Medium: Digital Download
Online: Leaderboards, Co-op
So many games are releasing in a grey zone of console generations this year that it?s easy to wonder what besides visuals is separating them from each other. Is the audio fidelity better somehow? Does the hardware have a special pass that graces games with a better network connection over Xbox 360/PS3 games? Maybe one of them costs more than the other.
Anyway. Here’s another eye-searing game from Housemarque. Since it’s easy to confuse quality with visual fidelity when it comes to next-gen launch titles, we’re going to review Resogun the same way I played it– with my eyes closed.
Resogun isn’t doing anything new on the PS4 outside of being an exclusive, but all the old things it decided to reincorporate are now fun again because nobody is making arcade games anymore or something. Carved out of a 2D-sidescrolling-shooter-shaped block of voxels, gamers’ patience is yet to be tested again by another vision of what would have happened if we never branched out from arcade-based games back in the 80’s, along with Housemarque’s take on what will make it more interesting than the simple reward of blowing things up in great multitude.
The twist on today’s retro-inspired shooter is that each level has 10 humans to save, which basically serve as difficulty bait, since surviving a level is easy without any added challenge beyond enemy power. Held captive mostly by unique ‘Keepers’, destroying this select group of enemies frees a human from its gas chamber and puts you one step closer in a process that is either 2-100 steps longer depending on how easy the drop point is to safely navigate to.
Die while transporting a human, the human dies. Don’t destroy the keepers, human dead. All it lost? Human dies. Save the 9th human, retrieve the human, survive 30 waves of nearly death, throw the human in a dying breath to prevent one of the preceding from happening, human is stolen by a UFO, human dies. Trapped saving one human while two others have been freed? Humans probably will die. Inadvertently shoot human from a distance? Humans like to bounce into empty canyons and die.
Humans are like the baby from Baby’s Day Out, and you end up feeling like three variations of Spike Lee trying to direct an Oldboy remake. And if it weren’t for Spike Lee, we wouldn’t be challenged in any way to like his movies. Fortunately the challenge of saving all humans is not only self-imposed, but a rarely seen balance of risk/reward that I’m not sure most games understand anymore.
Aside from arbitrary goals and wave-based gameplay, the other thing people tend to pay attention to Resogun for are voxels. We’re still waiting on scientists to get back to us about what those are.
Resogun is small in scope, which means everything about it needs to have staying power. The gameplay certainly does, but the soundtrack is lukewarm. I would have also appreciated some form of local co-op, but I guess that’s not something that exists anymore. On the other side of the coin, I will never tire of the announcer-through-controller for a rounding out of the arcade experience that metrics say 65% of our readers will have no idea what I’m talking about at this point due to age. It’s also pretty, but let’s not be shallow about that. It’s really pretty, though.
I mean I’d f*** it. But that’s not for now.
We?re still not sure what voxels are, but apparently Resogun has them, and if they?re part of what makes this currently free PS+ game such a great coupling with the PS4, then they must be good for something. In that case, we should probably be putting voxels in every game just to make sure that they?re as fun and/or pretty as Resogun. Or tasty. Really not sure what voxels are.
One thing is for sure– this game is an exclusive to the PS4, and since it’s going to be slim-pickins for as long as all our hopes and dreams launch in two years, that’s one upper hand that Sony can claim to house on their new thing.
VITA REMOTE PLAY MINI REVIEW:
I’d f*** it on the Vita, sure.