Hard Reset Redux Review: Now With Y-Axis Aiming

July 5th, 2016 -

Hard Reset originally came out in 2011, which seems to be about right for a remastered version of games on consoles. Flying Wild Hog’s intent with the game was to bring the FPS genre back to its roots, and that it did. You won’t find regenerating life, cover, or waypoints guiding you here. While the new DOOM has been filling this hole for many people, this game did it five years prior – and now it’s on consoles, better than ever (yes, I realize this is argued extensively by PC people).

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While I played the original Hard Reset, I was taken aback by Redux. I didn’t expect there to be so many changes, which are all more than welcome. Graphically speaking, there are a few differences, most of which people like to say make it look worse. Thing is, without anything to compare it to, it’s a beautiful looking game (especially at its price point). The world is heavily influenced by the cyberpunk genre, instilling thoughts of Blade Runner (I’d love to use other references since there are many, but this is the most mainstream and accessible). Beyond graphics, the game also added the likes of a dash and sidesteps to avoid enemies that will charge you incessantly. You have no idea how much more manageable this makes the game. Another addition is something you may expect from their rendition of Shadow Warrior, and that is a Cyber Sword. While not all that practical, it is pretty awesome… and a great help when you run out of ammo, where you were pretty much SOL in the original version. Enemies are also in different spawn points throughout the game, so even if you’ve played it before, it will be a different experience.

As stated earlier, this game hearkens back to the olden days when FPS games meant fast action and quick reflexes. You can expect hordes of enemies, life and bullet management, as well as secrets galore. Of course this game does use more modern aspects as well, such as buying upgrades for both of your two weapons and your character. Reading that last part, you may be concerned about the lack of weapons. Fret not, as those are upgradable into other weapons – your two guns transform into what you deem necessary for that particular fight. The game also makes use of the environment. And I mean they use it a lot. Pretty much everything is destructible to a point, and can be used to inflict damage to the waves of enemies. In some cases, a well-used environmental shock will kill 20-30 enemies. Other times it’ll be a matter of life and death. Just bear in mind that what damages the enemies also has the potential to damage you, depending on your proximity to the blast.

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The story is stitched together through comic-like panels with voice over, and while it’s not bad, it’s a bit hard to follow. But really, I didn’t play Hexen or Quake for the story, so it’s hard to knock it for that when it’s trying to be retro. But then again, it’s a modern retro, so it would’ve been nice to have something more comprehensible (then again, look at CoD).

On the more technical side, the game runs smoothly in most instances. I only ran into a couple parts that the framerate notably dropped, which is a bit of bummer, but it wasn’t like I was in Blight Town or anything. I’m sure the platforming sections will be annoying for some, as people have issues with those portions in first person most of the time. I know a lot of people had issues with spacial awareness in Mirror’s Edge, even though that was the entire game’s mechanic, so a game like this that doesn’t optimize that portion will definitely lead to some issues. I didn’t find it especially difficult though.

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Hard Reset Redux is indeed the reboot to the genre we needed, and it’s nice to see that it may have been one of the factors in inspiring the newly beloved DOOM. As much as I enjoy the mechanics of current FPS games, it was refreshing to enter a world where the focus was aiming and shooting, opposed to finding cover, going for headshots, and reloading. It’s a joy to play and an experience I loved reliving.

BUY

Pros

  • Focused Gameplay
  • Added Functions

Cons

  • Story
  • Framerate Drops

Hard Reset: Redux was developed by Flying Wild Hog and published by Gambitious Digital Entertainment. The game launched on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 June 3rd, 2016 for $19.99. The game was provided to us for review on PS4. If you’d like to see more of Hard Reset: Redux, check out the official site.

 

Here at FFoP we use a rating method that you may be unfamiliar with, so allow us to clarify. When we review a game, we see what sort of BRA fits. Buy, Rent, or Acquire is the rating we give out – we’ve boiled it down for simplicity. A Buy is worth the full retail value; a Rent is something you may want to try before you buy, or grab at a discount; an Acquire is something you can play, but we’d suggest borrowing it from someone, grabbing it in a game bundle, or some other means. If you want further clarification, please feel free to get in touch.

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