Rob Larkin


79 games reviewed
78.5 average score
80 median score
62.0% of games recommended
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May 27, 2022

This War of Mine is a triumph of organic storytelling. It can be frustrating to get started and there is much about the game and how it operates that is not introduced well, but make it past that first hurdle and there is a compelling and emotional investment that pays large dividends. Spend a bit of time reading a play guide or two before you get started, because there are no spoilers to accidentally trip over. The narrative you will eventually craft will be one by your own choices made in the game against the desperate circumstances that force them. If you've never experienced this game there is not a better time than right now.

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May 12, 2022

I really enjoyed Dungeons of Dreadrock, because it's a game that knows exactly the experience it is trying to deliver and does so expertly. There are 100 levels of puzzles, all unique, with mechanics and solutions that ramp as your character progresses deeper and deeper into the mountain, while delivering on a cute storyline with clever 32-bit animation. There is an action element, but that is mostly a timing component to drive the mental aspect of solving the puzzles. It's hard to put down, but each level gives ample opportunity to do just that, so you can binge through as many as you like, then leave it to pick right back up again easily enough. The only drawback is once you're traversed all 100 levels, your time is done - but it was time well spent.

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8.5 / 10.0 - White Shadows
Apr 22, 2022

White Shadows tackles heavy themes with some wonderful storytelling. The gameplay itself is competent, and there is enough variety level to level to make the experience fresh throughout. Through stark visuals and a well placed soundtrack it presents its tale artfully, but unfortunately runs its course in only a few hours. It's hard to squeeze a great deal of game from the experience, but what is there is splendid.

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Mar 22, 2022

Destiny 2 has tried to be many things over its four and a half years, and while it seemed there has always been a step back for every two steps forward the game would make, The Witch Queen is one giant leap ahead. With this expansion, Destiny 2 is quite simply at the best game state it has ever been, and offers so much to do and reason to do it that every player that ever loved this game should give it a shot to rekindle exactly what it was that sparked that passion in the first place.

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Feb 14, 2022

Horizon Zero Dawn was one of the best games of the last console generation. I'm not sure I see any reason why Horizon Forbidden West won't go down as one of the best of this generation.

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Dec 27, 2021

Terminator: Resistance Enhanced is a game that doesn't really understand its source material. The evidence for that can't be made more plain than the way it can't even maintain consistency of vision from one mission to the very next one. The NPC models, audio, bugs and glitches, and repetitive nature of much of the play speaks to an implementation that falls short of any vision, whether the one presented or the one I believe should have been the goal. It does get better with the DLC, and the Infiltrator Mode is an excellent experience in it's own right, although one short lived - clocking in at less than three quarters of an hour with little replayabilty. But factoring in that minor triumph and better subplot of DLC into the mess of the main campaign still falls short of something I can really recommend.

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Terminator: Resistance Enhanced is a game that doesn't really understand its source material. The evidence for that can't be made more plain than the way it can't even maintain consistency of vision from one mission to the very next one. The NPC models, audio, bugs and glitches, and repetitive nature of much of the play speaks to an implementation that falls short of any vision, whether the one presented or the one I believe should have been the goal. It does get better with the DLC, and the Infiltrator Mode is an excellent experience in it's own right, although one short lived - clocking in at less than three quarters of an hour with little replayabilty. But factoring in that minor triumph and better subplot of DLC into the mess of the main campaign still falls short of something I can really recommend.

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8.8 / 10.0 - Loop Hero
Dec 9, 2021

Don't come into Loop Hero with expectations simply because you've never really played anything like this before. Whatever those expectations might be, they're probably wrong. But do come into Loop Hero as it embodies so much of what makes games great: storytelling, engaging interactions with a digital world, the rewards of looting, world building, strategy, but most of all that ceaseless desire to just dip in for one more run.

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Nov 22, 2021

It follows the formula of a Call of Duty game, but delivers each element just a bit worse than it's predecessors. Call of Duty: Vanguard is a game that will surely grow and improve over time, but what we have at launch is something that at least fails to cater to what I was hoping for in any aspect of the game. The single player campaign is ridiculous even if it does deliver some moments of high action; the multiplayer is a mess, at least for someone with my skillset; and zombies is simply unfinished. It'll get better, but what we've got right now just isn't all that good.

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Nov 15, 2021

The Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is not what I expected and ultimately not what I wanted. I was hoping for a card game but a card game it is not. It's a classic RPG, simply presented solely in the medium of cards. But even taken for what it is, it falls too short of the running time of a good RPG, fails to deliver the challenge or strategy to make itself stand out in that genre, and tarnishes and excellent story with characters that struggle to redeem their faults.

