It’s hard not to mention DOOM when talking about a first person shooter today. Odd saying that as DOOM was once a game compared to all future released first person shooting games back in the 90’s and we might have a resurgence of that very same mentality now. Though before DOOM went back to its roots in 2016, we had Flying Wild Hog, getting in touch with their old school shooting in 2011. Hard Reset went back to a time where shooting was mostly just that and waves of enemies, yet also jumped forward to a setting far in the future of man versus robots. Hard Reset Redux is a refined and newly released version coming out on consoles containing both the core game and the expansion together in one new package. It’s it worth it? You bet your ass it is!
If players are craving a story centric first person shooter, Hard Reset is not the game they will be looking for. Yes there is a story, yes it’s told in a nice comic panel style, but I’m going to be honest and just say, the story is completely forgettable. I don’t remember the protagonist name, I don’t recall exactly what he was fighting for, I know there was something about a perhaps evil corporation or perception about what was real? I had a hard time following and I didn’t even skip the cutscenes if that tells you anything.
What Hard Reset Redux does bring to the table in a post 2016 DOOM world is more of that crazy over the top endless action against enemy hordes and in a unique setting. While DOOM has hell basically copyrighted at this point, Hard Reset takes after such inspiration as Blade Runner or any Philip K Dick novel for that matter. The point is simple, man versus machine, in a futuristic utopia. It’s not to say the environment and setting are a bit wasted here, as it still looks good today, if not overly empty and barren at times. It’s supposed to be a world filled with man and machine, but mostly feels like machine.
Combat is the key gameplay here and this is where Hard Reset sticks to the roots of the genre and does well for it. With mass amounts of enemies coming at the player, environmental elements blowing up, electric sparks flying everywhere, this is where the magic really happens as players are forced to deal with enemies in numbers and herd them into either electrical death traps, car explosives, or other hazards that are filled in the environments. It’s exciting and while coming off the “other first person game” I’ve mention more than enough times already, it still felt exciting, even if there was a period of adjustment. The weapon upgrading is fun and deciding which new weapons or upgrades to take was by far the hardest choice as there was always something I wanted. While there is no hand to hand combat for almost the first half of the game or so, once obtaining the almost lightsaber like sword, I couldn’t stop grinning.
Hard Reset Redux would be extremely short if it didn’t include the expansion and even with it, only expect it to last a few hours. There is plenty of secrets to find and ways to increase scoring on the levels, but that aside, it’s a few hours of mindless but fun robot shooting action. It’s was a nice way to get more shooting action on the same level after DOOM and anyone looking to scratch that itch a bit more would be wise to check this out on consoles, though if PC players already experienced the entire game before, there is little reason to return.
A pre-release Xbox One code was provided by the publisher for review purposes