I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into Resogun. I knew going in that it would be a free to play launch title available to Playstation Plus members, so I really didn’t do much in terms of pre-launch research. My way of thinking is almost any free game is worth at least playing so I really didn’t need much in the way of an incentive to download it. Worst case scenario I figured I’d be out a little bit of time and would just delete it from the hard drive. So was Resogun time well spent, or time wasted?
Arcade/Indie titles can be a bit strange at times. While there are certainly some criminally under appreciated games, there are also some games that you leave you scratching your head a bit. Resogun is very straight forward in that sense and doesn’t waste time showing you exactly the audience it is shooting for. Apologies for the terrible yet inadvertent pun. Resogun is a game that is very simple in nature, yet it’s simplicity is one of its best features.
At its core Resogun is a game where you fly a spaceship and blow up alien spaceships in an attempt to save humanity. If you are a child of the 80’s or early 90’s whom spend any significant time in an arcade, then you know exactly what this game is. Think of it as a re-imaging of the space shooters of that era.
Make no mistake about it though, if you go into Resogun thinking you’ll just walk all over it then you’ll be sadly mistaken.
Resogun is very deceptive in the way that it plays. At times it’s almost as if it relishes in taking you out of your comfort zone and delivering something outside of the expected. When you first start playing the beginning of the first level will feel very familiar to you. Move around and shoot the incoming alien ships before they destroy your ship and protect the humans. You’ll even pick up some weapon upgrades or can score various upgrades from saving humans who are in danger.
Right when you think that is all the game offers and you have it down to an art form, the game will start to flood you with enemies. Sometimes it’s not so much about the speed in which the enemies come at you but the sheer volume. It becomes very easy to become completely overwhelmed at times, especially as you progress through the levels.
You are given a limited amount of bombs and can get an overdrive skill; both which somewhat act as a “get out of jail free” card. Using either will almost definitely clear you out of any jam you happen to be stuck in. Making sure to use them wisely is key though, as running out of bombs early in a level could be devastating. Also a helpful tool is the boast function. In essence it’s the “live to fight another day” option. Using boast will quickly move you out of harms way in a forward motion, eliminating enemies that are in your path.
The levels themselves are split into three phases. You can track your progress through the phase via the bar at the bottom of the screen, that is split into three sections. The bar fills up as you destroys ship and signals completion once each section of the meter is filled. Upon completion of the phase you get a message saying phase complete and get a brief breather before getting bombarded once again. At the end of the third phase of a level you get to go head to head with a boss. Oddly enough I found most of the boss battles to be the easier part of the level. I guess it was easier to me of focus on attacking a single enemy than to have to deal with all of the chaos you encounter at times.
Which brings me to a slight gripe I did have with the game. While the weapon upgrades are certainly a big help, at times in the later levels it can create so much on screen chaos that you can sometimes lose track of where you are. Upgrade types vary by ship though, so I do recommend trying them all out to find one that suits you best. The upgrades themselves are either picked up or earned via picking up a human who is in danger and escorting them to the escape pods, which are conveniently marked with flashing green arrows.
From a difficulty standpoint I have to say this game has one hell of a learning curve. I played through at first on Rookie to get a feel for things and I feel pretty comfortable in saying that Rookie is far from a cake walk. In fact I didn’t even complete Rookie with your initial lives.
Thankfully the game is a little friendlier in that aspect. You just have to decide if you are playing for points and completion or simply completion. If you are shooting for points you have to beat the game before you run out of lives, running out of lives will prompt the Game Over screen to show up and reset your score. From there you can start from the beginning of the level but will no longer have your points.
Needless to say I haven’t graduated to being a points guy just yet and taking a look at the leaderboards, I don’t know if I’ll reach that elite level any time soon if ever. Outside Rookie you also have Experienced, Veteran and an unlockable Master level to try your hand at.
Look and Feel
While the game is definitely a blast from the past, it certainly doesn’t linger in that time-frame in terms of graphics. The basic spaceships including the one you fly may be pretty standard, the backgrounds and 3D worlds you are in are simply gorgeous. While it certainly may not be a true testament of the overall power of the system, I felt the environments looked crisp enough that I didn’t feel that I was playing a PS4 title in a PS3 world.
The controls are mostly basic. Your right analog controls your movement while your left analog controls your guns. You also make use of all four trigger buttons. L2 is for throwing humans, rarely have made use of this so far. L1 is for controlling your boast. R1 handles your overdrive ability when it is charged and R2 handles your bombs.
With use of the analog sticks it feels very natural and positioning the controller so your two thumbs control the analog sticks while your index and middle fingers handles the other functions is a very comfortable fit for the controller. Responsiveness of the buttons is very much on point, as it absolutely needs to be in a game like this.
The Final Say
Kind of funny trying to sell the value of a free game, though that will only be the case for a limited time. That said even if you miss the launch window and have to pay the standard price for an arcade title, I have to say this is a buy.
Resogun gets a four out of five: GREAT.