Few games have the ability to captivate audiences. Fewer more do so in a way that’s remarkably addicting by being deceptively simple. Housemarque’s “Resogun” accomplishes both in an experience that tops the PlayStation 4’s launch lineup.
As a side-scrolling shooter that echoes the enjoyment of retro-classics like “Defender” and “Datastorm,” the way “Resogun” captures the heart and soul of playing for high scores shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The game trashes the idea of 2-D play on a flat surface. Instead, “Resogun” is entirely on a cylindrical plane that adds depth to the world in what you see on screen. The game literally sends you in circles. Instead of becoming tiresome, the game flourishes as open-eyed fun that adds a fresh take on the genre.
The idea of the game is simple: control your fighter ship and shoot down an onslaught of various enemies, all while attempting to save the last humans from enemy control. You’ll use an upgradable supply of lasers, bombs and overdrive to accomplish the task.
That last statement is bold. This isn’t a full-fledged, “AAA” retail release. This is an indie game about surviving waves of enemies that surprisingly has an end.
Something about the speedy gameplay of “Resogun” just keeps you coming back for more – whether it’s to climb up the leader boards, beat yours or a friend’s high score or just to sit back and play for a while. The game offers an endless amount of re-playability within a limited amount of content. This in itself is worth all the praise.
Housemarque should also be applauded for crafting a game that’s absolutely gorgeous, and one that uses the PlayStation 4’s power exceptionally well. The former is exemplified by the “Tron-like” backdrops that pop in various colors, while the latter can be seen by what’s been marketed as “voxels.”
Voxels, also known as volumetric pixels, is just simple “Resogun” terminology for when one destroys things in the environment and they fall apart into thousands of tiny, individual cubes. In fact, the game supports up to 500,000 voxels on screen at any one time, each geometrically individual from one another.
This added destruction creates some of the most satisfying, and sometimes unpredictable, moments. For instance, Boss battles in the game’s end in “Armageddon,” which is a glorious moment of colorful, voxel explosion where you’re able to put the controller down for a second and just admire the beauty on screen.
“Resogun” is a game that must be played to be fully appreciated. There’s just something about the tense feeling you get when you’re nearly swarmed by enemies and you’re able to survive and see the enemy waste in your path.
This game is a fresh reminder that games are fun. They’re not always a chore of completing missions to see the credits roll on a 60-hour story. Sometimes it’s just about fun gameplay that’ll bring you back to the roots of why you started gaming in the first place.
“Resogun” is absolutely deserving of a five out of five rating, and the title of the PlayStation 4’s most enjoyable launch title.