Harder: Hard Reset Demo Is Out

Look at that dude!
EDIT: Well, I enjoyed that! Not bad. Definitely “old school”, mind you…

The first mirror I’ve found for the demo of this “old school” PC-only shooter is here. The second is here. And it’s also on Steam. If you want something to read about what is in store for you while it downloads, you can go here. John says: “That’s mostly what Hard Reset is about. Having some weapons, and shooting at the enemies. Also, shooting at the scenery to make stuff blow up to destroy the enemies. And it’s no more sophisticated than that.”

Sounds okay. I’m downloading it right now. Race ya’!


  1. Sweetz says:

    The demo is also on Steam now: link to store.steampowered.com

    • Sweetz says:

      PS I pre-ordered immediately after playing it. I didn’t like Serious Sam or Painkiller, but I think that’s not so much that I didn’t care for that style of the game, but rather in a “maniac” shooter where the gameplay depth is pretty thin, the visuals do play a big part in keeping you interested – and I didn’t care for the aesthetic in either of those games. A Blade Runner-esque, gritty supercity is right up my alley though. Also, Prey is the last straight-up action shooter I can remember playing (skipped Bulletstorm) and that was several years ago, so it’s nice to play a simple shooter again.

      For under $30 I just need about 6 solid hours of shooting and pretty environments and I’ll be happy.

  2. CaughtVD says:

    It’s on steam too!
    Edit: Looks like I’m a second too late…

  3. frenz0rz says:

    A PC-only FPS with a demo that you can download from multiple mirrors? What is this, 2004?!

    Because that seems like the last time I ever needed to download something from Gamers Hell.

    • LionsPhil says:

      It feels from around that era, too. Kind of damning with faint praise, but almost like some kind of bastard child of Unreal 2 and DOOM. You’re not fast or strafey or bunnyhoppy enough to be late ’90s, although blowing everything up to find secrets is a gleeful experience to have back.

      And it is, thankfully, prettier and more readable in motion than the trailers and screenshots implied, and the HUD is less obnoxious. It’s very nice—with physical detritus everywhere, just to really slap it in the face of everyone saying DX3 had to nail down its office junk for technical reasons—even on a machine from 2007, and I do like the robot menu and even the developer animation, although they’re unskippable. The intro cinematic is nice even if the attempts to animate it with paper cutouts kind of undermine it with memories of Terry Gilliam. But…

      …where is my save key? I want to save before I commit to a weapon upgrade, damnit. Also I think they cut the demo just a little abruptly. They barely let the fragments of the last bot of what feels like a mid-level fight fall to the ground before pulling the rug out from under your feet. Give me a second to go “whew” and a little hint of closure with a big hook, here.

      From the looks of it, Serious Sam 3 is going to outdo it, but that speaks more of Sam’s excellent previewing than any huge flaw of this.

  4. ResonanceCascade says:

    I’ll definitely be downloading this after work. I could use some mindless blowing up of things after my massive Deus Ex marathon.

  5. Demiath says:

    Hell yeah, bring it on!

  6. T. J. McCormak - Parent says:

    I like the shooting at enemies bit, that’s certainly not boring. It’s an agenda I can support, it not being liberal and all. But I can’t give it to little Timmy age five, he might spend all his time trying to manufacture some sort of glowing gun, when everyone knows real guns are metallic, non glowing and shoot perfectly formed bullets of death.

    This is an outrage.

    T. J. McCormak (parent)

  7. lessthandan says:

    Yes! I’ve been looking forward to this game since it was announced, and I’m super excited. It makes me happy to see they now have a free demo.

    I think I know what I’m doing tonight. (And by tonight, I mean immediately after I get home from work.)

  8. Sidorovich says:

    If this a PC-only shooter, why does it have a HUD that makes it look like a console game?

    • Gnoupi says:

      And a weapon which takes 1/4 of the screen, most of all.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      What do console game HUDs look like?

    • skurmedel says:

      Numbers and stuff.

    • lessthandan says:

      But… but… big-ass guns!

    • Zenicetus says:

      It could be a frame rate optimization kludge. They don’t have to animate pixels under the gun or HUD.

      Quick question: Does the game support 4:3 aspect ratio, or just widescreen like the screen shot here?

    • westyfield says:

      HUD lacks row of hotkey-activated abilities; therefore console game.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I like enormous firearms on the side of my screen. There, I said it.

