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First Impressions: Testing Our Reactions in Resogun, the Prettiest Game on PS4

Posted by Sammy Barker

Machine of sparkle

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to reside within the general vicinity of this particular author over the past month or so, you’ll have been forced to suffer through an excited recount regarding Resogun. The spiritual successor to Super Stardust HD has been lighting chemical fireworks in our subconscious for several weeks now, leaving us spinning in circles Kylie Minogue-style at the mere prospect of getting some hands-on time with the PlayStation 4 exclusive recently. But did the retro shooter live up to our interstellar standards, or send our expectations plummeting back down to planet Earth?

There are a number of beautiful games in production for Sony’s next generation super machine, but none of them look as good as the Housemarque developed digital download. Titles such as Killzone: Shadow Fall and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag sure look a step ahead of their current generation counterparts, but the Finnish studio’s arcade affair goes beyond even that. Built entirely out of voxels – essentially nifty volumetric pixels – the title’s cylindrical maps get canvassed with thousands of individually rendered cubes as you blast away at enemies and boost around the stage. Complete a level and you’ll be treated to an explosive shower of the said three-dimensional squares, as the arena self-combusts in celebration of your performance.

This all occurs in 1080p at 60 frames-per-second without a single hiccup along the way. It’s truly a sight to behold, and is easily the most technologically impressive piece of software that we've experienced on the PS4. But that wouldn’t count for much if the game wasn’t fun to play. Fortunately, it’s also one of the most enjoyable releases that we’ve sampled on the next generation console. The loop itself is simple: you target using the DualShock 4’s right analogue stick, and dodge patterns of lethal bullets with the left. Much like in Super Stardust HD, bombs can be deployed to momentarily clear the screen, while you can boost through enemies in order to obtain some breathing room. Lastly, a supercharged plasma attack allows you to go on a trigger-happy rampage, but only if you have the required resources.

Resogun will force you to scream in both frustration and euphoric elation

The controls are super responsive, making each miniscule motion register on the screen. And it’s for that reason – in addition to the explosive effects – that the shooter is already shaping up to be a seriously addictive intergalactic excursion. The score chasing aspect doesn’t hurt either, of course, rewarding you for keeping a single ship in the air for as long as possible. Each time you shoot down a robotic turret or space craft, you’ll be able to scoop up glitter which gradually increases your multiplier. Bite the moon dust, though, and you’ll be forced to restart, severely impeding your run’s final score. It’s one of those games that will force you to scream in both frustration and euphoric elation.

Adding to its retro leanings, you’ll be able to scoop up stray spacemen as you progress. These augment you with basic points bonuses when returned to docking stations, as well as simple power-ups such as shields and weapon upgrades. There is a sense of urgency attached to the collection of these characters, as they can be stolen away by the enemy. Fortunately, the cylindrical nature of the arenas makes them relatively easy to spot, as you can always see everything that’s on the playfield in the background. It’s a neat design decision, which prevents the need to include a map at the top of the screen like in retro releases such as Defender. It also adds to the constant clutter, which is part of the title’s visual appeal.

After making mincemeat of several hundred ships, our demo ended with a colossal spherical boss. This foe tries to crush you by rolling onto your aircraft, but fortunately you can shoot out the compartments around its edges to gain access to its interior. Once inside, the enormous enemy will attempt to wipe you out with inner-orange lasers. You need to shoot out its robotic defences – while avoiding the aforementioned hazards – to take the giant down and reap the rewards. It’s not exactly the most mechanically complex boss fight in the world, but weaving between swarms of projectiles and landing the all-important final blow feels satisfying nonetheless. It’s also accentuated by the ridiculous voxel-powered victory screen, which will make you believe in the PS4’s power.

Even after playing just one stage, we’re confident that this is the title that will consume the majority of your time next month. The controls are so slick and the visuals so breathtakingly glitzy that you'll want to show it to all of your family and friends. With the promise of online co-op, a full campaign, score-attack modes, and multiple ships, we’ve thought about little else since reluctantly backing away from our demo. Leave it to Housemarque to not only prove the potential of a new piece of hardware – but also threaten to utterly obliterate our productivity in the process.

