Review: Resogun from Housemarque for Playstation 4

Review: Resogun from Housemarque for Playstation 4
4.5

Platforms:

PlayStation 4

Game Name:

Resogun

Developer(s):

Housemarque

Genre(s):

Action, Shooter

Release Date:

Nov 15, 2013

ESRB Rating:

E for Everyone

Resogun: What We Think

The last humans on distant planets have been rounded up, and await extermination. Select from one of three ships, and race to their defense. Fend off swarms of enemy ships, and prevent caged humans from being captured or annihilated.

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Resogun screenshot: When you first see Armageddon, you may think it’s your mind exploding.

Housemarque games delivers a shooter experience that is reminiscent of both Super Stardust HD and the 1980’s arcade classic Defender. Intense side-scrolling combat is submerged in a scalding bath of mind-blowing particle emitters. Resogun is a great drop-in action title that will also have leaderboard-crazed PSN denizens champing at the bit.

Puny Humans

Resogun is a 2.5D shooter boasting gorgeous 3D visuals, while restricting movement to a cylindrical playfield that tracks as you move left or right. As a result, you’re able to keep an eye on what action is taking place on the other end of the battleground (which comes in handy when trying to track where to be next for the most points).

Each world contains 10 humans that have been captured. As you engage in battle with the endless waves of enemy ships, you’ll occasionally receive a spoken warning that Keepers are incoming. The squads of drones charged with holding the remnants of the squishy race are identified with a green glow. Defeating a team of them will release a captive who can then be carried to one of two safe points on each world. Fail to completely thwart a wave of these glorified prison guards, and one of your charges will be unceremoniously executed.

Bonus? They hardly even know us…

Standing solely on its own merits as an arcade style shooter, Resogun is a solid offering. Once you’ve cleared a level and witness what sorts of potential bonuses exist, it can quickly become an obsession: Continue to destroy enemies in rapid succession and your immediate score multiplier accrues. Maintain this, while saving all humans, surviving the stage without losing a life, and not using a smart bomb, and suddenly your end of level score rockets upwards exponentially. Players with quick reflexes and a steady hand will be heartily rewarded for a meticulous playthrough of any world.

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Resogun – image courtesy of Housemarque

Fans of Super Stardust HD will be right at home with the controls. Weapon fire, movement, boosting and smart bombs are all mapped to the same control buttons on Housemarque’s previous twin stick shooter. Differences of note include the overdrive assault, which is a one time use powerful attack that slowly recharges as you play.

The Whites of Their Eyes

While SSHD allowed for a full range of fire via the second analog stick, Resogun restricts to firing left or right. You have to line up each shot, all the while dodging enemy fire. A lot of the action takes place just beyond the nose of your spacecraft. Add in humans being released (and vulnerable) on the other side of the world, and you have an action experience that keeps you on your toes throughout.

Your basic weapon is the butter knife of laser cannons. Watch for upgrade tokens to give your firepower a much needed shot in the arm. How your weapons upgrade depends on the ship you initially choose, but each will eventually boast an array of firepower that is as pretty to look at as it is highly destructive.

Like a Boss

Reaching the end-stage of a world unleashes the boss enemy. They take up a lot of on-screen real estate, and aren’t shy about hurling an unending barrage of projectiles in your general direction (or in any direction, really). Deftly work your way through the ammo minefield to pick away at their defenses, then go in for the kill.

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Resogun screenshot: Boss go boom.

Defeating the world boss will trigger Armageddon; the remaining building ruins begin to slowly shatter in real time in a stunning eruption of what appears to be millions of individual polygons cascading out into oblivion. Visually, I haven’t seen anything like it in a shooter game.

Drop Your Reso-lve

The soundtrack wickedly thumps along with the action, adding to the feverish pace of the combat. Many of the sound effects carry over from SSHD, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. In addition to being heard on your entertainment setup’s speakers, the warnings from your ship’s computer are heard from the Dualshock 4 controller speaker. It isn’t new tech, but it’s impressive just how much such a small touch can manage to further the feel of immersion.

With only a few indie titles currently available on the brand-spanking-new PS4, It’s easily the most impressive independent project on offer. It’s also a free game if you happen to be a PlayStation Plus member.

Get Resogun at the PlayStation Store

Link is to US PS Storefront

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Watch the Resogun trailer:

Adam Fimio

AKA Callabrantus [Toronto, Canada] has been an avid gamer since playing his first arcade game when he was two years old. Years later, he still dives into games on a daily basis hoping to recreate the high from that first hit.

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