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GDC 2012: Hard Reset Extended Edition (Impressions)

Posted by: Chuck at 3/11/2012 10:12 PM
If you're a fan of really hard old school FPS games you're going to love Hard Reset: Extended Edition. If you like some gravitas and some variety to your enemy AI then you're probably going to want to skip this one.

The folks at Flying Wild Hog haven't done much to tweak the update to the game they released last year. Instead they've focused on tweaking the game to fix a few complaints from their community. The best way to think of the Extended Edition is that it's a new mission for the game that that occurs about half-way through the original game. This new pack adds about 2-3 hours of gameplay, to the original game as well as a new survival mode map, four new enemy types, and a new boss encounter.

The new pack also adds a new environment which helps to break up the all of the city levels in the current game. The new organic levels aren't 100% vegetation but rather an old part of the city that's been abandoned with vegetation. The team said they were inspired by the series Life after People (which was also the inspiration for Enslaved).

What's cool about the new levels is that they introduce a new vertical element to the combat. The new level I saw started at the bottom of what looked like a humongous cylinder with lots of open space for the new flying enemies to move around. You'll have to be smart about dodging in and around the levels if you want to survive as the game does force you make better decisions about ammo usage and tactics in the new level.

It's also worth noting that the same difficulty level has been left intact so don't expect the game to be a cakewalk (even on the Easy difficulty). The game is unforgiving so if you're expecting to stroll through the game then you're in for a rude awakening.

The new content still looks great but I have to admit that I was hoping for some new AI variations or some new gameplay modes (the lack of basic multiplayer feels like a huge hole in the game). That said this looks like a solid pickup for fans of old school FPS games who temper their expectations a bit. Look for the game on store shelves at the end of March.