It's been some time coming but Hard Reset Redux has launched on consoles and has been given a full remaster on the PC. It only took five years for Flying Wild Hog's title made it to the PS4 and Xbox One. That is okay though as Gambitious had some great ambitions for all of this and now it has come to light. Thankfully we had a chance to sit back and give this remaster a shot from start to finish. Here's our review of Hard Reset Redux now that we had a full chance to put the game through all of its remastered paces.
It is the future and things, as they seem to go, are not going well. Humans have lost control of their greatest mechanical inventions and are waging war against them all. Unfortunately, the robots have learned of a digital safe house of all of the human brains being saved and stored for later. They want to assimilate all of them into their collective and we can't let that happen. That is where we take our go at kicking a lot of robot ass and try to save the day. But is it too late? Maybe…
Having missed out on Hard Reset the first time around and realizing that the original game had to rely on invisible walls to help keep players on track it is hard to overlook that it is still being used in Hard Reset Redux. With all of the advancements and ability to render extra polygons and shapes now it just seems lazy to rely on these again. It is relied on a whole lot in Hard Reset Redux still to the point where it breaks the flow of exploration and hunting around the maps. In one example there is a "secret" XP boost hidden behind a fence that could have gone to the ceiling to stop someone from jumping over. Not here. Thus making all of my other traversal moot as I was blocked by a wall that wasn't there. It just made the remaster feel a bit more on the lazy side for me.
Another huge gripe I have here is how the multiple different weapons are still handed here in Hard Reset Redux. In this game you only get two main firearms but they each get multiple modification to make them different. It sounds like a great mechanic at first but when it goes into practice it is too easy to get bogged down in the options and accidentally select the wrong modification. All of this is done through a weapon wheel or pressing left/right on the directional pad. Even with the options there is no solid indicator on the screen that make it easy to see which weapon is up for shooting at the moment. Many accidental explosions occurred in my play of Hard Reset Redux due to all of this.
Lastly, it was a little hard to follow the story in Hard Reset Redux given how everything is presented to us. It is all done through animatic cut-scenes and bits of dialog during missions. Most of which are not overly easy to link up when on the fly or when waiting to move off to the next step in the game. There is an option to re-watch everything later on but it didn't help in the mix of everything. Not to mention that it all felt a bit underwhelming during the initial gameplay but was a bit interesting on a second viewing of it all.
When it comes to remasters I usually find it hard to see the visual updates that came to the game to dictate that it needed the remaster to come to market. With Hard Reset Redux it is insanely easy to see everything and how well the team did to bring it to look like something that was developed this year. In fact, if I didn't know it was originally released in 2011 I'd swear that production began last year and the team just rocked it all out. This is how to do a remaster and many other developers need to take note of Hard Reset Redux here and try to replicate that as best they can.
While there were a lot of uses of invisible walls here instead of some form of physical barrier I can't deny that the levels were laid out really well. Each had a direct path to follow along the way but was left open enough to make Hard Reset Redux feel like it had a full realm of freedom to explore and look around. Not only that but certain things like hidden ammo, health, and boosts made it almost as important as shooting all of the robots flooding in at you. Given this is a remaster it is hard to think that the levels were altered all too much so it is even more impressive that there was this level of detail in such an old title.
Last on the docket here has to be something I wasn't expecting in Hard Reset Redux; a little bit of horror. Not in the traditional sense of things we know as blood and gore. But in the fact that enemies and incursions were planned and laid out throughout the whole world that it was a little hard to guess when they would pop up. When they did though most of them felt like they were going to be way too overwhelming but somehow we managed to survive on through. It was the extra hidden tension that married all of the gameplay mechanics into the world so well that it kept me playing for hours and hours without stop. Just as a good FPS title should do and boy did they do it here.
Hard Reset Redux is not a game without some game design flaws in my eyes. Most of which left over from the original title was crafted for us all. Thankfully though they are not complete game breakers nor do they take away from the solid work that the developers put into making Hard Reset Redux a true remaster and not a rehashing to make a quick buck. The story is hard to follow but most of that is due to the high level of gameplay and everything else. Something that is a good problem to have in my eyes. And since all of that can be relived later on then it isn't a solid game breaker either. I fully recommend Hard Reset Redux for those who have and have not experienced the game already. It is great ride and exactly how a remaster should be done.
I give Hard Reset Redux 240 Electric Grenades on the Electric Grenade scale.
Hard Reset Redux — Launch Trailer
Hard Reset Redux was developed by Flying Wild Hog and published by Gambitious for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on June 3rd, 2016. A PS4 copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.