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Game of the Month July 2015

There's no joy like soccar joy.

Before it launched in early July, few people could have guessed that Rocket League, a game about rocket-powered cars playing soccer, would be one of the most popular games of the month. But only a few weeks after it was released, it had accumulated more than 5 million downloads across PlayStation 4 and PC and reached well over 100,000 concurrent players. Even in a month that witnessed the haunting fifth episode of Telltale's Game of Thrones series, a soccer ball and a car resonated with us the most. They call soccer the "beautiful game," and not much is more beautiful than a good, well fought match between acrobatic vehicles in Rocket League.

July wasn't thin on good games, either. Episode five of Telltale’s Game of Thrones showed us once again that Telltale is capable of crafting dark, emotional stories. Its tumultuous events culminated with a heart-wrenching ending that motivated us to talk at length about our choices and what will come in the final episode. Tembo the Badass Elephant proved that Game Freak, best known for Pokemon games, can make a great platformer, and Tembo's over-the-top story works in conjunction with precise controls to make it a must-play. The King's Quest series finally returned with the triumphant release of Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember, which reminded us why the series is so beloved. Even if you've never touched a King's Quest game, A Knight to Remember is still a fantastic, beautiful, and rewarding adventure game. Guild of Dungeoneering takes the classic dungeon crawler formula and turns it on its head, letting you build dungeons around your character and then fight through the enemies you've placed.

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And yet, we kept coming back to Rocket League. The consistency of Rocket League bouts--its field, physics, and car stats are all completely and predictably the same during every single match--is its strongest asset, creating a framework that allows for huge range of skill levels. It's a sports game in its purest form, but it also provides players with the excitement of explosions, rockets, and high-speed races. Whether it's a quick game during lunch break, or hours-long marathons on the weekends, Rocket League has proven to be a deep and competitive experience that keeps us hooked. It's a testament to the game that, following GameSpot’s brutal loss at the hands of developer Pysonix, we immediately went back to playing more of it.

In a month with a moving story and a brutal platformer, a return to a classic series and a novel take on a well known genre, Rocket League comes out on top. For the way Rocket League manages to be one of the best sports games in recent years, and for the way it manages to make matches intense and exhilarating while also bound by a set of well defined rules, Rocket League is GameSpot’s Game of the Month for July 2015.

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    Alex Newhouse

    I'm a news guy, a student of international relations, and I've put way too many hours into Steep.
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