly with the digital American Gladiator vibes. Testing them out in our hands-on preview revealed a lot of potential for some entertaining and inventive strategies. Each class receives a new device that focuses on hacking the battlefield.

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A few Quick Cash games on the new SYS$HORIZON map kicked off our gameplay session. In this classic 3v3v3 mode, teams compete to score points by stealing and backing a vault of digital coins. The tidy cityscapes of the earlier levels are a stark contrast to its cool polygonal style. Playing with two other players, I started testing out the new devices.

Inspector Gadget.

First up was the Heavy class, which sacrifices mobility in favor of strength and firepower. In order for us to score, we had to retake the bank that another team had already taken. Getting under the bank and stealing it by dropping it through the floor is one of my go-to strategies in this kind of situation. I chose to try the Anti-Gravity cube this time, though. Instant grav lift happened when I punched a hole in the ceiling and tossed the cube. The Heavies haven’t had that kind of vertical movement, so I can’t help but smile when I imagine my opponent’s thoughts as I levitated through the floor and spewed fire from my flamethrower all around.

Playloading.

I then used the new Gateway device for the Light class, and I must say that I adore it. With this, you can quickly move between two portal ends by tossing them out. It’s great for sneaking up on gullible players and comes in quite useful for moving around when you drop one end in a difficult-to-reach place. My team once found itself embroiled in a pitched battle for the bank inside a burning office building. I chose to throw one end of the gateway into the enemy’s thicket and plant the other end outside, allowing me to instantly appear behind them while swinging my sword, rather than taking a chance on a head-on charge that would have undoubtedly resulted in my explosion in a hail of bullets. It truly never gets old to trick the opposing team.

You can instantly travel between two ends of a portal by tossing them out with the Gateway device.

The Data Reshaper device and the new Dematerializer ability give the Medium build twice as many hacking tools as before. I really took some time to figure out the former. It turns inanimate items like tables and chairs into more functional items like explosive canisters. Conversely, though, explosives can be rendered into ineffective items that won’t harm your group. While it’s entertaining, I’m not sure I’d want to give up one of my gadget slots to bring it along too frequently because its use is so situational and it was initially difficult to determine which objects it worked on.

18 screenshots of the gameplay from the finals.

On the other hand, the Dematerializer is very helpful. This is your typical wall-hack: until you choose to reverse it, it can transform any wall, floor, or ceiling into a noticeably unstable surface that anyone can run and shoot through. It’s excellent for bank heists and escapes, and it’s produced some hilarious moments. In one particularly memorable instance, I was using my Charge ‘n’ Slam ability as a Heavy to dispatch a wounded enemy. However, they used the Dematerializer to destroy the stairs, sending me flying into the wall beneath them. The finest parts of The Finals have always been the spontaneous moments, and it appears that the new gear will continue to fulfill that role.

Turn the Tables (shift).

After those matches were over, we moved on to the brand-new Powershift game type. Two teams are competing for control of a hovering platform in this 5 versus 5 match. It resembles a cross between tug of war and king of the hill. As it moves toward its objective and crashes through buildings like the Juggernaut, it will belong to the team with the most players on the platform. When time runs out, the team that has progressed the furthest or reached their goal first wins.

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We went through a few matches, and I came away from the mode somewhat hopeful. The action never stops, and the quick respawns effectively cut down on downtime. It’s quite convenient that you can switch classes between lives. I quickly discovered that my Light character, who wielded a sword, was simply too flimsy to get close to the action. Instead, it was much more effective to introduce myself to a platform full of opponents by using a ground pound from a Heavy.

The harmony between offense and defense is my main worry.

Not that lighter characters don’t have a place in this. A best practice is to place a few men on the platform and have long-range shooters positioned atop surrounding buildings to surround it. In one particular game, we were the victim of exactly that, so a quick-witted and combative Lightweight was the ideal retaliation. This further highlights the complex strategy involved in games such as these: being able to cloak myself and sweep the opposing team off those rooftops proved to be just as useful as holding the objective.

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The harmony between attack and defense is the only thing that worries me. The Finals has a ton of powerful defensive moves, and the other modes’ emphasis on playing very defensively is tempered by the objective’s shifting locations. It is constantly on the Platform in Powershift. It gets very difficult to remove a team once they get established and begin erecting barricades and dome shields. Whoever gained the upper hand early on determined the outcome of quite a few of the matches I participated in. Determining whether Powershift becomes a destination mode or just a palate cleanser on occasion will largely depend on maintaining a competitive back and forth.

The Finals’ second season looks to be doing a fantastic job of offering more options in every way, be it new modes, special new maps, or tools for every class to use in combat. It has all the makings of a strong second act, and when it premieres tomorrow, on March 14, I can’t wait to throw myself back into the fight with friends.

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