So imagine this if you will. You’ve just got your shiny, brand spanking new PlayStation 4 and you own PlayStation Plus. You go to the PlayStation Network store and find that with your shiny new console, you’re given two free downloadable titles just for having said subscription. Sounds good right? Now imagine that Resogun, one of the titles given to you for the price of zero is quite brilliant. Got your attention?
Resogun is a side-scrolling twin stick shooter akin to that of the the classic arcade title Defender. Developed by Housemarque, the same developers of the Super Stardust series and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.
Despite Resogun being a 2D shooter, the game is set on a faux 3D cylindrical playing field and looks absolutely gorgeous, which is a given being released on new hardware. The bleak, almost post apocalyptic feel of the various stages within the game is cleverly offset with the bright, vibrant colours of the enemy ships, flying bullets and various power ups that appear during the levels. The particle effects stand out as the enemy crafts explode into thousands of pieces, scattering all over the place. An almost Tron Legacy-esque soundtrack compliments these visuals perfectly.
The games premise is simple, shoot things and rack up points. At the beginning of each level you are tasked with saving the last humans, which is communicated to you with both large scrolling text on screen and by making use of the controllers speaker, which I will admit scared me the first time that the instructions came blaring out at me. There are ten of these humans encased in cells around each stage and are only released after shooting a specific enemy type called Keepers.
Keepers are highlighted with a green glow and need to be taken care of within a limited amount of time. If you manage to defeat them all before they disappear off screen a random cell will break open, allowing you to pick up the human and throw him into a nearby tractor beam and to their safety, allowing for score bonuses and weapon upgrades.
Along with these Keepers there are many more enemy types through the stages, ranging from flying enemies, that require anything from one shot to multiple shots to kill, to ground enemies that shoot bullets in every direction. Each stage also has an end boss that has its own unique ability, making the battles much more strategic than the regular enemies you’ll encounter during the rest of the stage.
Aiding you in increasing your score is the multiplier that rises as you continue to kill your foes, so the larger the streak, the more points you earn. If you fail to kill an enemy within a certain amount of time you lose your multiplier and start again. Depending on the difficulty the maximum multiplier is capped, so for the rookie mode the multiplier is capped at 5x and increases the higher the difficulty. This feeds back into the arcade mode, as you’ll find that you’ll want to go back to a specific level just to try and beat your own score. With the added inclusion of online leaderboards, this is a perfect reason to try attain the best score possible.
The controls are simple, left stick moves your ship and the right stick shooting either left or right. Your ship is also loaded up with a limited amount of bombs that you can use to blow up every enemy on the play field and more importantly with a super weapon called overdrive. Overdrive is used as a temporary but rechargeable power up for your main weapon, slowing time down almost to a complete halt and blasting all the enemies on screen with a strong, but limited range beam. This weapon works great on large groups of enemies, which do come thick and fast in some of the higher difficulties making this weapon an absolute must in tight situations. You are also given a boost, which allows you to escape touch encounters by flying through enemies until your boost runs out.
Unfortunately there are only five stages to the game, though they really ramp up in difficulty towards the end, making it a tougher challenge. There are four levels of difficulty, ranging from Rookie mode to the unlockable Master difficulty, that almost dares you to play the whole game over multiple times. Resogun also offers online co-op both private and public, though the amount of enemies on screen doesn’t increase to accommodate for two people so may make the game less challenging as a consequence.
Resogun is a fantastic arcade shooter especially if you’re able to pick it up through PlayStation Plus, though for the price it’s still a great bargain. The only downside is that it is very short and can be completed very quickly, though the game begs for multiple playthroughs to try and get the highest scores and maxing out your multipliers, especially when tagging along with a friend. The combat is engaging and enjoyable throughout, making this one of the must have launch titles for the PlayStation 4.
MLG Rating: 8/10 Format: PlayStation 4 Release Date: 29/11/2013
Disclosure: Terry Fox downloaded Resogun for free via PlayStation Plus for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 7 days on a PlayStation 4. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.