Hard Reset: Exile
Developer: Flying Wild Hog
Price: Free [Must already own Hard Reset]
Platform: PC

After nearly a year since the release of the well received Hard Reset, Flying Wild Hog decided it was time to pop out an expansion to expand upon the ending that I felt came a way too abruptly. Exile include five new areas outside of Bezoar, four new enemy types, a new boss, two survival maps, more achievements and of course it’s free. The new DLC picks up right after the first game and will last you a few hours which isn’t bad considering it’s free.

The story itself is pretty forgettable and the ending ends with more questions, but I suppose that’s what a sequel is for. The new environment gives you a nice change of scenery with the blue city switched out for a more brown ruined local. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before in something like RAGE or Fallout but it’s a nice change of pace after playing through the main game. I felt the city had a bit of a claustrophobic feel to it which changes completely in the more open areas of Exile.

The new enemies are nothing amazing but I do enjoy seeing these sort of mini helicopter robots that can be annoying yet somewhat charming in a weird way. One thing I did notice is that the game does like to throw hordes of enemies at you that can make for some incredibly chaotic moments. Once again circle strafing is the preferred way to tackle the fights in this game and it’s a bit unfortunate that there aren’t any new weapons to get.

The new boss keeps very much in line with Hard Reset’s return to old school shooters with you having to shoot some flying bots who are conveniently carrying around EMP barrels that you need the boss to suck up so they can explode within it and expose the weak point for you to shoot. Of course there are also waves of robot minions to join the party every so often. The fight itself is decent enough like the other bosses in Hard Reset, but it’s just another example on why we moved on from these type of bosses in games.

There are two new survival maps that are there for the people who are into that sort of thing. If you don’t know, the survival mode in Hard Reset is exactly what it sounds like; you fight on until you meet the sweet embrace of death. After each wave you’re given an upgrade point and you have a few seconds to book it to the nearest upgrade station to cash in your point before the next horde rolls in. As a big fan of wave based modes I never really got into Hard Reset’s survival mode for some reason, I don’t much care for the leaderboards (it has that too) so there’s not much there but personal satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong, it’s damn good fun but I’ve always enjoyed these type of modes with a friend more. I will say that the two new maps are complete ass compared to the first two. The first two maps had good open spaces and multiple floors to fight in while these new ones lack both. One takes place in a rustic gladiatorial arena while the other is in a factory and they’re both completely flat with tons of environmental obstructions. There are boxes and rocks all over both maps that make navigating the box arenas cumbersome and make for some unfair moments when enemies flank you from all directions with nowhere to run. The original survival maps were pretty damn well made so it surprises me to see these newer ones to be so dull.

The Final Word
Exile is a fine bit of DLC for anyone who already owns Hard Reset and it’s free to boot. Hard Reset itself is a neat shooter that came out recently that I’m sure fans of the genre will enjoy if they have a decent enough rig to run it.

- MonsterVine Rating: 3 out of 5 – Average