First, I’m going to disclose that I received a free copy for review of this game. I never heard of it before and knew nothing about it or the original game. That being said I was very pleasantly surprised with this game. I honestly wasn’t expecting much since it’s from an indie developer I’m not familiar with and I’ve seen absolutely no marketing for it. It’s turning out to be an incredibly fun game with a decent amount of replay value that I am very much enjoying.
Hard Reset: Redux is a remake of Hard Reset and developed by Flying Wild Hog (The developer of Shadow Warrior). It’s a fast-paced cyberpunk first-person shooter that feels a lot like Doom 2016. You play as Maj Fletcher who is a soldier of the company tasked with protecting the city from an attack by the machines. Or something like that. The story is not all that clear and is told both with voice prompts that are spoken through the controller speaker while playing and during comic book style cut scenes between stages during the loading screens. Once loading is finished though you are able to skip the cutscenes which I’ll admit I do since the story honestly doesn’t interest me much and I’m way too interested in the action and gameplay to be concerned with the mediocre story. As you progress through the levels you will be contained in arenas where you fight a wave of enemies before moving on to the next section. There are terminals you activate throughout the levels to open new areas and fight more waves. This adds a little bit of a puzzle element to the game. Hard Reset: Redux is set in a very dystopian future which reminds me a lot of the Matrix or Terminator so I’m happy pretending that I’m John Connor trying to stop the machines from building a terminator to send back in time to kill me before I’m born.
Unlike most modern first person shooters Hard Reset: Redux takes its’ cues from Quake, Unreal Tournament, and Doom. It’s a very fast-paced shoot from the hip style game. There are 2 primary weapons you begin with, a machine gun and a plasma gun which shoots bolts of energy. Each gun has multiple upgrades letting you add more firing modes like a shotgun, electric mortar rounds, RPG, and railgun. This gives you a lot of options in combat and keeps the fighting interesting. As you progress and encounter more types of enemies you’ll learn new strategies to defeat the waves using your different weapon types. All of the weapons also have a secondary attack you can unlock as an upgrade. The shotgun has a “stun” shot while they grenade launcher shoots gravity bombs. The variety of weapons opens up a lot of strategic planning. I find myself primarily using the shotgun although I often switch to one of the plasma weapons to take out certain enemies. You also get a katana for melee attacks and a quick step/dash button that lets you run while holding it. If you just tap the button you could quick step in the direction you press.
There are multiple game modes as well as difficulty levels to keep you playing after you finish the game. I played the game on the normal difficulty level which was challenging at times. There are 2 harder difficulty levels after that as well as modes like Ex mode which lets you keep all of your weapon upgrades for another playthrough, Heroic which has no checkpoints after the start of the mission, and Survival which has 4 maps where you start without any upgrades and fight endless waves of blood-thirsty robots. As you progress you can upgrade your weapons. This mode actually reminds me a lot of the ‘zombies’ mode in Call of Duty games.
Overall the game is much better than I anticipated. There are a few flaws like occasional framerate drops but the game still looks really great. The story is not very good but it’s suitable for this type of game. The sound effects are very well done but the music seems out of place at times and is not very memorable. But for $19.99 you really can’t beat the value this game has to offer. The campaign will last 10-12 hours depending on the difficulty. Maybe faster if, you already know where everything is and you explore less. Occasionally there will be a frustrating area where you can get stuck on a wall or scenery. But this is very rare and for each frustrating part of the game I encountered, there were 10 memorable parts that more than made up for it.
I recommend this game to anyone who wants a fun fast paced first person shooter in the same vein as Doom. If you are looking for a deep story, intricate puzzles, or a lot of variety you might want to skip this one.