Housemarque bring their latest retro-themed feast of eye candy to the PS4 with a title that’s free to PlayStation Plus members. Does Resogun have the impact to be counted as a killer app for the PS4 at launch, or does its promise shatter into a million tiny pieces?
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Resogun comes from the same team that developed the excellent “Asteroids” throwback Super Stardust HD on the PS3. A game that had legs that went on until the very end of the generation for me, Stardust was one of the early games that turned people’s heads at the graphical fidelity on display, with simplistic enough gameplay that challenged anyone the further they got. Resogun continues this theme, with a not so subtle nod to the Atari classic Defender.
Each level within Resogun is essentially a cylinder, with a cityscape in the middle. As you fly your ship left and right around the cylinder, enemies spawn and attempt to blast you out of the sky, as well as kill the last remaining humans, captured inside tiny boxes dotted around the level. In order to save the humans, you have to destroy a series of “Keepers”. These keepers will spawn every so often and have a green outline around them in order to distinguish them from the standard enemies. Of course, they don’t hang around for long, and if you can’t find them then your little green humans will perish inside their cubed prison. It’s a fast paced and frantic race against time when these keepers appear, and more often than not you’ll find yourself scrambling across to the other side of the level when you least expect it.
As with Super Stardust HD, the gameplay is simple to learn, but incredibly difficult to master. Left stick moves, right stick shoots, the shoulder buttons perform tasks such as a speed boost or a bomb, with the super-powered “Overdrive” rounding out the controls. It really is deceptively simple, and it will punish you the instant you become complacent. The thrill of throwing a human into a rescue column (That’s what I’m calling them!) just as you encounter and destroy a huge swarm of incoming enemies is something that is rarely matched in even the biggest AAA titles these days.
Resogun looks absolutely spectacular, there is simply no denying it. From the voxels that make up the environments or burst from your enemies after a successful encounter, to the breathtaking weapon effects, it truly is a title that hammers home that this is a new generation. If you manage to make it past the final boss of a level, then the “Armageddon” scene plays out, with a staggering display of power from the PS4, obliterating every piece of the environment that’s left in a beautiful explosion of cubes and colours across the screen. With its 1080p/locked 60fps appearance, I would be tempted to say that Resogun is the best example at launch of what the PS4 is capable of, but that honour really does have to go to Killzone. It’s a close run thing though!
Resogun’s soundtrack is suitably frenetic. The music that flows through the levels keeps the pace with everything that’s going on on-screen, with the pulsing beats helping to entrance and entertain all at once. Perhaps the biggest surprise to most will be the sounds coming from the DualShock 4 controller, with “SAVE THE LAST HUMANS!” being a notable phrase that people will quickly become accustomed to. The controller feedback is actually very handy, with prompts such as “Keepers detected” and “Human lost” enabling you to seek out the alien craft hell bent on destroying all human life that remains in the world of the game.
Resogun is the type of game you can play, leave for weeks on end and come back to it at any point. It’s a real throwback to the days of the video game arcades, and it’s that appeal that will keep anyone coming back for more. With increasingly harder difficulty settings and an array of trophies to collect, not to mention an incredibly fun online co-op mode, Resogun is a title that should really stay on your PS4’s hard drive until the PS5 gets announced.
Resogun is an absolutely fantastic title that really should be picked up by anyone with a PS4. With every console coming bundled with a trial for PlayStation Plus, there is no excuse for anyone to not try this game out. A fun, engaging gameplay experience that is light on narrative but heavy on mechanics, it should be the first thing anyone who gets a PS4 downloads. A graphical showpiece, the Armageddon sequences at the end of levels should impress even the biggest next-gen skeptics, and who knows, maybe this will have me coming back for the odd game or two in 8 years’ time?