Friday, January 6, 2012

I have no mouth, but I must scream

I am actually going to play the spoils of the Steam holiday sale this year, I swear. Honestly, I should start with last years as I still have not bothered to download Cryostasis and Trine has gotten a sequel before I played the original, but that is not what I am in the mood for. Rage left me wanting more, faster and more difficult shooting, so Hard Reset will get its time under the microscope. The first thing that I have learned is that shoehorning a new video card into a swiftly aging rig is not a magic panacea for low frame rates. As soon as things start bouncing around the level the game starts to crawl, and there are an awful lot of things that you can send careening around. Just about everything is explosive, and those explosions can trigger other, larger ones. On more than one occasion enemies on the other end of the map killed themselves off by brushing against an explosive barrel that was leaning on a stack of god damn fire bombs.

At least the game is being consistent.

Hard Reset got a lot of flak for being itself: a modern(ish) take on Serious Sam. The only problem I have regarding this is that there is another modern take on Serious Sam that I also bought during the Steam sale: Serious Sam 3. Every moment spent with Hard Reset had me wondering why I wasn't playing the other game, and for one reason: Serious Sam may play functionally the same but it has the good sense to not take itself in the least bit seriously. Shooting a million guys running at your is absurd and should be portrayed as such. It should definitely not be interspersed with angsty cut scenes that are too noir even for Max Payne. For example:

And then they kill you, but it's funny,so it's okay.

Hard Reset has sections kind of like that, though I can't find any video of them, but the are played straight. You really are trying to save mankind from a limitless army of two legged robots with saws for noses, and the character you play drinks to silence all the voices in his head, voices of people whose personalities have been digitilized to save them from death, and the machines want these personalities to help with the next stage of their electronic evolution, and the bad guy is a good guy and the good guys are the bad guys...


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