Plugged In

Review: ‘NASCAR Heat 3’

When you think of team sports, NASCAR probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But while the driver may be the face of the franchise, getting all of the TV time and sponsorship deals, there’s a reason they are quick to acknowledge the “boys back at the shop” when they celebrate in Victory Lane — there is a small army of engineers, fabricators and engine builders who put in hours of thankless work in order to give the driver a car capable of winning on Sundays.

In “NASCAR Heat 3,” the latest offering from Monster Games and 704 Games, the idea of racing as a team sport is explored in the revamped Career Mode.

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Crucible Chronicles — A Forsaken review

Being a true account of the author’s trials and travails in Destiny 2 PvP

Vol. 2

Destiny 2: Forsaken went live roughly a week ago, and I’ve been playing through it. Having finished the campaign on two characters and made it to the Dreaming City, the new endgame destination, I now feel qualified to write a review. But be advised: I’m disorganized, and this is a blog (as in, not part of my actual job here), so be ready for it to be a little scattershot. Just sayin’.

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Review: ‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider’

The evolution of Lara Croft is now complete. A journey that began with 2013’s “Tomb Raider” reboot reaches a satisfying and emotionally charged conclusion in “Shadow of the Tomb Raider,” the final installment of a trilogy designed to bring one of gaming’s most storied franchises — and most iconic characters — into the modern age.

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Crucible Chronicles — An introduction

Being a true account of the author’s trials and travails in Destiny 2 PvP

Vol. 1

Greetings, Guardians! With this week being the one-year anniversary of Destiny 2’s release, and with the massive Forsaken expansion having been released this past Tuesday, I thought this was as fine a time as any to debut my Destiny 2 PvP blog, Crucible Chronicles.

I started playing Destiny 2 around December of 2017. Admittedly, I was playing catch-up. The only other modern shooter I’d played is Overwatch, which really isn’t a shooter in the strictest sense, but is rather a MOBA cleverly disguised as a shooter. The last pure console shooter I’d played before D2 was, well … Goldeneye, on the Nintendo 64. That’s right, I missed roughly 20 years of shooters — Call of Duty, Halo, and everything else along those lines.

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Review: ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’

“With great power comes great responsibility.” Not only does this phrase serve as the core tenet for everyone’s favorite web-slinging super hero, it also applies to the developers at Insomniac Games, who were tasked with the challenge of bringing Spider-Man to life.

And having completed “Marvel’s Spider-Man,” I can safely say that Insomniac has done right by the beloved character and his fans. Indeed, Uncle Ben would be proud.

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It’s been said that good things come to those who wait — or in the case of “Divinity: Original Sin 2,” great things.

Larian Studios’ acclaimed role-playing game, which launched on PC in Sept. 2017, has finally arrived on consoles in the form of “Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition.” For fans of hardcore, isometric RPGs like myself, who could only watch from afar as PC gamers enjoyed what Game Informer called “one of the greatest PC RPGs of all time,” this day has been circled on the calendar for quite some time. And now that it’s here, I can emphatically say that the wait was worth it.

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Review: ‘Madden NFL 19’

For years, fans of EA Sports’ “Madden NFL” series have been clamoring for significant updates to the game’s Franchise Mode. The mode, in which users take control of their favorite NFL team and guide the franchise through multiple seasons, has long been a favorite of hardcore fans, but has seen little love from developers who seemingly focused their efforts on building up Madden Ultimate Team, the collectible card mode that has continued to grow in popularity in recent years.

In “Madden NFL 19,” the wait is finally over for franchise fans.

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Following its reveal at E3, the buzz surrounding “Fallout 76” continues to grow. While developer Bethesda has been tight-lipped with regard to any new details about the game, a short behind-the-scenes video offers some insight into the making of one of the year’s most anticipated titles.

Noclip, producers of crowdfunded YouTube documentaries about video games, recently released “The Making of Fallout 76,” which sheds light on the early development process, including the decision to set the game in West Virginia and how the team adapted the Mountain State’s geography in order to make a more game-friendly environment. You can check out the video below:

“Fallout 76” launches Nov. 14 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC. Those who want to experience the game earlier can preorder a copy to gain access to a beta, the dates for which have yet to be announced. For information about “Fallout 76,” click here to visit the official website.

 

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already reached the midway point of 2018. The first half of the year has been filled with a number of high-profile releases, with the likes of “God of War” and “Detroit: Become Human” arriving on PlayStation 4, “State of Decay 2” landing on Xbox One and “Far Cry 5” dropping on multiple platforms.

As is usually the case, the frequency of Triple-A releases slows during the summer months, setting the stage for the end-of-year holiday rush, which this year features what could be the best collection of games we’ve seen in some time, with highly anticipated titles like “Red Dead Redemption 2,” Call of Duty: Black Ops 4″ and “Fallout 76” set to arrive before the calendar turns to 2019.

With a lull in the action, this seems like a good time to take a look back at some of the games I’ve been enjoying so far in 2018:

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Review: ‘MLB The Show 18’

Major League Baseball is seemingly at a crossroads. In an effort to appeal to a younger audience and grow the sport, fundamental changes — things like pitch clocks, limiting mound visits and starting extra innings with a runner in scoring position (a change making its debut in the minor leagues this season) — are being made to a game that has largely evolved a glacial pace.

Any change made to a game as steeped in tradition as baseball is sure to ruffle the feathers of some longtime fans and that is exactly what happened. Critics were especially vocal in voicing their displeasure at the extra-inning rule change that could one day make its way to the major leagues.

Sony’s Major League Baseball franchise, “MLB The Show 18,” finds itself at a similar crossroads.

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