      I’ll also be enjoying Ascend while the rest of you are busy complaining that the weapon models are too big.

    • sasbean says:

      I have just played the demo and the guns don’t get in the way, at least not for me but then I like big guns because they look meaty and awesome.
      About the console HUD, it is not consolified at all, just look at the upgrades interface and then tell me that is for a console.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I played it at 1280×1024, which is technically 5:4, just fine. It seems to default to your desktop res and refresh rate and sane detail settings, which is nice.

    • BathroomCitizen says:

      @Sidorovich: you must clearly be some kind of console-robot spy.
      The HUD is obviously reminiscing of Dark Forces games, not consoles!

      Now, all praise this HUD!

    • Mctittles says:

      “It seems to default to your desktop res and refresh rate”

      Let me get this straight. Default to your desktop res AND REFRESH RATE!

      Holy crap I am going to buy this game. I had only a passing interest until I read that. Seriously, I cannot remember the last game I played that defaulted to what you were currently set, let alone giving any sort of refresh besides 60hz, making me play in windowed mode to avoid a refresh headache, or in the case of SMB not playing at all because inexplicably the game animation rate is tied to the monitor refresh rate.
      I really am impressed. It’s so simple to code, yet no one seems to bother.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I like big guns and I cannot lie.

    • Damien Stark says:

      “HUD lacks row of hotkey-activated abilities; therefore console game.”

      PC Game Developers: Your game will either be maligned as a WoW clone or trashed as dumbed-down Console port (even if it was never on consoles).


  9. sakmidrai says:

    Just finished it. LOVED IT. I played it on hard and it was pretty hard, I want more now. It was very small.

  10. Gnoupi says:

    I’m a bit disappointed by the demo.
    The game looks great, the weapons are rather satisfying… but I don’t know, I’m left quite unimpressed after trying it. The demo is very short, and doesn’t really sell the game for me.

    I guess i’ll have to give it another try.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Ok, another try, this time in ultra settings, and using more the energy gun, much better experience!

      The energy weapons are much more “meaty”, I mean it seems more like you’re doing something, compared to the poor machine gun. (And also, I don’t feel like walking with a brick taking 1/4th of my screen).

  11. Zeyl says:

    I just got to fling around grenades and electrical mortars, with all the graphical bells and whistles, and the game ran buttery smooth. And oh yes, it was a ton of fun.

    Hard Reset just went way up the list for this fall.

  12. CaLe says:

    Having some weird graphical problems (6950). Constant thick, black scan-lines running up and down the screen.. Latest drivers. Weird.

    • Mist says:

      Are you forcing anti-aliasing in your video driver? I had a problem that sounds similar and solved it by not forcing the AA anymore.

      I found it pretty sweet (but short). Playing on hard/insane probably necessary to get a feel for how the game plays (if you’re any good at FPS). Really enjoyed the final fight. Still going to wait for reviews, but if they’re somewhat positive (or “yup, full game plays just like the demo”) I’m going to buy it.

    • CaLe says:

      That was indeed the problem. Fixed and played through the demo. Quite enjoyed it but, and this may be a strange thing to complain about, when firing my guns the effects or whatever is going on kinda makes it hard to see what I’m shooting at and if I’m doing any damage even. Still, kinda reminds me of painkiller and I loved that for a good while.

  13. Keymonk says:

    Well, that was fun. Now trying to decide whether I should buy it.

  14. Berzee says:

    Yeah demo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Maybe if it’s so PC-centric it’ll also be moddable so I can remove all the immodest billboards and signs, which would be amazing (if the press demo is anything to judge by, there will be more than a few).

    • Berzee says:

      (I just watched the total biscuit preview thing today, and the guns with 5 modes is kind of awesome ^_^)

    • ZIGS says:

      I just hope there’s a way to disable the blur when running

    • Berzee says:

      What, you don’t get woozy the second you start sprinting?
      You must have some high-tech augs.

    • Anthile says:

      There was an option to disable motion blur, which I did, because it makes my eyes hurt.

  15. LTK says:

    That was awesome. It’s everything I ever wanted a game about shooting robots to be. I love the way the debris continues to come clattering down a few seconds after the fight is over, and last explosion has died away and the last robot has stopped twitching. Everything comes apart wonderfully like there’s no end to the amount of bits you can produce. I’m definitely buying this.

