Darren Pearce


50 games reviewed
92.0% of games recommended
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Feb 5, 2019

The game uses a similar style of art to Don't Starve, only there's colour, and a whole slew of gorgeous animations to go with it. It's a gorgeous, if somewhat bleak (due to the Underworld) game packed with lots of nice little touches and a beautiful hand-drawn/animated art style. What begins as a simple exercise in survival turns into a story about a parent and her child, and the love a mother has for her son. Sure, there are survival elements and the need to craft and create bigger/better things so that you can extend your ability to survive as well as explore more places to unravel more of the plot. But there's a real heart here to the game, and this is where Smoke and Sacrifice shines the brightest.

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Essential - Farm Together
Jan 31, 2019

The game has been designed to take all of the hassle out of farm sims, to present the bare-bones, yet lavish enough love and attention to the product so you want to keep on playing - to grow the next crop, to get the next cool thing, to level both yourself and your farm and even then, keep on making money to unlock the higher tier items. There are no experience boosters you can buy with cash, there's no shortcuts you can do in this game - you have to play it - and in the game industry full of Ubisoft's time-saver packs, EA's short-cuts and publishers clamouring on about how no one has time any more to play games and unlock all the things - it's a refreshing game to play.

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Nov 27, 2018

Rockstar have pushed out the boat in terms of every single system at play in this game, from the amazing world itself - which is one of the best looking games, with some of the best looking effects and atmospherics, to the level of detail on the characters and physics simulation for clothing and other materials. This is what I really call a Next-Gen game, and it pushes the bar so high it's going to take a while for the rest of the industry to catch up to this one. The AI is fantastic, for every single entity in the game. From the townsfolk, to the gunslingers, gangs, animals, and tiniest critter -- it's all working madly to bring this world to life. Enemies won't rush at you blindly, unless they think you can be flanked, or that's how they're feeling in terms of the fight. Mostly though, they'll use cover. Wolves will hunt in packs, cougars are ambush predators and they hit and run...

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Recommended - Shadows: Awakening
Oct 3, 2018

It's nice to see a 3d ARPG that's not made by Blizzard get the bombastic sprawling fantasy epic feel fairly right. There are a few things that grate (the purple prose for one) in the game, and there's not many bugs that I've been able to detect - no broken quest chains or triggers that failed. Everything has been smooth sailing barring the dropped frames now and then, and even they don't actually spoil the game. The dual world and puppet mechanics provide a big draw to the game for me, and I'm looking forward to seeing a lot more of the different characters as I progress through the huge game before me. There's a lot of dialogue to listen and read, so if you're into lore-rich worlds, you've come to the right place. The bonus here is that much of it is narrated by Tom Baker.

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Sep 5, 2018

If youi're a Warhammer 40K fan, and you're a fan of Diablo-style games then Inquisitor Martyr is definitely a game for you. There are still a few bugs, and some mission triggers don't fire correctly at the end of certain missions. But, all that aside, it's a great fun game that's worth getting for sure!

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Recommended - No Man's Sky - NEXT
Aug 20, 2018

There's a story going on here, about existence, simulation, and all that. It's not a story that sits well with some folks, and I can't say it's all that well written. It's oddly jarring to see it in No Man's Sky to be honest and the delivery of the textual parts of Atlas Rises always slams me out of the immersion of the game due to its reliance on 'choose your own adventure' narrative elements.

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Recommended - Vampyr
Jun 13, 2018

The Great War has ended, and London is caught now in the grip of the Spanish Flu epidemic that devastated the city. This is the backdrop for Vampyr, and thus begins the tale of newly embraced Doctor Jonathan Reid, a brilliant physician and a man who is very much blessed and cursed by his new found powers. All around Doctor Reid, the shadows move, there are vampires who pull at the strings of Britain's government, and vampire hunters that seek to shove a steak through the good doctor's newly dead heart. It's a great backdrop for a story, and provides a slower paced, interesting narrative for anyone who engages their brain rather than their 'bash things in the face' button on the gamepad. If you're going to rush through Vampyr, know that you're going to miss a lot of subtle narrative and expanded story hidden within the expansive dialogue trees of every single character in the game.

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Essential - Moonlighter
Jun 6, 2018

Say hello to Will, Will is a nice guy, a nice guy who inherited his family-owned shop known as Moonlighter, as time passed and Will's family declined in years he eventually ended up as the sole owner of the business. Will is also an adventurous sort of lad who loves nothing more than to grab a sword, a shield, and go wandering into the nearest dungeon to test his mettle and grab a bunch of bits and bobs that he can sell in the shop.

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Recommended - Conan Exiles
May 27, 2018

Conan Exiles genre-wise is a survival sandbox fantasy game, which cleaves to the ideas and aesthetic of Conan quite nicely. I've read virtually every bit of Conan literature there is to read, and seen the movies, followed the comics. As a fan of Conan in that regard I'm really happy with Conan Exiles since it brings to life part of Conan's world extremely well. From harsh desert climes, to deep jungles and frosty northern wastes, there's a lot to see and do here and many hidden dark secret places that can corrupt the mind just as much as they destroy the body.

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No Recommendation / Blank - Space Hulk: Deathwing Enhanced Edition
May 23, 2018

It's got the 40K atmosphere nailed to a T. It's got the sound, the sights, and the feel of 40K perfectly - but it's just let down massively by bugs, long loading times, horrible mission design and a lack-lustre campaign mode that not even the Emperor himself would condone. I feel it's a bit of a waste of old Gav's talents as a writer really and when you're dealing with a Librarian, the constant purge the xenos motivation comes across as a bit thin.

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