Top critical review
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Great ideas, good vision but falls a little short.
on 12 May 2013
It is unfair to compare this game to a AAA game released by one of the big companies but unfortunately those games are the benchmarks by which gamers set standards. We (gamers) are quick to jump on the bandwagon when a supposed AAA game fails in some way and condemn it. So this "budget" title Hard Reset makes no promises, has no hyped up advertising it just leaves the question "Do you like it or not?"
As already mentioned it is obviously based around Bladerunner. The architecture, the environment and atmosphere screams Bladerunner. At first run I ramped up the settings to max., easily achievable on a modern PC for this game and it does look good. A great deal of attention has been put into neon signs, massive advertising boards, run-down buildings all set in a futuristic environment. The story begins very sparsely presented by cartoon Max Payne 2 style "cut scenes" and really it isn't a story, it just says "There's a breach in sector xxxxx go sort it out". So plunged into a city with what is a beautiful looking weapon, you head off in search of what you can assume from what you know, rogue robots. Eventually you find some robots who bound towards you, first instinct is SHOOT!. Of course this works but ammo is rapidly depleted then a tip appears saying shoot electrical devices like ATM machines, machines of unknown description and for some reason electric rubbish bins, these release electric shocks and if timed correctly will damage the enemy robots and save you some ammo. So I set about taunting the robots near to an electric source and setting if off, effective but not "Shoot em' up" gameplay. There are hidden areas which are accessed by blowing up explosive barrels to reveal them but really are not worth it. So level 1 over...next. Another cartoon style cut scene and back into the city to...kill more robots. And so it goes on. The upgrade system isn't bad albeit a little clumsy to navigate and difficult to know what you're exactly doing.
Sound is pretty good, again fits in with the Bladerunner feel. The city feels empty...it is empty. You are the only person in it and this leads to the feeling of why am I bothering. There's nothing to interact with and nothing else to do except kill robots.
The game isn't bad. It's obvious this was somebody's "baby" and they cared a lot for it but just didn't have the resources to make it a contender. When playing the game I got the feeling that if the "big boys" had made it, it would have been a spectacular game but then again they mess up frequently. The backbone to a great game is there it just needs fleshing out, more interactivity and a story that doesn't leave you asking "Why am I doing this?"
Summary - It feels like a 1990s shooter but with 21st century graphics.