The Finals: next-gen physics destruction on PS5 and Series X/S at 60fps

January 13, 2024
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As a new Unreal Engine 5 FPS developed for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series consoles and PC, The Finals released quite suddenly in late 2023. After a smattering of previews and an open beta, the complete game stealth-launched to the public in free-to-play form – and it’s surprisingly great, with an emphasis on physicalised destruction that makes sense given that developers Embark Studios are crewed by a cadre of former DICE developers. Alex already looked at the PC release, so now it’s time to see how the console versions fare by comparison.

The game’s central premise certainly survives the transition to PS5 and Series X/S unscathed. With buildings crumbling piece by piece, C4 detonations blowing out chunks of the terrain and RPG-7s blasting through floors and ceilings, the pristine and beautifully realised levels quickly become cauldrons of destruction, a chaotic war zone that rewards quick and creative thinking as much as twitchy flick shots. Add on realistic spreading fires and the ability to add new partitions with a goo gun, and there are plenty of ways to manipulate the space based on your chosen class and achieve your objectives against rival teams.

Impressively, ray tracing tech is included in all three console versions, with an RTXGI technique that uses probes to provide global illumination, helping create more realistic ambient lighting. As you’d expect, light from a small window bounces to light and colour the corners of a room; blast a hole in the wall and the space becomes brighter. The effect runs with fewer rays and at a slower update rate than the lowest setting selectable on PC, but it adds a lot to the presentation even if you’re sometimes left waiting for 10 to 20 seconds for changes to be fully reflected in the environment.

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