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PC Game Review

Hard Reset
Extended Edition


Format: PC
Kalypso Media
RRP: £29.99
4 260089 414839
Age Restrictions: 15+
Available 13 April 2012

It is the year 2436, and you are Major Fletcher, working for the Corporation; you defend the human city of Bezoar, from its machine enemies...

Hard Reset: Extended Edition is a bit of an old school First Person Shooter (FPS), although it is very well constructed. The makers have gone for a Bladerunner/cyberpunk look to the game and visually it's very successful.

As you traverse the cityscape your primary objective is to clear the place of machine foes, which come at you in an endless wave. Now, this can either be a pulse pounding experience or a growing sense of monotony, it is very dependent on what you thought the game was going to be and how much repetition you're willing to endure.

The narrative is fairly well construct, with Frank Miller-esque comic cut scenes between your missions. The missions, themselves, are presented much in the same vein as Metal Gear Solid. The truth is, there is little interaction between yourself and other entities in the game, except for the machines you are killing, and you get your hints, mission objectives and general instructions through a heads up display. The attention to the story is also found in the overall construction.

As you traverse through the game you get to upgrade your small cache of weapons, oddly enough the ability to upgrade is far more restricted compared to other similar games, which both makes the game harder and more frustrating. This would not be a negative point if the narrative or immersive game play were enough to engage the player. The Nano you pick up can be traded in for weapons upgrades in local booths, though there are generally more booths than there is Nano. Upgrades have the usual restrictions in balance of power and availability, so choices made at the start of the game can have serious consequences later on.

The new iteration of the game builds on the original's success. To appeal to players who have yet to be seduced by the charms of Hard Reset, the Extended Edition adds in four more creature types, including a new Boss monster, five new campaign levels, which adds a further three hours game play to the original. The graphics engine has been tweaked to give a better visual experience, although this has come at the requirement for a more powerful machine on which to play.

In a market which is not short of FPS, Hard Reset’s graphically impressive, wonderful environments and Frank Miller style cut scenes may not be enough to make it stand out far enough from the crowd. Where the game stumbles is in it creation of a compelling, immersive, story. It is a case of looking great, but with a general feeling of a much older game.


Charles Packer

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