Way back in 2012, a glorious cyberpunk shooter called Hard Reset was released for the PC. It had explosions, tons of guns, an awesome storyline set in a dystopic future, and machines that wanted mankind dead. Well, now the updated version is here for the Xbox One, and we've got all the details for you.
Whether you played the original game or not, this first person shooter is worth taking a look at. It combines an interesting and twisty storyline with plenty of machines that need to be blown up. It's time to help to save the last city of mankind from the machines that want to destroy it.
Gritty cyberpunk future awaits
Environments play a big part in any game. They help to paint the picture, to get you in the mood for the type of game that it is. Hard Reset: Redux paints a bleak dystopia in grays, silvers, and blues juxtaposed against bright red indicator lights on the murderous robots intent on destroying you. It comes together very well, and lays a very gritty cyberpunk feel for the rest of the game.
Since this is a shooter meant to evoke just those emotions, you won't find sweeping vistas to gaze upon. Instead there are tall and occasionally claustrophobic rooms and buildings alike. When you're on the city streets of Bezoar, you'll find television screens that play old advertisements. The flickering blue light from the screens echoing over streets only populated by you and machines adds an eerie edge to things.
You'll also come across pieces of the environment that can be interacted with. Broken down cars occasionally obstruct the pathway, electric booths shine blue against dark buildings, and fire dance out of burst pipes. The technology that you see is a unique blend of both current technology and a futurism. While the fact that this is the last human city left doesn't scream at you from the environment, there is definitely a feel that this place used to be bustling.
Instead of full cgi cutscenes, you get something a smidge more artistic. In between missions there are fully animated panels that have a comic book look very reminiscent of Frank Miller's style. That is to say, very gritty, noir, and occasionally with a look of brushstrokes.
Bezoar is the last city of Mankind
Hard Reset: Redux takes place in a world that has gone, quite literally, to the machines. The game takes place within Bezoar, the last standing city of Mankind in the year 2436. Out past the walls of the city, in the Barrens, humans wage a constant and unending war against the machines. They assault the walls of the city, and our protagonist, Major Fletcher of the CLN is tasked with dealing with this problem.
This is a first person shooter which gives you a fairly interesting story that gets you hooked on this machine murdering cyberpunk game. Bezoar holds Sanctuary, which in turn is home to billions of digitised human minds. The machines want those minds, and they are constantly attacking Bezoar to try and gain access.
Major Fletcher is a member of the CLN, the military force tasked with killing machines and protecting the inhabitants of the city. When the barrier that keeps the machines outside of Bezoar goes down, Fletcher moves in, and that's where the game really gets started. Your goal is to eliminate the machine intruders, and get the fence back up and running. As you might expect things quickly get far more complicated than that.
Shoot the machines, and keep moving
The first thing you should keep in mind with Hard Reset: Redux, is that this is an updated version of a computer game first released back in 2012. The game has gotten a slight facelift, as well as some updated gameplay. However, it's still an older game and as you play it, that becomes pretty clear.
The controls and upgrade system, while fairly well done, feel old, especially if you're coming from a more recent shooter. That being said, it still plays fantastically and doesn't feel dated or overly clunky while you are playing. The gameplay itself is pretty cut and dry, with the campaign cut up into multiple missions.
Each mission will require you to fight your way through dozens of robot enemies. You'll see small two legged runners, round bots that will explode fantastically when wounded, and walkers that are taller than you are and need to be attacked strategically. While all of the machines are absolutely intent on destroying you, some of them will go down easier than others. If you work strategically though, and use the environment to your benefit, you can easily mow down a small army of machines without too much trouble.
Environmental hazards are your best bet for success, and they are everywhere. From electronic billboards and bins that will electrocute nearby enemies when shot, to flammable cannisters and cars that can take care of even a big walker in a single blast. Considering that at times, a dozen or more enemies will attack at once, using these hazards is the best way to take out wide swathes of them early on.
As you play through each level, you'll find upgrade stations. In the beginning, you only have a few options available to you, but plenty more open up as you play through. It's here that you'll be able to add additional weapons to your arsenal, up your max ammo capacity, and upgrade your armor and ability to sense danger before it hits you. As you upgrade your arsenal, you'll have immediate access to all of your weapons.
The ease of switching between weapons during combat is really nice too. Moving from a rifle, to a grenade launcher, to my energy weapon was extremely easy. A hot menu will temporarily pause the game for you to choose a specific weapon, or you can shuffle through them by pressing the B button. Ammo is also fairly easy to come by, depending on the weapon, because as you kill robots they will drop ammo for you.
Keeping track of your ammo, shield and health is quite easy as well. That's because of the reticule setup at the lower left of the screen. It will show 3 bars, with a counter next to each, at all times. Green is your indicator of health, and when your health gets low you can expect to see blood spatter the screen. Yellow is your shield, which will recharge when you aren't being attacked. Depending on your weapon of choice, the final indicator will be either red or teal, and give you a constant readout of how much ammo you have left on you.
Hard Reset: Redux is a fun first-person shooter, that brings the cyberpunk genre back to life.
- Fast paced action
- Tons of environmental hazards to blow up
- Mission based campaign
- Graphics are not the best ever
- Multiple gameplay modes
- Aiming is tricky at first
Hard Reset: Redux, is the return of an old favorite. So, while certain aspects may seem dated, the story and gameplay remain fun and worth hours of your time. Dozens of different enemies and an engaging cyberpunk world help to get you invested in protecting the last surviving human city from the machines that want them dead. Best of all, it's available for just $19.99 on the Xbox Store.
This game was reviewed on the Xbox One using a code provided by the publisher.
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