Plugged In

Review: ‘Madden NFL 18’


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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Ancient spirits, spiders and fire-breathing drakes are only some of the dangerous creatures highlighted in today’s “Middle-earth: Shadow of War” trailer from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Check out the trailer above to see what other dangers await in your return to Mordor later this year. “Shadow of War” launches Oct. 10 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.





Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment rolled out the latest trailer for “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” today, offering gamers a look at many of the locations they’ll be visiting in the sequel to what I still consider to be TT Games’ best LEGO-branded game.

The trailer highlights some of the various sections of Chronopolis, the game’s open hub world. We get quick looks at popular Marvel locales such as Asgard, Wakanda, K’un-lun and Knowhere, as well as new stages like the old West, Medieval England and a noir New York.

“LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” arrives Nov. 14 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

2K Sports reveals ‘NBA 2K18’ MyTEAM details

2K Sports has released a new blog detailing all the fresh content coming to MyTEAM mode in “NBA 2K18.” You can read all about it here and check out the trailer above.

The new Pack & Playoff mode, in which you draft your five-man squad from a selection of random players, looks particularly interesting. It sounds like a beefed-up version of the Draft Champions mode seen in recent versions of “Madden NFL,” and if that’s the case I’m all in.

“NBA 2K18” takes the court Sept. 19.


Finally…The Rock has produced a soundtrack for a WWE video game.

2K announced today that the soundtrack for “WWE 2K18” has been curated and executive produced by none other than The Rock himself, Dwayne Johnson. The track list covers a wide array of musical stylings, from Bruno Mars to the Blues Brothers and George Thorogood to Tech N9ne.

The complete soundtrack can be streamed via Apple music here.

“WWE 2K18” launches Oct. 17.

‘WWE 2K18’ roster reveal has begun

WWE and 2K Games have begun releasing the roster for “WWE 2K18,” revealing the first 48 playable characters we’ll be able to hit the ring with when the game releases on Oct. 17.

If these first 48 names are any indication, the roster will again contain a healthy mix of current and former superstars, as well as plenty of NXT talent. That’s always a good thing.

You can check out IGN’s roster reveal video above, but if you just want to know who’s officially in, here’s the list so far:

Akira Tozawa, Alexander Wolfe, Alundra Blayze, Andre the Giant, Bam Bam Bigelow, Baron Corbin, Big Boss Man, Big Show, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Bret Hart, Brie Bella, British Bulldog, Buddy Roberts, Bushwhacker Butch, Bushwhacker Luke, Cesaro, Dean Ambrose, Diamond Dallas Page, Diesel, Dolph Ziggler, Dusty Rhodes, Emma, Eric Young, Erick Rowan, Hideo Itami, Jinder Mahal, Kalisto, Kane, Karl Anderson, Killian Dain, Konnor, Lita, Luke Gallows, Luke Harper, Mark Henry, Nikki Bella, Nikki Cross, Paige, Sami Zayn, Sawyer Fulton, Sheamus, Sin Cara, Summer Rae, Undertaker, Viktor.

2K Sports today offered up another look at the upcoming “NBA 2K18,” this one featuring plenty of gameplay set to the beat of “Shook Ones” by Mobb Deep.

Players on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One can get a taste of “2K18” on Sept. 8 with the launch of The Prelude, which begins the MyCareer mode. The full game is slated for a Sept. 19 release.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has unleashed a new video for “Middle-earth: Shadow of War,” this one highlighting the Terror tribe of orcs you’ll encounter during your adventures in Mordor.

Here’s a quick description of what to expect from the tribal system, courtesy of the news release:

“In ‘Shadow of War,’ orcs now belong to tribes, which extend their influence stemming from the Overlords ruling the mighty fortresses throughout the open world, providing a rich ecosystem of missions, exploration and a dynamic Orc society with diverse Orc cultures, all brought to life through the expanded Nemesis System. As master tormentors, the Terror tribe rely on their infamous reputations to inspire fear among their enemies.”

‘Middle-earth: Shadow of War’ launches Oct. 10 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been legitimately excited for a new “Call of Duty” game, but I am downright giddy with anticipation over “Call of Duty: WWII.”

Thankfully we won’t have to wait much longer to get our hands on the multiplayer portion of Activision’s FPS as the private beta — available to players who pre-order the game — is slated to run Aug. 25 -28 for PlayStation 4 users. A second beta, for both PS4 and Xbox One gamers, will begin Sept. 1 .

For more information about what to expect in the beta, click here and be sure to check out the trailer above.


Review: ‘Batman: The Enemy Within’ Episode 1


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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