Dan Whitehead


72 games reviewed
68.2 average score
70 median score
34.7% of games recommended
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7 / 10.0 - Primordia
Jan 7, 2013

Primordia is delightful, smart and packed with personality, but it also comes to a close just as you're ready to explore more of its engrossing world. Leaving the player wanting more is no great disaster, of course - and the truncated length makes it tempting to go back and try to earn some of the different endings - but it still feels like a really good game that is only a few drafts away from greatness.

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8 / 10 - Battlefield 4
Oct 28, 2013

Consider this the last gasp of the old multiplayer model then. It's a fine swansong, especially when played on the most powerful platforms, and in particular if you treat the campaign as a free bonus feature. It's hard not to wonder just what DICE will be able to do when it no longer has to hobble its designs to suit ageing hardware, though.

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Nov 4, 2013

Ghosts, in and of itself, is a fine game. It ticks all the boxes and then blows the boxes up in glorious 1080p resolution (on PS4 at least). Those who only ever play COD will be more than happy with it, but those who have grown weary of the series will see more of their ambivalence justified this time around. Infinity Ward had a chance here to throw down the gauntlet for the next hardware generation, to set the new standard, to show that this hugely popular, much derided behemoth can dance to a different tune. It's chosen to play a Greatest Hits package instead.

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No Recommendation / Blank - Tearaway
Nov 20, 2013

Rustle brand.

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4 / 10 - Warframe
Dec 1, 2013

If all you want is a way to run around and shoot things without troubling your wallet or imagination, that may be enough to justify the time it takes Warframe to download. It's hard, though, to shake the feeling that the only reason this game is free to play is that nobody would pay money for something so scrappy and generic.

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8 / 10 - Redshirt
Jan 2, 2014

For all its charm and ambition, Redshirt can't even come close to realising that goal, and inevitably ends up as a fairly flat and repetitive exercise in meaningless random text and mindless icon clicking. In that sense, it's arguably a perfect simulation of real-life social media, but it unfortunately doesn't make for an edifying game experience.

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Jan 15, 2014

Disappointment? Underwhelming? Those criticisms are far too harsh for a game that is undeniably delightful to play, but they carry a sting of truth. Pleasant but undemanding, gorgeous but lacking in depth - fans will be forgiven for expecting something a little more chewy, a little more experimental, from a developer who made his name by turning adventure games upside down. Here's hoping Act 2 builds some gameplay muscle to go with the supermodel looks.

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Feb 3, 2014

It's a shame Octodad leans so heavily on traditional gameplay tropes like boss fights and stealth sections in its second half, especially when the opening sections suggest something quirkier and more inventive - but taken as a whole, it's still a minor triumph.

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Feb 20, 2014

It would have been nice to report that the underdog turns out to be a unstoppable champion, but that was never realistically on the cards. So instead we get this: a cheesy, silly, mindless romp in which hordes of identical bad guys get turned to sticky red paste under the furious gaze of your twitching gun barrel. It's certainly not a good game, but it is a game with zero irony. It's not being corny and schlocky on purpose, which means that for all its faults Rambo honestly taps into the spirit of 1980s action cinema more deeply than you might expect - not in spite of its rough edges, but because of them.

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8 / 10 - Titanfall
Mar 16, 2014

In its current form, then, Titanfall is perhaps more of a step forward for shooters than a giant leap. But that still represents the most positive momentum seen in the genre for at least five years. Quite simply, if you feel like you're in danger of falling out of love with multiplayer shooters, Titanfall is the game to win you back.

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7 / 10 - Betrayer
Mar 24, 2014

Such ambiguity is only possible in an indie game, and anyone who played the early access alpha will have seen that Blackpowder has already evolved its ideas drastically to get to this proper release. I doubt the improvements will end there, and with more refinement Betrayer can only become more interesting. It's a sinister journey, but one well worth taking.

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Apr 7, 2014

You'll constantly wish the annoyances would recede so you can wallow in the good stuff - because the good stuff is really good. It's just not enough to lighten what is ultimately a heavy and time-consuming experience. If I could freeze time for that moment, a few hours in, where everything fits into place and Mercenary Kings is my new favourite game, I would. We're so conditioned to equate quantity with quality in gaming that it feels counter-intuitive to criticise an otherwise great game for offering too much, but Mercenary Kings would be twice the game if it were only half the size.

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8 / 10 - FRACT OSC
Apr 21, 2014

If you do like games that challenge you to work out the rules for yourself, to find the edges of the world by falling over them, then Fract is a unique and often remarkable experience, best savoured in the dark at full volume. Go on, get lost.

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May 6, 2014

Maybe we've simply done everything there is to do with Spider-Man in a video game and all that's left is diminishing returns. And that kills me. It really does. Even in the worst of recent Spidey games there was always that fragment - that little sputtering flame of childlike excitement - that could kick in once you swan-dived off a skyscraper, clad in iconic red and blue. It's gone. Sullied by lacklustre gameplay and trampled by technical shoddiness, this time Spidey hasn't been done in by the Sinister Six, but reduced to a Terrible Two.

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May 11, 2014

Anyone who followed the game through its early-access period - which has now come to an end - will have seen how it has evolved in leaps and bounds. But it still has some way to go to truly fulfil its potential. The later hours of the game, in particular, feel like they need a little extra something to make finding those last few crystals into a gameplay crescendo instead of an exhausted stagger over the finish line. Even so, I've found myself going back to it, starting new worlds while juggling others in progress - largely because, even in the cramped indie survival game genre, there's nothing quite like Sir, You Are Being Hunted.

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7 / 10 - Watch Dogs
May 26, 2014

We've got a Watch Dogs guide that will help you beat some of the trickier missions in the game.

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Jun 2, 2014

And it's that underdog likeability that rescues Soul Suspect from the lower reaches of the score table. It's a Good 6, that delightful strata of games that stumble in the technical aspects, but compensate with personality and charm, somehow all the more enjoyable for their imperfections. I can't pretend that Soul Suspect is a particularly great game, but I do know that it's the sort of game I'll still remember - and remember fondly - in five years' time, which is more than can be said for most of its glossier rivals.

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6 / 10 - Concursion
Jun 5, 2014

Concursion is a little too shaggy, a little too loose in control, to reach that level. An interesting game, then, and sometimes a brilliant game, but one that demands a little too much patience and forgiveness to fully appreciate.

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It's very easy to be caught up in the giddy swirl of this DLC, but the rush is rather short-lived. In many ways, it's a spiritual sibling to Far Cry 3's Blood Dragon expansion. Both are fuelled by a heady brew of nostalgia and adrenalin, and both have tongue so firmly implanted in cheek that it bursts out the other side. Where Blood Dragon built to a manic crescendo, however, after the first few hours SUDR3ARHEEXPA too easily turns into a fun but flawed grind for all but the most dedicated Capcom aficionado.

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8 / 10 - Pushmo World
Jun 18, 2014

But Pullblox World is also a sequel and a fairly timid one at that. If you've been following the series and hoped for a similar leap in design as the one between Pullblox and Fallblox, your enjoyment will be tinged with mild disappointment. There's clearly more that can be done with this concept on this hardware and it's a shame to see such a promising series tread water so early in its life. If the next entry takes a similarly cautious approach, it'll be time to worry. For now, enjoy what is still one of the best and most undervalued puzzle games around.

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