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Oct 20, 2021

Crysis Remastered released last year to mostly disappointing reviews. While the game itself isn't that much better in this trilogy, what does come to life is the evolution of the game space across iterations. What was missing from Crysis Remastered is corrected in the Crysis Remastered Trilogy, and it's not gameplay or glitches, it's context. Context to understand that no matter how you re-texture an outdated game, it might look modern on a screenshot but it will still feel outdated with your hands at the controls. It does, however deserve its place in history, and this is an opportunity to both experience that history, and move beyond into a trilogy that improves with each iteration. The end result is an average overall package by today's standards, but three games plucked from a decade or more ago should be proud to land safely average in the middle of today's pack and standards.

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6.5 / 10.0 - The Long Gate
Sep 17, 2021

The Long Gate took the fun parts of my Computer Science degree and mashed it back in with the tedious stuff. The puzzles are good, the world built around them is fantastic, but the marriage of the two is one destined for divorce. This type of first-person puzzler just doesn't work for me. Keep the First Person to the Shooters, and keep the puzzlers top down. I commend the attempt and vision of the game, but for me it was a combination doomed to fail.

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Aug 30, 2021

I'm not sure what happened with Greak: Memories of Azur. The elements are all there. The ingredients in place to create something wonderful, and it does look stunning. But the execution is a complete let down. The promise fails to bind together because for every clever idea, every good intention, there is some frustration looming alongside. For every good bit there is something bad, and the end result left me feeling like the package was less than the sum of its parts.

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10 / 10.0 - Hades
Aug 18, 2021

Action roguelikes is a genre seeing a bit of a surge of new entires lately, and Hades is as good or better as anything you will find in that field. It offers an overall experience in storytelling and gameplay that is top-notch regardless of genre. It's this incredibly unique type of game and play loop that turns your every failure and death into a reward of unlocking more story, injecting more humor, and inviting you to take a stab at one more run. It's won numerous game of the year awards on PC, and there is no reason for those accolades to stop with the port to consoles. Just don't forget to give Cerebus a pet on your way to the next run.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Dreamscaper
Aug 10, 2021

Dreamscaper combines solid gameplay elements and narrative in an excellent and carefully crafted adventure. While there are occasional difficulty jumps that break the loop, there are mechanics to put things back together and push onward in a journey of discovery and heart. It's a good roguelike outright that also succeeds weaving in storytelling that most games are often too fearful to even try.

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Jul 13, 2021

Sniping is a mechanic found in just about every FPS game, but it's the rarer entries into the genre, like Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2, that focus the entire gameplay loop around it. That loop is done well and the core of the game is an excellent, puzzle-like experience of picking off a target with precision and skill from a kilometer away. The game mostly falters in that, with only five missions in play at launch, and very little offered around this core loop, it all feels a little short. There is a good game here, and here's hoping the planned DLC can really reveal the best bits and offer more of that satisfying core experience.

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9 / 10.0 - Roguebook
Jun 23, 2021

I am a sucker for this very type roguelike deck building game, and in RogueBook I have found a worthy successor to my favorite in the space, Slay the Spire. While I might think Slay the Spire has that edge on the given mechanics and strategies of a single run, I believe RogueBook excels at world building, game progression, and re-playablity as new power-ups, characters, cards, map items, and challenges are unlocked not just on every run but especially after successfully completing the core game. Each is excellent, each game deserves to be enjoyed. To prefer one over the other is to prefer chocolate syrup over caramel, but in both you are treated to a delicious dessert of fun and strategic gaming.

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Jun 7, 2021

I really appreciate what Beautiful Desolation is trying to do with creative storytelling; well-developed characters; and a mind-bending and beautiful, albeit desolate, sci-fi world. I just ended up too frustrated by the limitations of the console medium and a lack of direction in many of the quests to ultimately recommend this game on this platform. It's a point-and-click adventure presented without a pointer or a clicker, better played on PC.

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8 / 10.0 - BIOMUTANT
May 24, 2021

Biomutant attempts to channel many inspirations into a compelling package. It does much of that extremely well, excelling at world building and creating a fluid combat system to drive the experience. The one area it falls short is in tying it all together with an engrossing narrative. It not only fails at the narrative, but even worse, fails at the very mechanics of delivering the story. Wander the world on your own initiative and experience a great game; follow the path of the main quest and suffer the letdown of a mediocre tale, told poorly.

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9 / 10.0 - Trials of Fire
Apr 16, 2021

Trials of Fire is a fantastic deck-building game. It is enhanced by also acting like a rouguelike for endless replayability, and it crafts a rich world around its characters. Trials of Fire only disappoints on one front: that the story it actually tells seems more like a teaser than an epic. While I can't complain in that it is priced like a single episode in a longer saga, I am left wanting for the rest of the saga. Maybe that's altogether not the worst thing...

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