What may seem to some as little more than a pit stop on developer Housemarque’s fast track to bigger things, free-to-download Resogun blasts onto the PlayStation 4 with sweaty, palm-inducing fervour. Yet, by recalling what came before, we’ve been given what may be the finest the future has at launch.
Resogun hearkens back to a genre that once ruled gaming landscapes and days when shooters were just that and a quarter equaled three lives — until you scored high enough to get one more, that is. Whether they’re played from a horizontal, vertical, or, in this case, cylindrical screen perspective, the how-to’s of the carnage are similar. While shooters seem simplistic upon first glance, each offers nuanced additions, such as power-ups, speed bursts, and wrinkles, changing the gameplay entirely of each game. Resogun is no different. Make no mistake that behind the wonderful colour palette and coma-inducing particle explosions, gameplay is paramount.
While changing terminology dictates that I refer to them now as “Schmups, Twitch shooters, or bullet hells,” I refuse to do so. Before the moniker was hijacked, these were what shooters were and always will be to me.
Here comes the boom!
Of course, the goal is to shoot all the things and each of the three ships afford you ample ways to do so all while keeping your score multiplier continuous. Along the way, you’ll gain power-ups to your weapons, ship agility, and Overdrive, one of two key nuances to master in Resogun.
By filling your Overdrive and unleashing it, time seemingly stops while you wield an unstoppable single-columned laser, decimating all in its path. Timing is key when letting this rip, though. Do you save it for the end level boss or use it to ramp up your multiplier pronto? The choice is yours, but you can never go wrong with unleashing Overdrive when the going gets tough ..
“Resogun smashes through perceived barriers giving us that arcade experience we never knew was missing.”
.. unless your other ability, Boost, is at the ready, in which case it’s generally the better option. It affords you invulnerability and a speed increase for a brief moment, allowing you to gain your bearing, escape harm, kill quicker, and get to humans in danger as fast as possible. It recharges quickly with time — or quicker still by smashing into enemies while it’s engaged. How you use these tools will be the difference from barely completing Veteran difficulty to mastering Hero. Just remember that, when the things go boom, try not to be enamoured by the perfect chaos your eyes are witnessing. There’s a game to play.
Saving humans is not a prerequisite to progressing through the game’s six levels, but doing so adds to your score, gives you more bombs and extra lives, as well as giving you much-needed power-ups. When your DualShock 4 controller speaks, telling you to save a human, you best heed its command!
Using its arcade-like approach, Resogun teaches you to improve level by level, death by death, growing from rookie to master along the way. Engaging and gorgeous, you and your friends will keep coming back for more. Shoot, score, progress or blow up, repeat, such is the cycle of Resogun and it’s rarely been done better.
And on the 7th day, Resogun was created….
A mash-up of old-school meeting new-gen technology, Resogun smashes through the perceived barriers, giving us that arcade experience we never knew we were missing. Some things never go out of style and, at least for one more game, shooters are once again king. Long live the shooter!