Welcome to Replay, our weekly roundup of all the gaming news and happenings you might’ve missed while you were, y’know, playing games. This week, we’ve got Elon Musk’s attempts to put games in cars, Valve’s return to actually making games, and the biggest fighting game tournament in the world.
Elon Musk Wants to Put an Arcade in Your Tesla
Ah, Elon Musk. Your Teslas may be losing money, but you’re never going to run out of ideas, no matter how impractical and expensive they are. Thankfully, his newest falls well above “sending a Roadster to space” on the Utility Index: Musk wants to put games in the touchscreens of his cars. Not only did he announce on Twitter that Atari classics would be showing up as easter eggs, but he even put out the call for game developers to come work at Tesla.
Once you get past the idea of people staring at touchscreens—until Autopilot hits Level 4, let’s assume the driver’s not Player One—you realize that it’s a good idea. Especially for Atari, whose current venture is a console without specs, software, or a release date. There’s more than a little irony, though, in Musk reaching out to the games industry at the same time that a significant labor movement is building on its fringes.
Valve’s Newest Honest-to-God Videogame is Coming in November
You may have forgotten this, but Valve makes videogames. Sometimes. Digital collectible card game Artifact, which has a release date and price as of this week, will be the company’s first big new title since Dota 2 in 2013. And, conveniently, it’s based on Dota 2! Players will use custom decks to fight across three separate “lanes”; combining the lore of Dota with gameplay that’s a part MOBA, part Magic: the Gathering. (In fact, Magic creator Richard Garfield was involved with the development.)
What does that mean, exactly? Good question. Its alchemic mixture of two immensely complex game genres seem to have produced something dense and distinctive, but I haven’t had hands-on time with the game, and the previews I’ve read haven’t exactly cleared things up. What I do know, though, is that the game will sell for $20 (more for extra booster packs, natch) and release on November 28. Look forward to facing my OP deck, the “Where Is Half-Life 3?”
Greetings, Fellow Kids, EVO is Here!
This weekend, the Evolution Championship Series, aka EVO, aka the biggest fighting game tournament in the world, is on its way to Las Vegas. This’ll mark the 12th year the competition has come to the glitzy city, and it’s poised to be its biggest year yet. EVO features a range of competition across several different fighting games, culminating in some of the biggest matches of the year in basically all of the biggest fighting game scenes of the year. For the fighting game community, this is the big one.
If you’re new to fighting games, Ian Walker at Kotaku has a great guide on the various festivities and how to watch them. My personal recommendations, particularly for people who don’t know anything about these games: Super Smash Bros for Wii U and Dragon Ball FighterZ are both incredibly viewer-friendly. Smash Bros because it’s visually interesting, dramatic, and—importantly—slightly slower than more technical fighting game. And Dragon Ball because Dragon Ball is the coolest.
Recommendation of the Week: Yakuza 0 on PC
I really like playing games on my computer. If you have the hardware, there’s something about gathering up an exhaustive library of software that just feels powerful. Being able to immediately switch from productivity to play is nice, too. So whenever a great game gets a PC port, I’m excited: when that game is from the excellent Yakuza series, which has always been exclusive to PlayStation platforms, I’m even more thrilled. Yakuza 0 is the most accessible of a whole line of weird, wacky, and moody Japanese mafia dramas from Sega. If you don’t have a PlayStation but do have a gaming PC, you really owe it to yourself to check this one out.