  16. Soon says:

    That dude certainly sells it to me more than boring robots do.

  17. Lewie Procter says:

    Pretty short, but fun!

  18. noom says:

    Downloading the hell out of that. Wasn’t expecting this so soon. Too used to three-year big budget hype schedule’s I guess. Certainly not complaining though :)

    • Berzee says:

      I had googled “hard reset demo” about 30 mins before this announcement and saw nothing. =)

  19. Demiath says:

    Have now played through the demo and I liked when things heated up like crazy right at the end, but other than that I felt the demo severely lacked personality in both weapons, settings, enemies and gameplay mechanics. Got a really empty, detached feel from it…whereas a game like Painkiller had an immediate charm which made me go “Let’s rock!” from the very first second. I could definitely see the full game being quite a bit more involving, though.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I agree completely. I loved Painkiller, but this is missing some of the things that made that game great. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it’s definitely a Steam sale type of purchase.

  20. liquidsoap89 says:

    At this point I’m mostly just buying this game to support the developers. This is exactly how PC games should be handled (graphics, demos, that type of stuff), and I wish more developers would follow in Flying Wild Hogs footsteps.

    Oh, and I’m totally downloading the demo now, so maybe I’ll also be supporting them for making a good game.

  21. mpk says:

    This game had me at hello.

    It looks like the Bladerunner game I always wanted to play, it’s got no use or crouch keys, there’s no cover to hide behind and it seems to be from the old run-backwards-while-firing-indiscrimately school of FPS gaming. It’s even got secrets!

    This is fucking awesome, and I haven’t even played the full demo yet.

    Even if the full game turns out to be rubbish, I’d happily spend time just wandering around the streets checking out the world.

    My next purchase was going to be Space Marine – that can now wait for a sale. This is mine.

  22. ThunderBlunder says:

    Very, very smooth, stuck it on ultra (5850) had no issues. Looks very nice, plays very old school. Would like it with a little more depth and interactivity with the world, but seems promising.

  23. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Oooo, yay, looking forward to this one with some fiarly notable concerns to boot. Should be interesting and hopefully enjoyable..

  24. bitbot says:

    Is the demo different from the press preview? If not I don’t think I’ll bother.

    • mrwonko says:

      It’s different in that it’s only half as long and you don’t get as many upgrade points to spend. Also, it lacks the statistics at the end which was probably a bad decision since statistics are great.

    • LionsPhil says:

      …what, DOOM style? Why would they remove things that would get their demo compared to shareware DOOM? Do they not like money?

    • BathroomCitizen says:

      Yes, those people are sure getting crazier day by day.

  25. sirtoggle says:

    I just spent an hour playing the demo. Tons of fun exploring and killing. Game looks sweet.
    btw, my favorite setup for the demo so far is the gravity well grenade/normal grenade combo bang. Pure pwnage.

    • wodin says:

      An Hour!! Hwere did you go? I blew eveything up and it last about 20 mins…

  26. wodin says:

    EXPLOSIONS…..that sums it up.

  27. xdarestx says:

    I really enjoyed the demo! Morphing weapons, exploration, secrets, beautiful world, amazing effects and explosions. Really looking forward to this. It was SO delicious!

  28. JackDandy says:

    It’s nice. Nothing more, so far. The demo didn’t show enough.

  29. magnus says:

    Oh yes, it runs amazingly well at max settings on my PC and it’s so cool!

  30. simoroth says:

    Downloading! :D I certainly need some dakka after this rubbish week,

  31. Stompywitch says:

    Wow, lots of fun. That demo’s sold me on getting this next.

    (Currently running through Quake 4. £2 from Cat Protection League, bargain.)

    • magnus says:

      £2? Meow! I spent £15 on a second hand copy of the special edition.

  32. Zyrocz says:

    Surprised to see how well the demo ran on my laptop. Would’ve bought this instead of Dead Island if the demo came out on monday, sadly it looks like I can’t afford this now. The only thing I’m concerned about is the game’s length.

  33. Daiz says:

    The demo left me quite cold. For a supposed “old-school FPS”, the character movement feels very heavy and slow. The way the character sprints feels completely out of place and you can’t bunnyhop either. Evading enemies seems rather clumsy as a result and it just doesn’t feel appropriate. Also, the main menu transitions are incredibly annoying, since they take several seconds each and you can’t skip them at all.

