Plugged In

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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Counting down the top video games of 2017

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2017 wasn’t exactly a great year for yours truly. As the year began, I found myself mired in a rut and with zero desire to pick up a controller, something I wrote about in this space last summer. And as some of you may know, the year ended with the passing of my dad after a short battle with leukemia. The time in between? That frankly wasn’t much better.

While 2017 is, by and large, a year I would just as soon forget, it was a surprisingly good year for gaming — Nintendo recaptured its magic with the Switch, Sony struck gold with console exclusives and Microsoft brought the phenomenon known as “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” to the console market.

Before completely shifting the focus to what lies ahead in the new year, let’s take one last look back at 2017 as I count down my picks for the Top 10 games of the year:

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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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I’m not ashamed to say that “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” is one of my most-anticipated games of the fall release season. The original “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes” remains one of my favorite games of last generation and is hands-down the title my kids and I spent the most time playing together.

And “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” looks like the bigger, better sequel we’ve been waiting on for years.

In addition to unveiling a new story trailer recently at New York Comic Con, publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced what players can expect in the way of DLC and the obligatory Season Pass.

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The next entry in EA’s action driving franchise, “Need for Speed: Payback,” is racing toward retail, and today the publisher unveiled the game’s official story trailer. You can take it for a test drive above.

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for “Need for Speed” as the early iterations on PC were some of the first racing games I ever played. Though the series has hit a few potholes over the years, “Payback” has certainly piqued my interest.

“Need for Speed: Payback” launches Nov. 10 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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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‘Destiny 2’ impressions — The first week

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“Destiny 2,” the ambitious first-person shooter from Bungie and Activision, has been out in the wild for a week now. During that time, I’ve been doing my part to return Light to the universe and, of course, collect as much sweet loot as possible.

Though “Destiny 2,” like its predecessor, is largely designed to be played with a group, I have again decided to take the lone-wolf approach to experiencing all the game has to offer. I’ve spent the first week focusing on the campaign and tackling an assortment of story-driven side quests available, known as Adventures. I’ve also lent my rifle to helping other Guardians take down bad guys in large-scale public events — not to make friends, of course, but to collect that lovely loot and level up my own Guardian so that I can continue on my mission.

I’ve not yet finished the campaign, so I’m not going to assign an official score to “Destiny 2” today. Instead, I thought I’d offer up a few observations from my time with my review copy thus far:

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