Resogun – PS4 (PSN)
Platform: PS4 (Digital Only)
Release Date (NA): November 15th, 2013
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10
Ok, I know what it looks like. I know that anyone keeping up with the site is wondering why the hell I keep reviewing the same games as The Watchman. I promise I’m not trying to! But isn’t that why we’re all doing this, to tell people about games they might not otherwise know of? Do be sure to take a look at The Watchman’s review of Resogun as well!
Available only on from the PlayStation Network, Resogun can be purchased for $14.99 or downloaded for free if one has a PlayStation Plus account. Currently, all new PlayStation 4’s come with a 30 day free trial of PlayStation Plus, so even if you don’t want to spend the money on a ton of games from the start, Resogun will be right there waiting. Several games can be downloaded in this way in varying combinations of PS4 exclusives, digital only, and PS4/PS3/Vita compatible. Even the $14.99 is a fair price; hell, Sony could slap this game on a disc, put it in stores with a $29.99 price tag, and people would still be adequately satisfied.
In many ways Resogun acts as an updated Defender. The player controls a small spacecraft up against countless hordes of other assorted spaceships and must rescue individual people from their cells. Then the humans must be taken to an appropriate spot to be transported to safety. What makes this game so incredible is that the playing area isn’t a small strip of screen; instead it’s a ring. In any given area the player can move up, down, left, or right, but instead of reaching any type of boundary, one keeps traveling around in a circle! It’s like a 3D side scroller! Having the whole level structured as one big ring is highly conducive to the main objective of rescuing humans.
First, a voice will announce “Keepers Detected” and if the player keeps his or her eyes open, they’ll notice enemies with a green glow around them. They don’t hang around for very long, and all of them must be destroyed to ensure the release of a human. A large green bolt of energy will form after all Keepers are eliminated and it will travel to one of the humans’ cells to free them. From there the only thing left is to go pick them up and then drop them off in one of two teleporter-looking devices. As the levels progress Keepers appear with less time in between. Since the ship can only carry one human at a time, and the captive human will die if not all Keepers are destroyed relatively quickly, careful attention must be paid to one’s surroundings. Add to this the endless swarms of enemy ships and Resogun becomes an extremely frenetic exercise in quick thinking and quick reflexes.
The simple but elegant control scheme is something that makes Resogun all the more fun to play and hard to put down. One stick controls movement and the other the ship’s gun. Though the player’s spacecraft can’t shoot up or down it can switch between firing left or right with the flick of a thumb. Any clumsiness with control is fully removed since moving and firing can be controlled independently with a high degree of precision. The shoulder buttons afford the player a few more tools to get out of sticky situations: a boost for moving quickly, bombs that clear the entire playing area, and “overdrive” which temporarily gives the spaceship a massive gun plus slows down all other activity allowing the player to effectively maneuver out of tricky situations.
Resogun may not have the flashy visuals that everyone will expect but its 3D environment is rendered quite effectively. Waves of enemy ships move in precise, undulating patterns at times and “come into being” through a clever materialization animation. Once the gamplay gets hairier in later levels any number of events are happening simultaneously. Foes are both in the air and on the ground, new adversaries are forming, Keepers are following their paths, projectiles are launched, some enemies are transforming into smaller ones, the green orbs left over from defeated combatants…even by about the 4th or 5th level there are literally hundreds of moving objects on the screen at a time. Though busy, everything remains perfectly clear and identifiable and Resogun never skips a beat.
From merely seeing it or reading about it, it’s hard to get an accurate idea of just how much fun and addictive Resogun is from the first second of gameplay. While the idea of a modern shooter may tend to suggest it has the potential to quickly go stale like the simple shooters of yesteryear, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Each level adds new enemies and enough of an increased challenge to keep them distinct and the task of rescuing the captured humans always requires a bit of serious effort, even on earlier stages. Besides, flitting around in Resogun’s super-agile spaceship and releasing a barrage of firepower in both directions is nothing short of awesome.
It would be quite the pleasure if we could expect future releases in this vein from Sony. Titles like Resogun could easily become the new standard when it comes to simple but effective gameplay and it’s great to see Sony doing something different with their wealth of technological prowess beyond long-winded and complicated epics. You might not want to grab the PS4 only for Resogun, but if games like this keep making their way into the PS4 library then they may be able to greatly tip the scales for those still on the fence in the Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 decision.
Reviewed by The Cubist
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