Review: Resogun Is A Lot Like LSD
If you asked me what Resogun was back in October, I’d probably stare blankly back at you. As soon as the PS4 released it suddenly became the must-have title for Sony’s new console. On the surface it seems a remarkably simple game. So what’s all the fuss about?
- Worth The Time?Most definitely
- Things LovedThe game requires a great amount of concentration but is very rewarding upon completion of a level. Even if you die the stunningly colourful and vibrant visuals and reward enough. Controls are simple but intuitive.
- Things HatedThere isn't any innovation and one could argue we've seen this all before. Resogun is very short, not really worthy of its $15 pricetag.
- RecommendationAnybody with a PS4 should get this game, it's universally enjoyable.
- Name: Resogun
- Genre: Shoot 'Em Up
- Players: 1-2
- Multiplayer: Online co-op
- Platforms: PS4
- Developer: Housemarque
- Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Price: $15
- Reviewed On: PS4
Resogun is a side-scrolling shoot ‘em up in which you have the dual objective of protecting the last human survivors on a distant colony while also thwarting attacking aliens and their devastating new weapon, the Resogun.
It’s simple enough, a concept as classic as any and we’ve sure seen many iterations of it over the years. However, Resogun’s brilliance is in its execution and just how damn frantically challenging it can get.
Players can choose from a few different ships to pilot, each with different ratings for speed, agility and overdrive (effectively a mode that allows you to fly through enemies for a limited time). Each ship also has a boost ability, bombs and a specific number of lives.
So still nothing special, seriously what is all the fuss about? It sounds like something you’ve seen 100 times over the years. Then you start playing the game and OH MY GOD IT’S SO COLOURFUL! There’s so much happening on-screen, it’s frantic and full of action. I haven’t had to focus so much since I last wielded a piping bag of frosting. No really, one wrong move and the entire cupcake is ruined.
Instead of scrolling from left to right on a linear level, each stage is a closed loop where enemies will come at you from all directions and you’ll quickly find yourself not only bombarded but frantically manoeuvring to avoid attacks and stay alive whilst also shooting them down by the dozen. Whilst doing this, a number of humans are in containers around the level and one will be released periodically. It’s up to you to then save the human and dump them in a portal before the aliens can get to them.
The game requires an insane amount of concentration and you’ll likely lose a good number of humans just trying to stay alive and stem the torrent of alien attackers. Look at that subverted social message right there.
You have a limited number of lives but as you progress through the level, fending off wave after wave of enemies, you can collect pick-ups which give you extra bombs, an additional life, weapons upgrades or simply bonus points. The aim is really to complete each level with as many points as you possibly can. I was pretty bad at this.
To do so requires a great level of proficiency to not only avoid death but save as many humans as possible and dispense of alien attackers with efficiency. In doing so you’ll likely make use of the Overdrive ability, boost and possibly drop a few bombs. Don’t blow your special toys too early on though because as the level progresses, you’ll find that enemies are coming at you faster than you can process. Note: this was while playing on Experienced which is just one difficulty setting above Rookie. There are still two more above it! Let’s not forget the big baddy you must face at the end of the level which takes some effort.
Fortunately, Resogun’s control scheme makes it incredibly simple to out-manoeuvre enemies like an absolute boss while shooting them down. The left analogue stick controls movement and the right stick directs your fire. It’s incredibly simple but very, very effective and intuitive. As it is, the game is pretty damn challenging without a complex control scheme. It’s not the cheap sort of difficult despite just throwing progressively more intense waves of enemies at you. Each level feels like a gauntlet and it is genuinely rewarding to complete a stage. The challenge lies in focusing and having the reactions to successfully out-manoeuvre enemies while simultaneously shooting them down, it requires a great deal of concentration.
Perhaps the only real innovation is Resogun’s use of the DualShock 4’s built-in speaker. In-game announcements and some sounds will play through here to help draw you in.
Visually, if I had to choose one adjective to describe the game, I’d call it juicy. There is so much happening on-screen at any time that it is visually assaulting and yet each moment is so rich and full of activity. The game uses a gorgeous palette of neon colours which pop on the dark backdrops. Every model carries an attractive amount detail considering they’re all composed of little cubes. When you destroy an enemy they explode into dozens of these little cubes. It’s nice to look at as are the other shooting and destructive animations. What I’m getting at with this hyped up paragraph is that Resogun is incredibly, stunningly pretty. Bite the back of your hand pretty.
Like many of life’s most beautiful things, it’s a brief experience. To play through the five or so levels with every ship available is no more than an afternoon’s entertainment and doesn’t really justify the $15 pricetag but there is arguably infinite replay value in playing the stages co-op with friends or trying to beat that high score. By God, it’s just so much fun though.
It’s something we’ve seen plenty of times, nothing new really but the brilliance of Resogun is in its presentation and difficulty. It’s challenging and yet beautiful at the same time, much like a well decorated cake. In case you haven’t noticed by now I’ve got baking on the brain, I should probably fire up the oven and take care of that. So let’s wrap this up.
Resogun is a great game not unlike LSD. We’ve seen it all before (for the most part) but it’s the presentation that is so damn good. It’s wonderfully addictive, comes in small doses and the experience is oh so colourful.