Previews

The Finals Season 2 preview — CNS has hacked in, adding new content, and deleting Recon Sense!

Recently, I was lucky enough to be a part of a preview event for The Finals Season 2. This updated version of The Finals adds new weapons and gadgets for players of every class to engage with, with the Mediums even receiving a brand-new specialization. Creative Director Gustav Tilleby chimed in on the new season saying, “A lot of this work has been a direct result of player feedback,” and “The Finals is still in its early days, Season 2 is a testament to how much this game will change over time.”

The hacker group CNS has arrived and they’re making their mark on The Finals. According to Gustav, “Their influence on the arena and this new season will be tangible.” This includes the new map, SYS$HORIZON, which Gustav describes as, “A glitchy, neon-filled city-scape that’s partially loaded and out of place. Voxel bridges between buildings and pieces of floating and glitched geometry allow contestants to parkour through the arena. It’s a sight to behold, especially at night.”

After playing through it, you notice the completely unique flow which sets it apart from the other maps. HORIZON has a plethora of wide open spaces with little cover – even indoors – making goo grenades a must-take item. Despite the glitchy theme, everything looks clean and streamlined, lending charm to the map’s vaporwave aesthetic. Even the hanging barrel boxes have a new minimalistic design.

I played every class on the new map, and it’s clear that Medium has a certain advantage with their precise medium-range weaponry. Heavies also come in handy with their fortification abilities, turning relatively empty rooms into fortified positions. I believe that Lights will, as the class often does, sink or swim. The lack of cover in some areas will lead to many Lights being deleted and chewed up, but the prudent Light main will use the voxel bridges and parkour opportunities to their advantage… and then get chewed up.

The battle pass has 12 pages with 96 rewards in total. According to Dusty, the Community Lead, the theme is, “A love letter to the early days of gaming.” There’s also a new form of seasonal progression called the Career Circuit, which offers weekly challenges and rewards and will be drip-fed to players throughout the season.

On another note, Ranked Leagues have been revamped. Dusty stated that players will compete in 8-round placements, which determine the player’s starting rank. Players will then move up or down the ranked ladder depending on their performance. The ranked revamp goes hand in hand with another new addition, private matches, which players can use to practice with their friends. For now, private matches will be single-round games of Bank It or Quick Cash with a minimum of six friends. Dusty added that the private match system will get updated throughout the season.

Moving on to the new gamemode, Powershift, it looks like it will take over as the go-to gamemode. In Powershift, two teams of five vie over a large, oval-shaped platform that moves along a predetermined path, destroying any buildings or objects that stand in its way. In order to win, a team needs to move the platform further than the other before time runs out. Players take control of the platform by standing on it, the more the better. This leads to some interesting dynamics. The players defending need to decide how many teammates will stay on the cart to progress, and how many will go out and counter the other team. Meanwhile, the attackers need to find a way to pick off the defenders. While there are relatively high walls on the platform which the player can take cover behind, it’s still rather exposed, and one well-placed gas grenade can cause the enemy team to abandon ship.

Along with the new gamemode, every class got a new weapon and gadget, with the Medium even getting a new specialization. Starting off with Lights, they received the 93R burstfire machine pistol, which boasts a clip size of 21 and a reload speed of 1.5 seconds. It felt powerful during the matches I played, and seems like it will be competitive with the XP-54 and M11.

The Lights also received a new utility gadget, the Gateway. Throwing a Gateway charge creates a cluster of light blue cubes, and throwing both creates a link between them, allowing the player to instantly teleport back and forth with the press of a button. Your bullets won’t pass through Gateways but grenades will, so think of them less as a portal gun type of deal and more like a blink ability with a lot more setup. They have a max range of about 20 meters, so you can’t pull off any Hail Mary teleports. Given their poor range, I assume they’ll mainly be used for short-ranged flanks, gaining verticality, playing mind games, or a quick escape after an ambush. It’s about time the Light class gets more teamplay options, and it’s great that lights can now share their key trait – mobility – with their team. But, to be honest, I question the usefulness of the Gateway when compared to other Light gadgets due to its short range and ease of detection.

Moving onto the Mediums, they get a new gun, the Famas, a new specialization, and a new gadget. The Famas hardly needs an introduction – it’s a strong burst fire rifle – which I believe will settle into the meta quite nicely. Their new gadget, the Data Reshaper, can safely disarm mines and defenses by turning them into innocuous objects like chairs. Another feature of the Data Reshaper is changing the elemental type of a barrel. Given that it’s a random change, I’m not sure if it’s worth wasting the charge on a barrel, but it’s an option nonetheless. Finally, the new specialization (the Dematerializer), can create medium sized, distorted, neon blue holes in solid surfaces. Given how instant the dematerialization occurs, the escape and cashout stealing potential for this device are massive. The Dematerializer replaces Recon Sense, that’s right, Recon Sense is gone.

Wrapping up the class buffs with the heavies, they received the KS-23, a pump action shotgun that fires slugs. The KS-23 is powerful but super inaccurate, and I believe it will take a while for it to find its place in the game while players master it, but when they do, they’ll be able to cause some real damage. As for their added gadget, the heavies now have access to the Gravity Cube, which creates a low-gravity zone that slowly lifts players into the air. This gives heavies more mobility, but the ascent is slow and sluggish. I would say it’s probably going to be used more as a disruption tool than anything else. For example, I used it to lock down a doorway, and I’m sure it would cause havoc if thrown onto the Powershift Platform.

Overall, these are some interesting new additions, and I’m excited to see how players use them in tandem with the existing arsenal. Out of all of the new gadgets, I feel like the Heavy’s Gravity Cube will be extremely potent in Powershift, and the Medium’s Dematerializer and Data Reshaper will be great for securing cashouts. On the other hand, time will tell if Light’s new playmaking device will be worthy of taking the spot of the glitch grenade, poison grenade, or stun gun in Quick Cash or Bank It. Although, I can see it being good in Powershift, where verticality is king.

Something worth mentioning, it’s possible that the grenade launcher for either Medium or Heavy got a buff (Embark hasn’t confirmed this), as it was dealing a ton of damage and chewing through buildings. Another disclaimer I should mention is that recoil patterns for the 93R machine pistol and Famas for the event were different from what they will be on release of Season 2, so keep that in mind when reading my praise of the two weapons.

The Finals has come a long way since Season 1, and it’s clear that Embark is listening to player feedback. While I believe that there are underlying balance issues that need to be solved, this update breathes new life into the game, especially the addition of Powershift. I’m excited to see where The Finals will go in Season 2, and I’m equally excited to listen to the soundtrack’s new synthwave bops while doing it.

Jackson loves to play and write about video games. Rogue-lites, FPS, and RPG games are his favorite. He's a big fan of the Battlefield series and Warhammer 40K.

Editor | Website

Corvo is a writer who loves to explore journalism through video games. Writing and editing reviews for triple-A games and indies alike, he finds his passion within expressing his experiences in a fair and accurate manner. Some of Corvo's favorite games are Destiny 2, Mass Effect, and Disco Elysium.

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