    Since I figure the movement isn’t something the developers are going to change this late to the development, I think I’ll have to pass on this one.

    • LionsPhil says:

      If you start the game, you can at least then fiddle with settings without the transitions.

      Yes, annoying to have to workaround at all.

    • Daiz says:

      Yeah, I noticed that… after I had already gone through the pain of fiddling with all the options in the main menu with the loooooong unskippable transitions. So the damage was already done, sadly.

  34. JiminyJickers says:

    Argh, why no quicksave or normal saving?

    To the developer, if you read this. Sorry mate, the game looks great but I won’t be buying it because I cant save when I want to.

  35. Pointless Puppies says:

    I’m surprised nobody’s talking about interacting with menus from objects. That alone is fantastic and worthy of praise.

    For people who haven’t played the demo: things like panels and the weapon shop are completely and entirely seamless. It’s not like in every other game where you aim your reticle in the vague direction of the panel and press the Magical Button E to active or whatever. The panel itself actually displays the buttons and you click on buttons exactly as they are show in the panel.

    The shop works the same way and is awesomely intuitive. You walk up, a bunch of hologram menus come out at you, you buy your weapons and you walk away without a single game-stopping menu doing a thing.

    This is exactly how every interactive “computer” thing should be done in any game. I want it as seamless as possible. I love the game just because of this

    • Echo Black says:

      I sincerely hope you praised the shit out of Doom 3 when it came out

    • Seraph says:

      I believe Doom 3 and Dead Space did this as well.

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      Yes, Doom 3 did exactly this and it worked great back then too.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Never played Doom 3 before. If Doom 3 had it my question then is, why did no game imitate it?

    • Hindenburg says:

      Iirc, Carmack said something about that feature requiring a ton of code to work. Quake 4 also used it, btw. Can’t recall if Prey also shared the joy.

      But the reason why it didn`t see more widespread use probably has something to do with it being a pain to navigate with a gamepad. No reason to move a cursor when you can just push buttan and allathat

    • Crimsoneer says:

      This was by far the best part of Doom 3…computers were so, so satisfying to fiddle with. Especially that arcade cabinet :)

    • LionsPhil says:

      Carmack said something about that feature requiring a ton of code to work.

      Interesting. Armchair-speculating, it seems like it should “just” be getting the intersection point on the plane of the screen with the ray cast by the player’s gaze, and some render-to-texture work. I wonder where the horrid catch is.

      Anyway, yeah. Go play Quake 4, which also uses this. It’s a very solid shooter, just not the same as the first Quakes. But if you like Hard Reset’s demo, chances are Q4 will be fine. (That said I have no idea why it’s still £15 on Steam. ID seem to crazy-overprice their things compared to the competition, and it’s not like Q4 set the world on fire.)

  36. Seraph says:

    I have mixed feelings about the Hard Reset demo. The problems in the game ultimately stem from major thematic and systemic inconsistencies. For example, while the new energy weapon is exquisitely imaginative, its mechanical counterpart is hideously mundane in comparison. Furthermore, the comic-book cutscenes and concept art loading screens glaringly contrast with the highly polished visuals on display for the rest of the experience. The greatest mismatch, however, is between the setting of the game, and the fundamental gameplay. The developers did a fantastic job replicating the beautifully dark and cerebral world of Blade Runner, but the mindless run-and-gun they created in tandem just does not fit.

    • Echo Black says:

      The comic book transitions are almost certainly a budget thing, I’m sure the devs would have used something cooler/more fitting if they could afford to

    • Seraph says:

      I would much rather the developers had inserted a wall of text with some interesting things to say. Quality work is much more important than scale.

  37. Hindenburg says:

    In case anyone’s wondering, works pretty well with a gamepad. Has rumble and everything.

    Aside from the visuals, kinda boring. Would be considerably more fun with movement speed being two to three times faster than what it currently is.

  38. NothingFunny says:

    Worst level design ever? These guys should play atleast Doom2, Quake, DukeNukem3d, Blood before even trying to make PC FPS.
    It looks good, but it play really bad

  39. Shooop says:

    It sure looks nice, lots of good lighting effects and runs buttery smooth at high settings even on a dated Radeon 5800. But The shooting itself is… Hollow.

