As we head into a new generation, Resogun blends the past and future of gaming to create something truly wonderful – an old school shooter with a plethora of new tricks up its sleeve. It’s a game at it’s purest: unforgivingly hard, refined and absolutely stunning. Resogun is one of the best PS4 titles available at launch.
And it feels as though it’s taken all this time just to get here – it’s evolved from side scrolling shooters to create a beautiful symphony of dying enemies exploding into the individual 3D cubes they’re made out of, throwing particles over the screen without a single hint of slowdown. Despite not being a shooter or racing game striving for realism, it’s perhaps the best visual spectacle on the PS4.
It’s deceptively and wonderfully complex too. At face value, it might just seem like a side scrolling space shooter, but you’re tied to 360 degrees around a carousel of sorts, meaning you can swoop around the map and sneak up on enemies from the back, and you’ll face foes on both sides.
Thankfully, the control scheme means that it’s easy to handle – there’s the left stick for moving left, right, up and down along a side-on plane, and the right stick for shooting horizontally in either direction. It’s slick, responsive and comfortable, which makes the game very fun to play, if yet quite challenging.
Aside from the wonderful notion of blowing enemies up as they come from both sides, increasing your multiplayer and the amount of voxels on-screen, there’s a secondary mechanic – involving saving humans – which really takes Resogun to the next level. Essentially, these humans are in jail cells, captured by the enemy overlords – keepers. These special enemies will glow green and need to be destroyed within a certain amount of time -and occasionally in a specific order- to free a human captive.
It’s not something that you’ll pick up right away, and you then have to grab the human and take them to an escape pod. It definitely sounds tedious and complicated, but when you’re playing and you get into a rhythm of weaving in and out of foes before destroying them, all the while saving humans as you go, it’s simply fantastic.
There are three different ships to choose from, across four difficulty levels. Even the second level – Experienced – can be quite a challenge, so you’ll want to stick to Rookie if you aren’t great at/familiar with these games. The choice of ship directly affects your weapons. First, there’s the Nemesis, which has speedy homing missiles, then the Ferox with it’s fast, long ranged and more powerful lasers, and finally the Phobos whip with its close-ranged attacks.
The stats also differ across ships, with them having different bonuses to agility, boost or Overdrive: a devastating move which slows down time and causes massive destruction. It’s not quite as powerful as the bomb, which sends a shockwave across the entire screen and around the central column, defeating every foe in its path, mind. Along with boost – which can be used to get out of a situation quickly or destroy enemies in a straight line – these create glorious visual effects which might leave you picking your jaw up off the floor.
You’ll want to keep your multiplier up, and to do that you simply destroy enemy ships or save humans, keeping a chain going so that it doesn’t reset to 1.00 – that’s just another part of Resogun’s complexity which you’ll soon settle into.
There’s just so much to it, reflected by the sheer number of voxels on screen at any one time. Even without counting, it’s clear there are hundreds if not thousands of these cubed particles, and it’s so beautiful seeing these react in motion. Like a fun, playable physics tech demo from a few years ago. This plays into the boss mechanics, who are once again made up of these particles, and they’re very satisfying to do battle against.
While there might only be five levels, it’ll take you a good amount of time to complete these, and beyond that there’s hours more of content as you try on higher difficulties, aiming to save all the humans or get a higher score as you go. There’s online co-op too, and while it’s unfortunate that it’s limited to online only, it makes sense as you’ll constantly be separating to avoid enemies and traverse around the level. Perhaps it’s something for a future Remote Play update then?
We need more games like Resogun. Housemarque have once again proven that they’re the masters of innovation through old school design. It’s a stunning game, and perhaps one of the best to show off your new hardware. It’s rhythmic, satisfying, hardcore and ultimately a joy to play, and well worth as many hours of your time as it can steal.