Posted: October 27
Hard Reset [Extended Edition]
When I first heard about the game in question, I was a bit doubtful. A sci-fi themed game in an action-oriented/arcade style gameplay. It would have seemed to put together all of the stereotypes but, after sometime from its debut, I decided to try and play it; found on some sale for a very few bucks. The graphic and the art style are sleek and polished; the cyber-filled world quite unique and well made; the sound compartment surprisingly well done. So, you're gonna ask "what about the downsides"? 'cause I can say, they're there.
The game's self-professed "old school" (and I shall open a discussion topic about that, perhaps) mechanics are just dull and flat as you basically run through a mega-hallway - that is the world it-self - divided into chunks of areas, that I'm gonna call "arenas", where you are flooded by hordes of enemies and you don't have an "escape route": the door/passage/you-say-it that you've just passed through will suddenly close/crumble/whatever and you'll have to figure out how to kill'em all without dying. That's wouldn't be of any concern if played at low-level but, if like me, you play through a hard difficulty level.. prepare to die and suffer a lot: enemies will just take forever to die, literally; even the smaller-cuty ones, will lasts for too much what you'd expect. Boss fights? Repetitive - as every other fights - and frustrating.
Luckily, here comes the last aspect of the game and a positive one. "Customization". Yes, you can upgrade yourself and your arsenal by using exp points you'll earn killing enemies and picking up special bonuses, let's call'em that way, and spending them at some "upgrade-machine vendor" integrated in the world. You basically starts (and finish) with two weapons, one for each kind like "standard" ammo and power energy; each of them can be upgraded into 4 more weapons for a total of 5 per kind. Every weapon has a primary and secondary mode as well an upgrade. So, you'll have plenty of variety to experiment with though you'll end up using the same two model that best suites you. You can also upgrade your armor/health/utilities, like more health, more resistance to damage, and on..
So, by the end what happens? Well, later on - and not too late - in the game there were times in which I just wanted it to be over; too repetitive in the mechanics and playing it on hard's just too hard: it is not the smart hard, at all, it is the frustrating one that ruin it all. The world itself is well presented; quite varied plus the good points I've already explained.. but the negatives' quite ruined the feast as the game ain't balanced at all. At all. Summing it all up:
*not latest gen but still very appealing
**bland, uninspired and repetitive music score
***Frustration Factor: game's far too unbalanced on higher difficulty levels but some situations give relief upon completion