Let’s just cut right to the chase: Resogun is the shining star of the PS4 launch. While none of the other launch games are bad, none of them reach the heights reached by Resogun. It’s simply the most fun and next-gen feeling game available for Sony’s new console.
Resogun is a cross between Super Stardust HD and Defender. It’s a twin stick shooter that takes place on a horizontal plane. You have limited vertical movement and instead move and shoot horizontally, with each stage being a giant circle that you wrap around. The ultimate goal of the game is to defeat the waves of enemies that come flying at you until the boss appears, then defeat the boss and move onto the next stage. There’s also a sub goal in each level where you must rescue a number of humans as they appear and bring them to a drop off point (this is where the Defender influence comes in). Along the way you’re collecting points and trying to set a new high score. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys chasing highscores it doesn’t get much better than Resogun.
The game starts off slow with only a few enemies coming at you at a time, but things quickly snowball until there’s enough enemies to fill the screen twice over. This is essential to keeping your multiplier (and your score) high, since your score resets if you go too long without killing an enemy. As the number of enemies goes up so too does your attack power – about once a phase (of which there are 3 per stage) you’ll get an upgrade to your weapon that gives you a longer range and wider cone of fire. If that’s enough, you have a few more weapons at your disposal: bombs, which wrap around the entire stage and obliterate every enemy, speed boost which grants you temporarily invincibility and allows you to smash through enemies, and an overdrive that slows down time and supercharges your weapon. There’s certainly no shortage of variety in Resogun.
Even more variety comes from the 3 ships available to use. There’s Ferox, the all-rounder, Nemesis, which gets more boost, and Phobos, which excels at Overdrive. The differences between each ship are most apparent in the later levels when surrounded by enemies, and each ship caters to a different play style. Since Resogun supports co-op for up to two players it’s possible to pair the strength of two ships if you and your partner can work together.
In many ways, co-op is the preferred way to play the game. There are 5 total difficulty levels (three regular and two unlockable) and while the game may be really easy on the earlier difficulties, on the higher ones a second player becomes invaluable. If you want to survive you’ll to learn the enemy patterns and have lightning-quick reflexes. Even a single, quarter-second long mistake can prove fatal as hostile ships surround you and enemy shots fly in all directions. Much like Super Stardust HD and the arcade shooters it’s descended from, Resogun requires practice to get the most out of it and push your score ever closer to the top. Getting through all 5 levels takes only half an hour, but learning the enemy patterns and how best to keep your multiplier up to get that elusive high score could take dozens of hours.
Finally, this review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention how gorgeous a game Resogun really is. It runs at 60 frames per second in full 1080p, and the colours are bright neons that keep you glued to the screen. Running on a voxel-based engine, every object is made up of tiny cubes that fly in every direction when an object explodes, and this isn’t just limited to the enemies and the players. As each level progresses the background steadily deteriorates; Everytime an enemy or player dies they’ll tear apart a small piece of the background and the end of each stage features a visually stunning sequence where explosions rip the level apart. The bright colours, fast action, and pulsing, futuristic music puts you into a trance that makes it impossible to focus on anything else. Resogun pulls you in and doesn’t let go.
Resogun is quite simply one of the best deals in gaming we’ve seen in a long time. It’s worth it’s $14.99 regular price, so the fact that Sony is giving it away for free to PS+ subscribers (and you get a month free with the console) is astounding. Everyone deserves to play Resogun.
Format: PSN for Playstation 4
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: November 15, 2013