Have you noticed that I haven't been talking much about DXHR lately? I have to confess, it hasn't hooked me the way I thought it would. I burned through the first 12 hours in about two days, but then the hurricane hit and I lost power. But now that everything is back to normal, I just haven't had the urge to play it.
As I wrote in my most recent blog entry, I am getting annoyed with studios saying that they are focusing on PC gaming...when all they are doing is releasing console ports with extra PC graphics options. To be blunt: that is my impression of DXHR. It just looks like a console port to me. It also has that sloppy, sluggish feeling that all ports seem have on the PC. Now, to be fair, my vid card is too old to try the game on DX11 settings, but on DX10, the game is rather bland and forgettable. I am even finding the audio to be lackluster. I think GameSpot might have been the only honest review: the game is closer to 8.5 than to PC Gamer's 9.4.
Now, why am I saying this here? Well, today Flying Wild Hog Studio () released a Steam demo for Hard Reset and I have to say that I think I had more fun during the course of that brief (all too brief! ) demo than I had in all of my 12 hours with DXHR!
Hard Reset was promised to be an old-school, PC exclusive title, and it shows! The graphics, even on my old card, put DXHR to shame. It's a beautiful game with all the Blade Runner stylings that I am finding strangely lacking in DXHR. Yet, despite being beautiful (according to the demo, the game is running on Ultra settings!), the game runs like a dream. The audio also is fantastic. There are all sorts of ambient sounds - including creepy chirps and beeps from unseen killer robots that make you really paranoid - that make the game feel so much more alive than the strangely quiet levels in DXHR.
The gameplay is great, too. Again, this is an old school run and gun shooter, so there isn't a lot of sophistication here - think a modern FPS verison of the classic Berserk - but it is still a lot of fun. And it even has its own form of puzzles, too, as there seems to be multiple ways of defeating the hordes of killer robots. Really, I felt that there was almost a tower defense aspect to this game at times.
Long short: GO GET THE DEMO NOW!
As for me, I'm off to pre-order (10% off on Steam)! They earned my money just by making a solid PC ONLY shooter!
I played through some of the demo. I liked it but part of me just didn't "get it."
It's highly polished, but I would have benefited from more introduction to what my bubble buster was supposed to be doing and why it takes 50 million shots to take out one of those little walker robots. Also, I never saw how upgrades did anything - maybe it's frozen in the demo?
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It's highly polished, but I would have benefited from more introduction to what my bubble buster was supposed to be doing and why it takes 50 million shots to take out one of those little walker robots.
Because...they have armor? Or they have a coat of Turtle Wax on them? I don't know. It's sci-fi, it's not supposed to make sense.
Also, I never saw how upgrades did anything - maybe it's frozen in the demo?
I thought the few upgrades that were unlocked in the demo were quite interesting and really did make a difference. I loved the grenade launcher (and how the grenades would appear to roll for a few feet). I also liked the EMP add-on that would short-circuit the 'bots. The plasma arc (I forget the name) add-on also was very helpful in dealing with the little buzz saw 'bots. Once you hit them with that, they were easy to kill.