Are you worried that Resogun is going to leave your work and social life in tatters? Do you think that there’s a prettier game on the PS4? Pepper your opinions in the comments section below.

Game Screenshots

User Comments (25)



get2sammyb said:

@8vpiper Haha, that's amazing. I saw that happen in person.

It's true, though. The worst thing about it is that the game's going to be free (in Europe) — I can't even give Housemarque my money if I wanted to!



belmont said:

It is free for plus in Europe ?
It would be great if I could buy it, and all other PS4 plus titles, in the web store if I don't buy a PS4 at launch. The launch may be mid December here anyway.



get2sammyb said:

@8vpiper I definitely recommend having a go on this if it's playable.

@belmont Yeah, was announced as part of the IGC at GamesCom. It'd be great if you could tag it, for sure.



8vpiper said:

It is free but will purchase it anyway It looks to good not to give them a little something something



get2sammyb said:

@8vpiper Apologies for the contant responses. It sounds like — judging from developer comments — that this is going to be heavily supported over a long period of time. I suspect that there are going to be lots of DLC packs and expansions for this, which is perhaps part of the decision to give it away with Plus.



Sanquine said:

I Must have this! Looks sooo awesome... And considering it is maked by the guys who did super stardust... This is a must buy



Scollurio said:

Hmm it truly looks amazing, and epilepsy inducing, Im glad people can be that attached to this game, for me, well I fail at the concept of those twinstick-retro-shooters. But hey, each and everyone their own hm?
@getsammyb did you manage to get some GTA:O-time already?



JaxonH said:

I'm getting 2 games day one for my PS4- Killzone Shadowfall and THIS. And honestly, I'm more excited for this. Nano Assault Neo was a similar launch game for Wii U- beautiful graphics, the same control scheme and all (right analogue targets and left moves), and I loved it. But I believe this game will be even better. Killzone will have to wait, cause I know what I'm playing first!



Scollurio said:

@get2sammyb had my char up to reputation 11 already, met some nice guys, some jerks, overall some fun ride, when it works like it should it almost feels like an MMO with SO many things to do, the races, deathmatches etc... are all in hopper-format, soon to be filled with user created content, all that in an access-everywhere open world with 16 players roaming the city, ... when I logged in later my char and all my progress was gone. So... I'd say it's not working properly yet! ;/



Scollurio said:

@JaxonH I never was into Killzone, until I switched to PS (from XBOX360), dug into exclusives, bothered to read all the background story about the KZ universe and now I am loving it, KZ:Mercenary on my Vita is amazing, Im about to platinum KZ 1 HD, then working on KZ 2 and KZ 3 and cannot really wait for Shadowfall, for.... drumroll the STORY as they promised to finally delve a little deeper into the rich background story of this universe. Even Mercenary seems to have nice side-information about the lore if you look carefully! So, Im glad for you to have TWO awesome games at launch, just give KZ some love, Im sure it will repay you with an engrossing and rich world!



Ali247 said:

I've noticed on many pics of this game that it is quite colorful and I was wondering if the light bar on the Dualshock 4 will change through various colors in this game.



Ginkgo said:

Looks like Defender on steroids. I am unfortunately old enough to remember the original (which I loved). They used to have the arcade game at the corner shop, back when I was a wee lad.



get2sammyb said:

@Ali247 Unfortunately, in the demo we played it just stayed blue.

@Ginkgo We fight over them. No, in most cases someone indicates that they're super passionate about a game early on. You also develop a feel for what sort of games certain people like. So @ShogunRok, for example, is clearly fond of the Dynasty Warriors games. So that's kinda his area now.



OrbitScant said:

Can't wait till next month, Killzone SF and this. What a time to be a Playstation owner. You journalists are right jammy beggars getting early access to stuff like this. I need to change my career.



Visiblemode said:

Looks kinda awesome...but kinda overly busy. Does it end up just feeling like too much going on at once? Or is it something that flows naturally?



8vpiper said:

No Resogun at Rage expo we got Driveclub and knack. Knack is actually more fun than I thought it would be



Reverend_Skeeve said:

Wow. Rarely have I seen that a game gets all your guys foaming at the mouth about a game to this degree...can't wait to see this myself.

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