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Review: ‘The Evil Within 2’

Way back in 2014, “Resident Evil” director Shinji Mikami and his Tango Gameworks studio set the bar for modern survival-horror games with “The Evil Within.” Now three years later, Tango has delivered a sequel that maintains the creepy vibe of Mikami’s vision while offering more of what made the original game such an unforgettable experience.

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Review: ‘Batman: The Enemy Within’ Episode 2

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(Editor’s note: This review contains spoilers for “Batman: The Enemy Within.”)

Much of the momentum that “Batman: The Enemy Within” built with the cliffhanger conclusion to its premiere episode was surprisingly squandered in Episode 2, “The Pact.”

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Review: ‘NBA 2K18’

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As the start of the 2017-18 NBA season approaches, there are plenty of question marks around the league.

How will Kyrie Irving fare in Boston?

Can the Cavaliers remain dominant in the Eastern Conference without Irving?

Will the Big 3 of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony be enough to lift Oklahoma City into contention in the Western Conference?

Is this the year New Orleans or Minnesota take the next step and challenge for playoff berths?

Despite the unknowns, there are a couple of sure things this season — LeBron James is the best player in the league, the road to the NBA championship goes through Golden State and “NBA 2K18” is the best basketball sim on the market.

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Review: ‘Destiny 2’

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As a solo player in a multiplayer world, it can often be difficult to find enjoyment in games that, frankly, weren’t created with me in mind.

The original “Destiny” is one such example of this, an online shared-world shooter that served up its best content to players who teamed together while offering only an uninteresting and brief campaign to those seeking a more solitary experience.

The fact that the game was developed by Bungie — a studio which made its name by creating a shooter franchise, “Halo,” that successfully appealed to both solo players and multiplayer fans, alike — made the shortcomings of “Destiny” all the more glaring. I wasn’t looking for a “Halo” clone, but I was hoping for a game I could enjoy without the need to team up with a bunch of random players.

And that’s exactly what Bungie delivered this time around with “Destiny 2.”

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Review: ‘NASCAR Heat 2’

nascarheat2There was a series of events during the running of the Daytona 500 in my “NASCAR Heat 2” season mode that pretty much boils down my experiences with the game in a nutshell.

As the laps ticked down in the final stage, I had methodically worked my way up through the field when practically every AI-controlled car decided to come to pit road under green at the same time — something that never, ever happens in an actual NASCAR race.

As one could imagine, this caused a massive pile-up. As I veered off the track and onto the infield grass in hopes of avoiding the carnage, my eyes were drawn to a car flipping over and over and over again down the track. It was the No. 33 of Jeffrey Earnhardt, and it was the kind of crash that any driver would simply be happy to walk away from in one piece.

Yet Earnhardt didn’t walk away. Or even get out of his car. Nope, he stayed strapped into his ride and went on to race the final 15 laps, finishing on the lead lap, just outside the top 10.

All I could do was put down my controller and shake my head.

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Review: ‘Madden NFL 18’

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Unlike most years, I opted not to board the “Madden NFL” hype train leading up to launch this time around.

Don’t get me wrong, I always look forward to each new edition of EA Sports’ annual football sim. But for “Madden 18,” I wanted to approach the game with a clean slate. So I tuned out as much pre-launch noise as possible and actively avoided reading others’ thoughts on the game.

“Madden” is one of the most subjective franchises around — some people love it with blind devotion while others refuse to play a single snap if the secondary color on their favorite team’s alternate jersey is the slightest shade too dark — and I’ve found it’s easy to be influenced by those who aren’t looking to get the same experience from the game that I am.

So when I fired up my review copy for the first time late last week, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew the series was moving to the Frostbite engine, so I figured it would be really, really pretty, but beyond that I was Jon Snow — I knew nothing.

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Review: ‘Batman: The Enemy Within’ Episode 1

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The announcement last month of a second season for Telltale’s Batman series was certainly a welcome one. The first five-episode arc of “Batman: A Telltale Series” was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I was hopeful Telltale would give us another opportunity to don the cowl and become the Caped Crusader once more.

And if the first episode of “Batman: The Enemy Within” is any indication, this season appears poised to surpass the original both in terms of quality and surprises.

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Review: ‘Horizon: Zero Dawn’

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At a glance, “Horizon: Zero Dawn” bears a striking resemblance to any number of open-world action games on the market.

The influences are hard to miss, whether it’s the post-apocalyptic world reclaimed by nature (“Fallout”), the protagonist’s ability to see things in the world undetectable to the naked eye thanks to the aid of technology (Rocksteady’s “Batman” series), or how large sections of the game map are revealed by platforming to the top of a tall structure (“Far Cry”).

But look closer and you’ll find a game that, while familiar, succeeds in forging its own path. “Horizon: Zero Dawn” isn’t just another open-world game, it’s one of the best games of any genre I’ve had the pleasure of playing.

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Review: ‘Battlefield 1’

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While other first-person shooters continue to push into the near-future and beyond, developer DICE has taken a step back with its “Battlefield” franchise. Back in time, that is.

Set during the first World War, “Battlefield 1” stands out from the crowd by offering a more grounded shooting experience that draws heavily from the source material with era-specific weapons, vehicles and settings. Indeed, playing “Battlefield 1” is an adrenaline-fueled history lesson that manages to pay reverence to the tens of thousands who fought and died during that brutal conflict while still providing an intense gaming experience.

This is especially true during the campaign, which plays out in a series of stand-alone missions centered around specific characters and their respective stories. Each of these bite-sized adventures also help serve as an introduction to the skills you’ll need to be successful in the game’s multiplayer modes. Whether you’re taking on the role of a hotshot fighter pilot, driving a tank through the German lines or facing insurmountable odds as a member of the Harlem Hellfighters, the single-player portion of “Battlefield 1” is both a learning tool and a painful reminder of the horrors of war.

While the campaign certainly deserves your attention, the real star here is the vast multiplayer suite.

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A scene from “Batman: The Telltale Series, Episode 1.”

Gamers are no strangers to donning the cape and cowl and defending Gotham from all manner of villains as the iconic Batman, thanks in large part to Rocksteady Studio’s classic “Arkham” trilogy. But what happens when the costume comes off and Bruce Wayne is left to fend for himself?

That’s the side of the superhero mythos being explored in “Batman: The Telltale Series.”

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