You take the fast pace and the chunky visuals of Doom, mix them with the inventive, madcap weapons in Wolfenstein, then add some of the sci-fi influences and pseudo-philosophical pretensions behind Cyberpunk 2077 and the classic Deus Ex, and this is what you get. Originally released back in 2011, Hard Reset became something of a cult classic – like Bulletstorm, it was a flashy alternative to the grounded military shooters, like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Gears of War, that had come to dominate the genre. Since then, Hard Reset has perhaps been forgotten. But if you want an imaginative, spectacular FPS, for the low price of less than $2, this is for you.
With overhauled graphics, all the DLC available as standard, and various other tweaks and improvements, Hard Reset Redux is the definitive version of Flying Wild Hog’s sleeper hit FPS game. On the surface, Hard Reset is a throwback shooter in the vein of Quake and Unreal. Your objective, essentially, is to make it from one end of a level to the other, discovering secret areas and new unlockables as you go. There are dozens of enemy types, loads of hidden environments, and a constant supply of big gun battles.
But Hard Reset also has plenty of ideas of its own. Strictly speaking, you only have two guns, a plasma rifle, and the wonderfully named ‘Modular Assault Rifle.’ But each one can be upgraded, modified, added to, and customized into dozens of different weapons – explore the levels, find new weapon modules, and build whatever you like.
It’s also got a deeply impressive and always spectacular destruction system. Seemingly everything explodes in Hard Reset. In an age where everything was cover-based, tactic-driven, linear war shooting, Hard Reset went over the top, and then kept on going. With a ‘very positive’, 9/10 rating based on Steam user reviews, if you haven’t tried Hard Reset before, it’s surely worth a shot.
And now, it’s all yours for just $1.85 / £1.58. If you miss the big battles in Night City, long for a little more Doom 2016, or want something totally different from Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, Hard Reset is the right call. And remember, this is the Redux version, with all the additional material and improvements.
Alternatively, try some of the other best cyberpunk games on PC, or feed that boomer shooter appetite with the best old games that you can still run today.