*This review will focus on the remake while assessing comparisons to the original.*
Hard Reset Redux is a remake of the original Hard Reset game, a first-person cyberpunk shooter developed and published by Flying Wild Hog. Hard Reset Redux was released on June 4th, 2016, almost exactly four years after the original game was released on steam on June 13th, 2012.
Hard Reset is a first-person shooter much like other games such as DOOM and Quake, in that the gameplay is a lot more simple and uncomplicated than current generation shooters. You play as Major Fletcher in the year 2436, who is attempting to make his way around the city, while murderous, human-hating machines are on the prowl.
While they are still good-looking, the graphics strangely actually seem to be a little worse than the original, with some blurry textures and missing light effects. It is possible that this is due to the developers attempting to accommodate for a release on consoles, but this has upset a lot of players. Thankfully, though, the game is smooth and actually plays better than the original. So, if you are in it for the gameplay and not the graphics, you shouldn’t be disappointed. The redux was created in order to upgrade the physics, the processing and the objects which the player interacts with, which they seem to have achieved.
Hard Reset took a lot of inspiration from early shooters, such as health pickups, multiple weapons and the need to stay on the move during a fight. You will not regenerate health, so you need to be on the move constantly in order to avoid fire and consistently pick up health drops in order to stay alive. You only have two weapons to start off with, an assault rifle and a plasma gun. Each of these weapons can be upgraded along the way, though, in order to attach multiple different fire modes, such as a shotgun or rocket launcher for the assault rifle, and a railgun or homing projectile launcher for the plasma gun. This keeps the old style of ‘too many weapons’, and attempts to simplify it without removing the core concept altogether. Unfortunately, there is no actual tutorial to tell you how to swap guns or modes, so you need to figure that out yourself. You swap between weapons with the default Q key or the F keys, and then between modes on your equipped weapon with the default number keys. This can be a little confronting at first, for each multiple fire mode you unlock, you need to remember the corresponding key to swap to it, considering there are 10 modes in total. The game could have benefited from a weapon wheel or something in order to quickly swap weapons in the heat of battle, as you can’t pause to swap weapons. You need to first swap to the main weapon and then change it to the mode you want, while under fire this can be a little frustrating and stressful at times.
The combat itself is exhilarating. The machines are relentless and don’t care about their own self-preservation, so they will charge and attack with all that they have. There are also quite a few different enemy types, which cause you to constantly swap to better weapons for different situations. There are stronger enemies which can take quite a beating, multiple types of small enemies who swarm you all at once, and even machines which have been fused with humans to create unholy abominations reminiscent of the Strogg from Quake II. Due to this, swapping between your different weapon modes and unlocking more is quite necessary, as the starter weapons will only work for so long. You can sprint by holding the default shift key, and dash by just pressing it, which gives you a lot more manoeuverability in the heat of battle. Movement is key, standing in one spot for more than a few seconds in combat is highly unadvised.
Along with obtaining different weapon modes, you can also upgrade each weapon and yourself as you have cybernetic implants. This is all done using Nano, an orange pickup item you will find on your adventures. Collecting Nano will fill up the orange metre at the left of your HUD. Once completely filled, you can purchase one upgrade for any weapon or piece of gear you like, so long as you have the prerequisite upgrades. Some of these upgrades include being able to locate enemies and Nano locations, making you stronger, or granting greater ammunition storage and pickups. You will be constantly scrounging for Nano as there is a total of 45 upgrades to get, including the few you start off with. This gives players a lot more customisation options to their gameplay and gives players the option to play their way, utilising whatever guns and gear they wish.
Hard Reset Redux is out on PC, XB1 and PS4. If you already have the original game on steam, you will receive a discount for the remake while console owners will have to pay full price. The game is a nice call back to when shooters were a lot more simple and streamlined. While there are some complaints about the remake, it is a solid remaster that improves the overall quality of the game and will please many fans of the original game. Hard Reset Redux receives an 8.5/10, a great shooter which excellently brings back memories of a previous generation of shooters while maintaining a modern feel. Unless you are after a shooter which focuses heavily on story and plot, Hard Reset Redux is a quality game which will give newcomers and fans alike an enjoyable experience.