FPS Arena is a genre that rode the wave of success in the 90s. Can Hard Reset hold its own against its ancestors? Let's find out in this review
The guys of Flying Wild Hog have decided to bet a lot, targeting that niche of players who love the genre of titles like Doom, Quake, Unreal Tournament, Painkiller and many others, video games that have marked the twentieth century videogame. hard Reset in fact, for the uninitiated, it is a FPS Arena Cyberpunk style, with many quotes from the past. Let's analyze this game in detail, discovering if it really deserves the purchase (currently on Steam at € 15).
Hard Reset catapults us into the distant 2436, into a future where artificial machines govern. We play as Major Fletcher, a mercenary of the CLN Corporation and, as in the cult played by Harrison Ford, we initially find ourselves investigating some unclear events. It all begins in Sector 6, a district of Bezoar City. Obviously we are not there by chance, a past event hangs over our character, something that happened in the Sanctuary some time ago… but I won't tell you anything else!
In Hard Reset we will move within the different sections of the game, unlocking gates, cutting energy to devices or freeing the area from synthetic bad guys of various sizes. Small sizes are annoying, a bit like dogs that bark but don't bite; but beware of the numerous waves, they hide odious kamikaze robotic balls.
Plus sizes are very resistant and you will absolutely have to avoid direct contact, so take advantage of non-friable obstacles in their passage and above all incendiary objects (gas cylinders, cars, electrical cabins, air conditioners), preferably explosives on a large scale. It goes without saying that the Bosses are as gigantic as the ones seen in Binary Domain, as well as armed to the last chip.
There are no collectibles in the modern sense (files, audio-video or texts to deepen the situation), but there are secret accesses where you can retrieve medical kits, upgrades and ammunition.
The gunplay is clean and intelligent, but it will upset you a lot at the beginning; with practice, however, you will recede, also appreciating the joint use of ammunition. There are apparently 2 basic weapons: a shotgun with lead cartridges and one loaded with plasma. But it does not end here, in the upgrade cabins, there will be human modules and grafts to be installed on our tools, after recovering the orange cells. Here, therefore, is the high number of attacks, which can be selected via the mouse wheel based on the various modules installed (for each of the two guns): grenade launchers, mines, rocket launchers, emp, etc. Furthermore, for each additional module selected, when the second mouse button is pressed, there will be a second fire mode. It seems complicated at first but if you map the keys well, perhaps equipped with a mouse with side keys, you will reap a great advantage.
The game environment is very evocative; the color palette thrives on contrasts between the dark of crumbling architecture and the bright neon of virtual signs and logos, typical of the cyberpunk style of the 80s.
Final touch, again with regard to the graphics sector, the cutscenes between one chapter and another. We will find ourselves bewitched by a "comic"; interludes directly recognizable by the homonymous comic traits such as "watercolors", cartoons and camera movements that could remind us of those of Ultimate Spiderman, For PS2.
The Polish team's proprietary engine is very light and scalable, with granite frames and well-implemented filters that are the envy of large-caliber productions. The number of destructible elements is good, they increase the identification already made very well by the effects of light and particles. Analyzing the technical sector referred to audio, the various effects such as reloads, explosions and more, are quite successful. The music is different, a little too subdued.
The weak point of the game is the progress of the facts, it never manages to capture, it is not treated like the other aspects and clashes with the excellent graphic-narrative technique used. Too bad because hard Reset it is a manifestation of affection for skillful and tactical gameplay. It reminds us that filling modern non-flawless AIs with lead is a facilitation of our times; that in the soft moments of a hard day of study or work may be enough but, if you feel the need for a real challenge, the classics always have the great charm of real competition. For young people who want to learn from a real FPS, or for those with a longing for glorious times, Bezoar City offers a modern take on the genre's past.
7.5 Not for everyone!
To buy? Yes, but ONLY if you are a lover of FPS Arena. A casual player will hardly be able to fully understand and appreciate these mechanics, shaped by those pillars that were Quake, Doom and company.