Fire up Resogun, muffle out the world with a pair of killer headphones, and get lost in a flurry of bullets. This is the kind of shooter that demands a gamer’s full attention, and it’s the kind of demand worth giving in to.
Resogun, which launches alongside PS4 next month and will be included as the first Instant Game Collection title for PlayStation Plus members in North America, marries the joy of chasing high scores with cutting-edge graphics tech. Like developer Housemarque’s other downloadable games (Super Stardust HD, Super Stardust: Delta, Dead Nation), picking up the controls only takes a few minutes. Move with DualShock 4′s left analog stick, fire with the right. Your ship has a boost attack, bombs, and a devastating overdrive attack — all executed with the triggers.
But getting caught up in the pounding, explosive flow of Resogun will inevitably lead to score chasing and an almost meditative state, as bullets coat the screen and explosions churn with the thump of the music. Resogun has killer sound design, which amps up the pace of each level — the perfect accompaniment to the sizzling visuals dominating the display.
Resogun is built with voxels (volumetric pixels), which means everything falls apart into little cubes after getting punched with enough lasers, before spilling and tumbling down the sides of the cylindrical stages.
Although play occupies a 2D plane, the levels loop around onto themselves. The player can see straight through to the other side of the stage, opening up a host of strategic possibilities for advanced pilots with an eager trigger finger (or thumb).
There’s plenty of shooting to do in Resogun. Players can fire either left or right (echoing old-school shooters like Defender), but snagging power-ups can unleash extra blasts, homing lasers, and other screen-clearing attacks. To make matters more interesting, eliminating key enemy waves will free humans that have been captured in containment cells. Grab them, deliver them to an extraction point, and earn even more rewards.
At a glance, Resogun may look like a bullet hell, but this game is designed to bring order to the chaos. Enemy ships follow patterns, and harmful bullets are color coded to give players all the information they need to dodge out of danger. Additionally, the ship features a thrilling boost move that roars like a motorcycle (if motorcycles are still used in end-of-the-world science fiction). This boost makes the ship invulnerable for a time, and ends with a spin attack for clearing out any pesky baddies lying in wait.
The stages themselves are a testament to Housemarque’s artistic ability, with crackling electricity lighting up dark clouds, and gothic buildings that crumble in the wake of heavy combat. Prepare for huge boss battles, too, which take up massive sections of the level and require careful dodging — and an extra dose of firepower — to bring down.
Resogun promises to please anyone looking for a gorgeous shooter on PS4. Be ready to lose a lot of hours hunting for that high score, and saving humanity from certain doom.