Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: November 15th, 2013
Available on: Playstation 4
With the Playstation 4 finally here we get to see a host of launch titles from both the big and little studios. Housemarque, probably best know for their Playstation twin stick shooter games like Super Stardust and Dead Nation, joins the launch party with a fun 2D shooter with some extremely impressive effects.
Resogun begins each of it’s 5 stages with the message “Save the last humans” which is about the only context you’re given for each level. You can pick one of 3 ships, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, but each of them can only take a single hit so you have to be careful with how you play each level. The levels themselves are split into three phases and a boss fight. During each of the phases you move back and forth on a 2D plane in a completely circular level. You use the right stick to fire either forwards or backwards while dodging enemy fire. Besides this you also have three special abilities at hand. The first is a boost, which constantly recharges as you play. As long as you are boosting you have the ability to ram right through enemies, which is a very useful skill. The more enemies you ram the longer you can boost, and if you hit enough you’ll unleash a shockwave at the end that kills all nearby enemies. The second ability is called overdrive, and you fill it up by picking up little green cubes left behind be destroyed enemies. When you activate overdrive you are given a chance to let go of the button at the right time to activate a little shockwave, similar to the one at the end of the boost. Whether you succeed or not it then puts the game into slow-mo and gives you access to a laser that goes further and is stronger than your basic attacks. Finally you have bombs, which just simply wipe the stage of enemies. You start each stage with two bombs and can get more by saving humans.
Saving humans is the other big thing you’re doing while playing. Humans are stuck in cells and you have a chance to free them by killing special “keeper” enemies. Keepers are distinguishable by their green glow, and usually follow a set path near your ship. Sometimes keepers will wander the stage randomly and you’re required to kill them in a set order. If you miss even one or break the order then a human gets killed and you just have to live with it. Saving the humans provides benefits to you, like being able to upgrade your overdrive skill or a shield that will protect against an extra hit. At the end of every phase an enemy spawns that, if you kill, will drop an upgrade for your main gun. The game is a lot of fun, and juggling between killing enemies, keeping yourself alive, and saving humans is a task that requires a good amount of skill. You have to make sure you’re in the right place at the right time and can’t let yourself get cornered between groups of enemies with all your skills on cool down.
Unfortunately for all the skill that most of the game requires, the boss fights stick out like a sore thumb. I had a little trouble with the last boss, but most of the boss fights are almost hilariously easy. Following predictable patterns and with easy to identify and reach weak spots, none of them should give you much of a run for your money. Likewise, the game is sorely lacking in content. It took me about 5 hours to complete all the stages and once that’s done the only replay value is in trying to beat your score. The game has online co-op, but there’s no other game modes besides just replaying stages. It’s a little disappointing, but the game is cheap enough that it’s not a huge deal. It just feels like it’s almost made to get DLC at some point.
Resogun’s graphics are nice and clean, but not mind blowing. On the other hand, the particle effects and explosions look great. The game is sharp and all works though. I found the soundtrack kind of forgettable. The game is a little weird in that it has the announcer talk through both the TV speaker and the speaker on the controller, so you hear every message twice. It feels like a weird gimmick so I ended up just turning the controller voice off.
For $15 (or free if you’re a Ps+ member) Resogun is more than worth it’s asking price. A fun game with a pretty decent challenge and fun game play. It’s a good start to the Playstation 4’s launch lineup.