    I wasn’t feeling any real excitement shooting any of the bots I came across. They just charge at you and hope you’re not smart enough to hold S and shoot them. The bigger ones were only a little more interesting: welcome back circle-strafing. Problem is I never felt like I was either desperately fighting for life or like death incarnate. Everything was just going through the motions.

    Kudos for the secrets though. That’s one of the things I really have missed about the old shooters. And the transforming weapons is a neat little touch. But the shooting here just isn’t doing it for me.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Turn the difficulty up. The little buggers fan out more and take enough killing that you need to move and use area-affects (like grenades and smashing electric thngs).

      Although I really, really wish I could strafe faster, rather than all this modern-ish sprint-meter nonsense.

  40. Azradesh says:

    Wow! That runs very, very well and looks noice. Pre-ordered.

  41. muted says:

    The demo is really short but it’s a blast, it looks great and plays like an old school fps, I enjoyed the demo very much.

    My only issue with the game is that much too long animations when switching from menu to menu.. say I want to change the video resolution, I shouldn’t have to sit through 30 seconds of robotic arms moving stuff around just to get back to the main menu

    • matrices says:

      The funny thing about that is that you can avoid it altogether by using the options menu in-game. Retarded decision on the main menu, though, yes.

  42. wazups2x says:

    They say it’s “old school” but no quicksaves?

    • resignation.speaks says:

      A small interview with the devs came out on arstechnica:

      “Quick saves on the other hand can ruin a game’s difficulty and balance.”
      link to arstechnica.com

      also, no DRM.

  43. dejoh says:

    Just plain fun. All around good shooter.
    Don’t be a pussey, play the insane mode.

  44. kud13 says:

    “HUD lacks row of hotkey-activated abilities; therefore console game.”

    what abilities?
    from the preview I saw, ypou click the mouse to shoot stuff.
    and you switch guns.

    and that’s it.

  45. Thants says:

    Well, I’m sold. The graphics are gorgeous and the shooting is solid and tactile. And screw it, I like auto-save.

  46. Hidden_7 says:

    If anything, this made me anticipate Prey 2 that much harder. Which sounds like the most backhanded of backhanders, but I think it’s complimentary on how great the world is. I want to explore that world, and while running around blowing up monsters is certainly a lot of fun, what I really wish was that I could talk to them.

    Still, I could see myself getting this on a sale, it does the one thing it does extremely well.

  47. Davie says:

    Well! That was pretty badass. I must say, I was confused for a second when I realized the ironsights and reload buttons didn’t work, and then I understood, and couldn’t help but like it quite a bit.

    The cyberpunk world-building is great too, what with the ships flying overhead and the kiosks that look like upgrade stations, that then spew holographic adverts at you when you get close.

    All in all, quite enjoyable. Looks like it combines the level of detail of a modern shooter with the gameplay elements of a 1998 shooter, which is great.

  48. zarod says:

    That was fun but wish they had included another demo level to get a better idea of the game.

  49. magnus says:

    I’ve just ran the benchmark this morning and suprisingly it said my GTX 560 managed and average of 20.9 FPS on minumum settings and 12.6 FPS on maximum, which was rather strange as the demo ran well with no slow-down at all even at the end.

  50. Wurstwaffel says:

    Well this was short and boring to be honest.
    I’m sorry but this is not in any way good gameplay. It looks nice but that’s all. Turns out “old school” shooters suck. You _could_ make a fast paced run and gun type of shooter with interesting gameplay, but this is definitely not the way. The shooting is hideously basic. The guns look and feel unsatisfying. The Machinegun even has a fixed bullet spread, no skillshooting allowed. Also the leveldesign is highly linear

    I mean come on, what’s wrong with you guys? Is this some form of genre nostalgia?

    • Dervish says:

      I think it’s a case of people thinking that being “old school” is only about having the right feature list. It doesn’t have regenerating health, so its health system must be good–nevermind how well it’s balanced against the enemies; there’s no need for analysis here. Secret areas? Automatic thumbs up, no matter how poorly-hidden they are or whether they contain anything interesting.

      Hard Reset might very well be a well-designed game, but this demo is flashy and simplistic. I suppose that’s to be expected; presumably the purpose is to hype the features and overall style. But jeez, being competent is not the same as being good. I’m still cautiously optimistic about the game, but am expecting a wave of reviews that praise it for superficial reasons.