A Totally Awesome Retro “In Game Event”

A Totally Awesome Retro “In Game Event”

With all the downsides to the contemporary video game landscape, it’s worth calling out awesome when something truly is. A recently activated in-game event for the combat arena shooter The Finals fits the description perfectly.

Most are probably not familiar with The Finals, a relatively new game released in late 2023. It’s a tongue-in-cheek take on the shooter genre in that it embraces being a literal virtual arena, versus many games which market as “real world” simulations, like Call of Duty and all the variations and imitations. The game even has a “real” in-game broadcasting team of Scotty and June calling the play-by-plays, who frequently remind the “audience” that The Finals is a simulation. It’s all light-hearted fun, even the bizarre wardrobe cross-dressing possibilities.

Game matches involve from two to four teams attempting varying objectives to achieve victory. Like many online video games today, The Finals has game “seasons” which are usually several-month sprints of content, shop items, and new game modes released in batch. Season 2 recently started.

A wonderfully unique quirk of The Finals is its nod to very retro gaming and computing. You find it in screen overlays and sounds, like the buzzing of analog modems. A new map for Season 2 has Missile Command-like sound effects when windows and walls break. For someone like me who has been playing video games since the 1970s, it was easy to get addicted to these sprinklings of childhood nostalgia. I can’t help but wonder if all of these vintage cues are lost on the game’s target player base of teenagers and young adults.

Within each match there will be at least one “in-game event,” a wrinkle or curveball to gameplay thrown in for a limited time. Low gravity and mega damage are examples. In Season 2 a new event was launched called, “Retro Invasion 82.” I fully admit that for the first four or five times I had this event, I did not know what it was. Unlike most of the events, which are difficult to ignore their impacts on fighting and the arena, Retro Invasion 82 feels a little subdued, especially if you are fully focused on the game battles and objectives.

I finally started to notice the Space Invaders-like march sounds in the background, and then I looked up. And sure enough…space invaders! Retro Invasion 82 turns the arena into a three-dimensional nod to one of the titans of the arcade era. Whether you remember Space Invaders from your local arcade or your Atari 2600, the reference is unmistakable as these pseudo-8-bit aliens blanket the sky and randomly rein down laser blasts.

If I have one criticism of Retro Invasion 82, it’s that you probably need, like I did, to stop your gameplay and look up to appreciate the event.

Will The Finals have more totally awesome flashbacks to classic and retro gaming? I hope so!

Thank you for taking the time to read my article.



I write frequently about astrophotography, technology advice, and my other interests like science fiction. I have over 30 years of experience in computer programming, information technology, and project management.

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