Does Resogun resonate with our old school sensibilities? Read on and find out…
Shoot-em-ups (or “shmups” as the cool nerds call it) have been around since the ’70s.
Ponder that for a sec and let it sink in.
Humanity has been shooting space invaders in lone ships for over THIRTY years! And while we’ve gotten good at destroying those interstellar assholes, they just keep coming back for more!
Far in the future, the world is a crumbling shell, aliens have all but annihilated earth, and it’s your job to save what’s left of humanity. That’s pretty much all you need to know about the plot of Resogun, and as sparse as it is, it doesn’t really matter because it’s all about the gameplay.
What, you wanted more? You’re looking the wrong place, bud. This game is all about maximizing your high score – something that’s not as big as it was back in the good ol’ days of gaming.
Resogun plays as a side-scrolling shooter similar to Gradius, except each level is cylindrical, allowing you to fly around the level and arrive back to where you started. You control your ship using the left stick, and the right stick allows you to shoot either left or right.
The basic concept is pretty simple – kill all the enemies, stay alive, and kill the final stage boss. And aside from bombs that wipe all enemies from the screen, a boost that allows you to move faster, and an overdrive mode that slightly slows time and gives your weapons more oomph, there’s really not much else to complicate the gameplay…
Oh wait, the humans…
To add a wrinkle to the traditional shmup mechanics, the game reminds you to “Save all the humans” at the start of the level. Each level contains 10 humans – little neon green men imprisoned throughout the stage. As you progress through the level, you’ll encounter “keepers” – groups of green glowing enemies who, when all killed, release a human. Kill the keepers and a human is set free somewhere on the map. Then it’s a mad dash to find the human who was freed, before he falls into a chasm or gets himself killed. Transport the human to one of the teleportation zones and you’re granted more points, extra bombs, and other goodies.
While saving the humans isn’t mandatory (despite constantly being reminded by the voice in your controller to do so), it makes the game that much more frantic, especially when multiple groups of keepers emerge and you’re stuck with having to be at two places at once.
The controls are tight and simple. Your ship turns on a dime, and firing is responsive, and the enemies come at you fast and furious. Opt to choose one of the harder difficulties and you’re faced with something that’s almost at par with bullet hell games (although not as ridiculously infuriating).
While it won’t knock your socks off, the graphics have a beautiful retro aesthetic, but presented in shiny, gorgeous HD. Vibrant greens, blues, and oranges abound, and there’s no lack of eye candy for those who like videogame-induced seizures.
- FREE to PS+ members
- Crisp graphics
- Fast-paced, addictive gameplay
- Easy to play, difficult to master
- Easy way to get frustrated
- Not enough levels (5)
- No proper training mode
- No real story (not a big deal)
The Old Guy in me Says
Honestly, this game could have released on the PS3 and we still would’ve enjoyed the face-paced frenetic action, but putting it on the PS4 was a brilliant decision, and hopefully one that will pay off in the future once more people have adopted the system. Oh, and did I mention that this game was free?!?
With the amount of big, shiny AAA games that launched on the PS4, it may be easy to overlook Resogun. Don’t.
Resogun is a love letter to all of us who have grown up on a diet of Space Invaders, Galaga, Galaxian, Xevius, Tempest, R-Type, Raiden, Raptor, and other shoot-em-ups.
Who this game is for
- Fans of old retro shooters will be enthralled by its simple gameplay and fast-paced action.
- Older gamers who don’t have much time to play will appreciate its easy, jump-in-and-play mechanics.
- Kids who aren’t allowed to play violent video games will delight in the fun of blasting away at colourful enemy ships and saving those silly little humans.
- Even my wife sat down on the couch and watched me play for a bit, delighting at the simplicity of it all and recalling nostalgic times playing these types of games in the arcade or on old consoles. She has still not played it, however, but we’ll get there sooner or later…