Hard Reset: The Review
May 1, 2012
Hard Reset, one of the games I’ve been looking forward to since its announcement and not only because it is the first PC exclusive title in a long time but also because it’s made by some of the wonderful people who designed The Witcher, one of my favorite games of all time. Does this game live up to the hype that it garnered over night? Sort of…
Graphically Hard Reset is gorgeous and it has some of the best lighting elements I have ever seen in a game. There is a level where a train is coming through a tunnel and as it approaches you can see light bouncing off all the metal in the tunnel and it looks amazing. You can see it in some of the pictures below.
Additionally there is damage based textures on enemies so depending on how many times you’ve hit them they may look more damaged or exposed. Several enemies fall apart and disintegrate as you damage them. Additionally there are some fantastically large scale battles to fight and they are a lot of fun.
While the game does look amazing in many parts it suffers from repetitive level design. After about the 8th level everything looks the same. There aren’t really any varied enemies either. You face the same 5 or 6 enemies throughout the entire game. There is also the problem of having only two weapons and unlike other games where there are 10 to 20 guns to choose from there are only two in this game that you can modify and they transform into the weapon you want. So your rifle is your rifle, gun, grenade launcher, and so forth all in one. I’ll give it credit for originality and in some ways it works well but switching between the modes for the weapon can be confusing and it gets dull after a while.
The story also suffers in Hard Reset. The story is mostly told in comic fashion slides during the loading sequences. There are two problems with this. First I hate cheaply made cut-scenes instead of animated or pre-rendered action sequences to explain the story line if not already done while playing and I will admit there are places for those in certain games but Hard Reset presents itself as a visual spectacle yet it uses a comic strip to present the story? Secondly the ‘press any key to continue’ and pauses in the dialogue often occur at the same time and this can lead to you missing 3 – 5 minutes of dialogue. Additionally the story is fairly hard to follow which can be frustrating.
There is no Multi-Player so for those of you looking for a Multi-Player experience are going to be disappointed.
Hard Reset feels like it just needed three or four more months in development and it could have been so much more. The game rings in at about 6 hours on normal for anyone who is experienced with FPS. Those die hard FPS players should be able to go through it quicker. Hard Reset isn’t a bad game, not by any means and for the price it’s worth its admission price. That being said it’s an OK game not a great game. Perhaps the second time around, if there is one, it will get a little more attention.