The Finals is a forthcoming free-to-play first-person shooter from new studio Embark, set in a fictional game show’s death arena. Its open beta—which you can sign up for now through November 5 on Steam, PS5, or Xbox Series X/S—promises confetti colors and similarly striking flames and explosions. It looks exciting, and its playtest reviews seem promising, but some early players are finding its ugly dust bunnies: a bunch of cheaters and stiff AI-generated voice acting.
The cheaters will presumably be easier for Embark to take care of; The Finals doesn’t have a release date yet, so there’s time to patch holes. But there are (if you listen to the subreddit) so many cheaters plaguing the open beta.
“We’re actively working on improving the situation,” Embark wrote in The Finals’ Discord on October 30. “Accounts that are cheating are not going undetected despite cheat vendors’ assurances. We have the necessary information, and we’re taking action on it.”
The developer encouraged players to continue to report instances of cheating, and noted that players who have been “running unauthorized third-party software, scripts, vulnerable drivers, or badware” might now be blocked or suspended from the game.
Embark is less likely to align with its fans’ interests in terms of AI, though. In a July episode of its podcast, Embark said that “with a few exceptions” for grunts and breaths, The Finals uses AI text-to-speech voice acting.
“The reason that we go this route,” audio director Andreas Almström said, “is that AI text-to-speech is finally extremely powerful. It gets us far enough in terms of quality and allows us to be extremely reactive to new ideas.”
Players and voice actors alike, however, find it “unnatural,” one Reddit post said. “With how polished the rest of the game is, could they not have spent a bit of money hiring some voice actors?”
“I hope they take player feedback into consideration and just cast someone,” voice actor Gianni Matragrano wrote on Twitter. With no set release date, like with The Finals’ cheating, Embark has a chance to turn things around, or not.
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