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Platform

PC

Genre

Shooter

Publisher

Kalypso

Developer

Flying Wild Hog

ESRB

M (Mature)

Released

March 13, 2012

 

 

- Very slick presentation, especially the upgrade terminals
- An ode to first-person shooters of yesteryear
- I'd play a dedicated racing game with those cars

 

 

- An ode to first-person shooters of yesteryear (no ducking allowed)

- Checkpoint saves drive me nuts

 

 

Review: Bulletstorm (PC)

Review: Serious Sam HD (PC)

Review: Dead Island (360)

Review: Dead Space 2 (360)

 

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Hard Reset: Extended Edition

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

alienware m18xThere's definitely a story happening in Hard Reset, which involves revolting killer robots, but it's principally there to hang the game on while the player moves from kill room to kill room trashing robots. There's a certain straightforward charm to entering a room only to have the door slamming shut and the only exit mysteriously "offline" and can only be opened after waves of enemies have been cleared. I'm not against kill rooms -- one my favorite moments in Half-Life 2 is defending the confined spaces of Nova Prospekt -- but it wears thin from repeated exposure. And then having to dodge around for health packs? I haven't done that in a while.

The game is relatively difficult. Checkpoint saves tend to happen immediately prior to the only exit slamming shut and all but a small handful of enemies use the "converge on player" strategy that has been so successful in other robot uprisings. As a result, when the player dies, it's back to the beginning of the encounter.

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Because enemies like to converge, there's a lot of walking backwards and shooting. It only take a momentary snag on something walking backwards for the enemies to close the gap and pulp the player.

Get used to dying; there's a lot of it to do here.

Besides the limited number of guns to put

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down the robots, the environment is littered with "shock posts" and explosive items in the environment to fend off the waves of enemies (as the player backpeddles). There are also a copious number of upgrade terminals in the world, which doesn't make a lot of sense in this writer's mind.

The "nano" required for such upgrades is stingily doled out but the upgrade terminals seem to be on every corner.

 

hard reset          hard reset

 

The way they open up looks cool and the upgrade interface is very intuitive to navigate, but they're everywhere! There's no thought given to "Should I get this upgrade now because I don't know when the next terminal might be available?" I was never in a position where I had a ton of nano to spend at the next terminal. The moment I had enough nano for the next upgrade *bing* there was a terminal.

Maybe it's a weird observation to make playing a first-person shooter but the cars and vehicles look awesome. They don't do much in the game other than explode, but the time, attention and detail lavished on these "cars of the future" got me thinking about a dedicated racing game with the cars. I actually went online to see if there was a console cheat to use so that I could turn off the enemies somehow so I could explore a parking garage before the cars were blown up to ward off a gush of robots.

 

hard reset           hard reset

 

Hard Reset isn't a bad game, but it's rote old school sensibility has passed me by. I don't have the same kind of reflexes I did 5 or 10 years ago to properly appreciate the twitch elements, so maybe I have to take some responsibility on that front. For me, Hard Reset is unremarkable because it seems about 5 years too late for me. Now, about that racing game...

- Aaron Simmer

(April 27, 2012)

 

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