Video gaming's attention was divided between Germany and Seattle this week, with Gamescom 2015 taking place in the former and The International 2015 unfolding at the latter, wrapping up just last night. And yet there still were plenty of stories not involving either to mark the past week.
For starters, we brought back a boatload of coverage from a completely different gathering: Gen Con, the grandaddy expo for tabletop gaming. We got a look at some fantastic board games, including ones for Portal and Attack on Titan, as well as a Halo space combat tabletop game.
Gamescom itself churned out some noteworthy announcements, including a bunch from the Microsoft and Electronic Arts news conferences. The International was a weeklong affair, culminating in a grand final last night sending the winners home with a record $6.8 million check. And of course, people wouldn't stop talking about the awfulness of that Time magazine cover. They wouldn't stop talking about the awfulness of the Fantastic Four flick, either.
So, push reset and press start with a recap of the past week in news, perspective and original reporting from Polygon, to get you ready for the week ahead.
Last Week in Five Stories
At E3 2015, when Dark Souls 3 was announced, From Software was showing off a new system it was calling "weapon arts." Those are now known as battle arts, and they're the true star of Dark Souls 3 so far.
Rare Replay, a collection of 30 Rare-developed games from the last 32 years, is a game that's well worth owning if you have an Xbox One. But if you do pick it up, where do you start? What's most worth playing, and what's better left untouched?
Some folks are concerned that it might be too late to jump into Rocket League, worried that the skillset of the player base is too high. Some are worried they will — as the kids say — get rekt. Allow me to be your rocket-powered sherpa on this one.
At Gamescom, we took to the skies in X-Wings and TIE Fighters, the air thick with blaster fire as 40 starfighters fought to defend or destroy transport ships. It was all, somehow, a little underwhelming. Or at least, less exciting than a finely rendered dogfight set in the Star Wars universe should be.
Time Magazine giving the cover over to virtual reality may seem like it would be great for the technology, but the art team behind the image itself seems to have ... I don't even know how to put this ... dropped the ball completely.