Resogun isn’t awesome because it’s free with your PlayStation Plus subscription, but because it’s a standout twin-stick shooter. It’s a game built on a simple premise that is easy to learn and made hard to master, and one that keeps getting better the more adept you become in playing it. But as it turns out, it is great that this was one of the games that Sony promised as a free download with your PlayStation Plus subscription, as it might actually be worth a full year’s worth of the service. Resogun is both fun to look at, and to play. It’s just the type of game to get you excited about smaller downloadable titles and their potential on the PS4.
For a game that has you going round and round in circles, Resogun is pretty straight forward. You control a spaceship that is responsible for getting humans to safety. The tricky part is navigating through the mounting assault of invaders as you transport each human out of harm’s way. While it’s not overly complex, despite the disorienting amount of activity taking place on-screen, Resogun lets you figure things out on your own. Housemarque simply teaches you the very basics, but they do a great job in using the game to explain itself.
Where many games will hold your hand until you’re good and ready to proceed, Resogun lets you learn the intracacies of the game on your own, and its a lot of fun doing so. Starting out in Resogun, you know what you have to do, but doing it is another thing entirely. With no tutorials or helping hands to guide you on your way, you have to piece it all together yourself. Depending on how quick you pick up on the subtle clues, it could take a little while to get into the swing, but once you do, it’s really an incredibly addictive game. Identifying specific enemy types is the core formula here. These green glowing enemies are the key to freeing humans so that you can transport them to safety. But identifying them is easier said than done. Resogun has a lot going on on-screen, and the window of opportunity to take these enemies down is very small. But that’s the fun of it. Resogun is a continuous cycle of keeping enough control of the circular arena to be able to scoop up humans as quickly as possible, and then being ready for the next opportunity to do it again. As the screen routinely fills up with voxel-based enemies and their remnants, you’ll need to be constantly keeping all your senses in tune with what’s going on. You’ll need to be listening for audio cues, monitoring the screen for specific colored enemies, and watching your radar to see if there are any humans on the loose. It’s just incredibly fun once you’ve reached a level of proficiency with the game — it’s also extremely challenging as you progress through the various difficulties.
It’s probably smart to start out in Resogun on the game’s Rookie skill level, but you likely won’t stay there long. There are only five levels, and it doesn’t take an enormous amount of time to get through them. Once Resogun gets it’s hooks in to you though, you’ll definitely want to try it on a harder skill level. And Housemarque doesn’t take long to ratchet up the difficulty once you make it out of the Rookie campaign. That’s where the longevity of this game takes hold, it’s devilishly hard as you progress, while remaining extremely fun. It’s also got some variation in the ships that you can use. The game comes with three different ones, that each have different attributes when it comes to agility and power-ups. Resogun will keep coming back until you’ve mastered it. You’ll find yourself becoming comfortable with what’s going on in the game, and you’ll want to rescue every human. It takes practice to get to this level of proficiency, even at the lowest of difficulties. There’s an online leaderboard, and if that’s your sort of thing, you’ll already have a massive hill to climb if you’re trying to get your name on that. Resogun is an addictive game, one that constantly has you pondering whether you should give it one more go, or just put the controller down.
Alongside the single player mode, there’s an online cooperative offering that allows you to pair up with either other random players on the PlayStation Network, or with friends. It should be a lot of fun. But for a game that’s as chaotic as Resogun, even the slightest hint of lag can be a real problem. Unfortunately, it does occur pretty often, and while it’s not so bad to play on the rookie levels, when you try to tackle the harder modes in co-op, the lag can be a really frustrating way to die. Resogun also make use of the PS Vita remote play, and it’s probably the best game making use of the functionality. If only because of the simple control scheme found in Resogun, playing the game on the PS Vita is a blast. There’s little to no input lag between the PS4 and the handheld, which is the exception and not the norm on the game’s we’ve tried at launch.
Housemarque hasn’t missed a beat since their Super Stardust days. Fans of their previous games will not be disappointed, whether purchased or downloaded as part of the PlayStation Plus promotion. There’s not a lot of must-have games for the PS4 at this point, but Resogun is one of, if not the, game that you simply must play on the new console. Weird, I know, but smaller independent games might be the can’t miss experiences on the platform.
- Available On: PS4
- Published By: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Developed By: Housemarque
- Genre: Side Scrolling Shooter
- US Release Date: November 15th, 2013
- Reviewed On: PlayStation 4
- Quote: "There's not a lot of must-have games for the PS4 at this point, but Resogun is one of, if not the, game that you simply must play on the new console. "