The Good: Excellent visuals, interesting weapons
The Bad: Frustratingly difficult, broken weapon system, repetitive enemies, very linear, uninteresting story, messy cut scenes
Hard Reset is a cyberpunk game set in the future about a war between AI machines and humans. You are an agent of the CLN trying to stop this, but the story is kind of just vaguely tossed together and doesn't really make any sense. You also don't get much sense of what's going on in the world. The characters are uninteresting, and the messy comic style cut scenes are uninspired and sloppy. Besides this the game has some solid shooting, but even that has issues of its own.
There are only two guns and each one has its own different "add-ons". The energy weapons let you shoot plasma, mortars, a smartgun which shoots through walls, and EMP grenades. The CLN gun has a machine gun, RPG, shotgun, and grenade launcher. This is great and all, but this system is flawed. Switching between two weapons and then to the right attachment is stupid. Not only are the gun switching animations slow, but having to do this costs precious seconds in which you're dying. This also rolls into the biggest problem with the game: It's too damn hard. Sure I like a challenge, but just a few hits and you're dead, but there are tons of enemies thrown at you and they don't go down easy. Expect to restart dozens of times almost during every fight unless you're on easy.
Why would a game have a weapon system that works against itself? Who knows. You can buy these attachments and upgrade them by finding XP lying around everywhere, but the progression is slow and by the end of the game you will barely have bought 10 upgrades. My other complaint is that there are only about 6 different types of robots you can shoot and it gets old very fast. The first couple of levels are pretty awesome then that wears out when you get to your first fight where you die about 10 times.
There are a couple of boss fights, but they are almost impossible to beat on any difficulty but easy. I haven't played such a hard FPS that I can remember. It actually makes the game not very fun at all, and even the most skilled players will struggle. I can't even believe they put an insane mode in here. One hit and you're dead which makes it impossible to go past the first fight in the game. Go figure. The objectives are all the same with you pressing this button, shut down this thing to go past that thing. There are secret areas you can find to improve your end of level score, but who really cares? You'll be lucky if you can get through the damn game.
The game looks pretty damn good with a nice Blade Runner type art style, but it's wasted on linear levels. The overall feeling of the world has lots of potential with kiosks hocking items in robotic/half failing voices, holograms with propaganda and ads everywhere. I like the style, but it sure went to waste. Overall Hard Reset is a decent shooter for a weekend sit down, but the extreme difficulty practically kills it. There's also not multiplayer which is a surprise so after you finish the game once you probably won't go back.