Resogun is the best PlayStation 4 launch game, and may also be the hardest to master
Resogun asks you to keep track of many, many things at once. You need to make sure you’re dodging enemy fire and the enemy ships themselves while also returning fire.
You need to make sure you’re saving as many humans as possible, and there’s also a boost mode that allows you to jet around the level and through enemies to get out of danger. You have to read the level, figure out where you need to be, get there safely, and take out the enemy.
“Saving humans is like a side mission, it gives you additional bonuses: Shields, extra lives, and bombs,” the PR manager of Housemarque told me as I played. “But as you can see it’s not always the best thing to do at any given moment, as you can die doing it. You can only carry one human at a time.”
I want to save them all, but sometimes you have to let one go if you hope to survive. On the other hand, if you don’t grab those upgrades you’re going to have a much harder time on the boss encounters.
The game takes place in a cylinder, which means you can look around and behind the area you’re in to see what else is going on. It’s hard to keep track of all the visual information; the best thing to do is almost relax your eyes and try to absorb as much as you can. You’ll learn to see more, and to use it to plan your next move, as you get better.
This is probably the best launch game for the PlayStation 4, and it does a good job of taking advantage of the power of the system. Each level is made up of “voxels,” or volumetric pixels. If a pixel is a dot, a voxel is a cube. Enemies explode in a shower of voxels, and the entire level is ripped apart after you defeat the boss. It’s a neat graphical trick, as if a very dedicated child put the levels together with blocks.
“We actually liked the ideas of voxels to begin with, for us it’s all about technology and game play,” I was told. “Voxels just seemed like a cool way to go. It also lets us have all this physics stuff on the stage, which we couldn’t do on the previous console. This is actually pretty GPU intensive on the PS4.”
“They give us these huge, beautiful explosions, which is nice in a retro game like this. Voxels, man,” he continued. “You gotta have voxels. More games should have voxels, and a ‘throw human’ button.” You can throw each human at the escape pod with the trigger button, and it’s fun to see the little green guys go flying.
Resogun is actually “free” for anyone who subscribes to PlayStation Plus, and since you need that service to play online with the PlayStation 4 that should be a large amount of people. I was a little curious about how that worked from a business point of view.
“In terms of units sold, it’s huge for us. In terms of getting paid? We’ve been pretty tight with Sony, so they scratch our back… you know, we’re tight with them,” the PR manager said. “But of course I see it as a good thing in the sense we want this to be defining shmup of the next-generation, so getting the millions of people who buy a PS4 onboard from the get-go helps us do that. We’d like to have the game in the long run continue to develop, we’d like to bring new modes in, fan feedback is a huge thing for us.”
The game only has a few levels at launch, but each one changes dramatically as you move up and down the difficulty levels, and learning how to manage rescuing humans with keeping your multiplier up is tricky; you’ll need to get good at a great many skills to get on the leaderboards.