The Art of Remaster: Hard Reset Redux

The above video by Candyland Production is a comparison between the original Hard Reset video game and the new Hard Reset Redux. Since the original has already been out for some time, we will be taking a look at some of the changes players will find from the updated version of the game. The developers go by the clever name of Flying Wild Hog games and they are known for reviving Shadow Warrior in 2013.

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Features

Now before we get into the caliber of the remaster itself, I want to break down some of the new features that have been added to Redux. The first is a Cyber-Katana that offers an option for close range combat—clearly there as a result of Shadow Warrior 2013. A new enemy type called the Cyber Zombie comes in variants to shake things up. The quick dash is a maneuver that helps the player get around the enemy and dodge oncoming attacks. The game has been updated to the latest version of “RoadHog,” an in-house engine that is meant to enhance visuals including lighting and effects. Along with that new engine comes improvements such as faster load times and a new quicksave feature. The developers have also taken the time to balance the gameplay along with adding some stronger difficulty modes and even tweaked enemy placement.
The basic plot of the game is set in a dystopian future where machines have overran the world. Their target is the last city by the name of Bezoar. The city holds what is called The Sanctuary which is a network that holds billions of digitized human minds. Our hero is Major Fletcher, working for a corporation combat unit called CLN he answers the call when the city is finally breached by the machines.

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Graphics

Personally, it is not necessarily the graphic overhaul that I play remasters for; it is usually for the new features and any DLC or extra content I missed out on during the original release, though that is not the case for gamers as a whole. They want the prettiest thing that they can show off on their big televisions. Anyway, Hard Reset happens to be a special case. The above video has comments that tear down the game and developers for what looks like poor work, but the description of the game simply states that it has been overhauled to their latest engine which improves lighting and special effects.
After reading in the comments I discovered that the makers of the video reached out to developers or more info. Their response was that the original included what is called “baked ambient occlusion.” This essentially handles lighting effects and has not been used since the original game. As for Redux, when switching to the latest engine, they began using “screen spaced” ambient occlusion which is supposedly an overall improvement. This works very well for the game considering the player must use a lot of environmental hazards to help take down hordes of evil robots. In their response, the developers did mention that certain processes have also changed and that the game will sometimes look worse in static screen while looking great when the player is in motion. The makers of the video ultimately came to the conclusion that any missing particle or lighting effects are bugs rather than something that got pulled from the remaster.

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Gameplay

I believe the best improvements were made where they were greatly needed. I did not play a ton of the original because it felt way too difficult. Now the gameplay has been balanced enough to make it fun and still have a decent level of challenge. I am also in favor of the new quickdash mechanic. In the original I would get wrecked by these charging gorilla robots because I could not turn and run out of the way fast enough. These changes in gameplay have led me to progress further than I could in the original and have created a more pleasant and enjoyable experience.
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Final Thoughts

With the release of games like Shadow Warrior, Wolfenstein, Doom, and now a new Quake being announced, I am a big supporter of this resurgence we are seeing with classic first person shooters. The same reasons I enjoy those games are why I really enjoy Hard Reset, so I fully support the release of Redux and everything Flying Wild Hog has been doing to make first person shooters great again. If you have played the original, I highly recommend revisiting the game with this updated version, and the $20 price tag drops down to $3 on Steam if you already own the original. Redux has also been released on consoles, classic FPS fans who own a PS4 or Xbox One can now get in on the action as well.

L.J. Lowery

Born in southern California, but currently residing in Lafayette, Louisiana. Loves Hip Hop music, comics, and video games. Events/Media Coordinator, Podcast Producer, and Public Relations.

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