Flying Wild Hog brings us Hard Reset, a PC only Single Player first person shooter set in The Cyberpunk world of Bezoar. It’s man against machine who control the “barrens “and a place called “The Sanctuary a robotic network that harbours billions of human minds. Your protagonist is Major Fletcher a CLN soldier part of a unit created to protect the city. When the barrier is breached Fletcher is called in to fight the machines and save the last closed city and avoid human extinction. The story begins with a comic strip style short movie explaining your mission, and the story is told throughout the game in this way as you progress through the levels. I found the story a little on the confusing side so I stuck to what I knew best, shooting everything that moved and boy did I have a fantastic time with that! You are only given 2 weapons but if you collect enough "nano" ,the source of the points system in the game, you get upgrades at the "Upgrade Terminal" for both your primary weapon and your plasma gun.
Only two guns? Not a problem, you begin with a machine gun and gradually upgrade to shotgun with attachments, RPG, sticky grenades andgrenade launcher. Pretty much all the bells and whistles to get you through the variety of problems you face along the way. The plasma gun is your secondary weapon and is upgradable along with your combat gear. You may switch between your upgrades as you choose to suit the environment or the bosses you face, bosses are massive and I don’t say that lightly, it takes pretty much everything you have in your kit to take them down. A very important aspect of the game is that if you shoot certain objects they either blow up or emit electricity which helps you kill waves of machines coming at you, and they really come at you, fast! Once you work out the semantics, the game becomes wicked fun. Cars explode also and there are hidden rooms that you need to blow the walls out of in order to collect ‘secrets’. Many of these rooms did not have a way to blow them out which I found a little disappointing, especially when I looked at my stats at the end of the level. I began the game on normal mode but sometime around the first hour of game play I found it impossible to go on. I switched back to easy mode and the game became playable. Even then it was very challenging, but I was able to move on through the game with minimal deaths and level restarts. You are required to pick up green items to heal yourself and the red and blue items give you ammunition. There is no need to reload just blaze away at the hordes of hard to kill machines.
Hard Reset is graphically beautiful and I didn't come across any flaws there, the lighting is superb and the colour phenomenal. Controls are simple to use as there are not too many buttons to configure. Some cons of the game are, the load time is very frustrating it seemed to take forever to get into, also when the screen is minimised then reloaded there is a pop us that says ‘please wait while the video restarts’ which feels glitchy and in poor taste. A simple loading bar here would suffice. There is no auto-save, and given the length of the levels and the difficulty towards the end, having to start the level again if you die is extremely annoying. I think the game lends itself to a co-op type multiplayer and it’s a shame it’s just single player because once it’s over i’m afraid it’s over. The pros of this fast-paced, old school shooter are the amazing environment, the diverse enemy and epic boss battles. The skill of taking out the machines with explosions and electric shocks give Hard Reset a massive fun factor. Flying Wild Hog have priced the game at just $29.99 so if you like your shooters on an extreme level then Hard Reset is the game for you!