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Hard Reset Redux – it’s amazing how exactly mediocre this game is.

Content of the article: "Hard Reset Redux – it’s amazing how exactly mediocre this game is."

Overall, the game is only worth playing if you like kinetic fps games like doom 2016 and shadow warrior 2, but at a low price. It's not bad, it's not a rough gem, it's just rough. This is less a review and more me getting fascinated how perfectly mediocre every single aspect of this game is.

Visually, the game isn't appealing or readable. Enemies don't stand out, levels rarely guide your eye in any clever way. It sort of goes for a rusty post-future aesthetic in the latter half, but doesn't lean into tha far enough, and the future city parts are just black and dark blue all around.

The small enemies have designs with a lot of cuteness potential, but the game doesn't lean into that. There are no cool looking enemies and plenty of bad looking ones.

The level design isn't awful and provides some variety, but very often puts you in tight spaces, which isn't ideal for a game with this much movement speed both in your and the enemies' arsenal. There aren't many memorable stages and none of them look good. They get pretty confusing at times too.

The gunplay has a lot of variety and a clever system – you have 2 weapons (plasma gun and… gun-gun) with 5 modes, which have a normal and alt-fire. That gives you 20 ways of attacking + a sword, but it doesn't get confusing or cumbersome at any time, which is sort of impressive.

The issue is that the first 3 modes for each weapons are extremely similar and most alt-fires are either scopes or stuns, so the variety become a little superficial. Having several stun attacks is good because they have cooldowns and you can alternate, but the variety is much less impressive than it first appears.

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The gunplay is also pretty middle of the road. On the highest difficulty, enemies have way too much health for the guns to feel satisfying at all. On hard it's a little better, but the animations are stiff and delayed, the visual effects are way overdone (the plasma full auto is basically a strobe light, hurts to look at) and the enemies don't react in a satisfying way except for when they explode upon death.

The cutscenes are unintrusive (between levels, instantly skippable) and nicely illustrated, but the story/writing is super generic and boring. The voice acting is bad, but not bad enough to be funny.

The music goes for a cool industrial vibe, but the production of it is really bad, which makes it sound super flat and that's even worse when you put it in the context of a soundscape of an fps game. Written well, made poorly.

The enemy roster is varied enough to carry the experience except for one strong enemy type that gets reused prety much throughout the whole game. The issue with the enemies is that they and their attacks have weird ass hitboxes/aoe damage, telegraphs that are too short or don't exist, unnecessary tracking and not enough sound cues.

The control scheme is great and surprisingly simple. There's no mouse acceleration that I could feel and I didn't need to drop my DPI like I did for FEAR 3 recently. On the downside, the sensitivity doesn't adjust when you zoom, making it twice as fast as you'd expect when ADS-ing. There's also an upgrade that you have to get before upgrading health that gives you "hightened senses when at low HP". Idk who decided "hightened senses" meant "hightened mouse sensitivity", but they made it so your look speed doubles when the ability kicks in.

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The game has a dash and pretty decent movement speed, but the dash distance isn't enough to avoid a lot of attacks and you get little bits of damage unexpectedly, which is kinda annoying. More over, the dash, instead of moving you a set distance, is just a force applied to your character, relying almost entirely on the friction of the ground to stop you, which means you get flung around when you hit any tiny bump and flat out DIE if you dash into a ceiling of a staircase, because the game applies fall damage based on velocity, not height.

The final boss is bad, but not super hard or time extremely time consuming.

There are some unfair deaths and bad checkpoints, but you can quicksave manually.

See? EVERYTHING balances itself out, it's crazy.


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