Not just the best PlayStation 4 game currently available, but also one of the best releases published on a Sony platform in 2013, the brilliant Resogun rocketed to the top of our internal poll like a firework doused in gasoline. Finnish outfit Housemarque once again proved that it’s the master of the humble shmup, repurposing the slick score chasing format of Super Stardust HD and applying it to a cylindrical setting stuffed full of exploding voxels. Accessibly entertaining but also devilishly deep, it’s little surprise that we’ve opted to employ the title to solve office disputes by seeing who can score the most points in the maddeningly challenging Veteran difficulty tier. Video editor Ben Potter typically comes out on top.
While we all rue his unnaturally dexterous appendages, though, we’ve managed to pull a chunk of the team together to discuss just why this digital download was one of the very best titles deployed over the past twelve months. As with BioShock Infinite, all of the names that you’re about to see cast a vote towards the next-gen exclusive in our end of year ballot, so you should get an idea of who has exceptional taste by glancing at the quotes embedded below.
Anthony Dickens, Managing Director
Resogun was one of those totally unexpected gems, and thanks to moving house (and not having Internet) I was about two weeks late to the party. I've probably not been a fan of shooters since the SNES-era, but Resogun finally added something refreshing to the genre that clicked with me. I love the presentation, the style, the sound effects, the music, and, of course, the voxel apocalypses. Yes, it's a new console generation, but games don't have to be huge, expansive, epic blockbusters. Resogun is simple but smart, tidy but frantic, fast but controlled – and it's quite simply a great game.
Sammy Barker, Editor
I hate to say I told you so, but I really did tell you so. I’ve been banging the Resogun drum ever since it was announced at GamesCom earlier in the year, and while many thought I was mad to throw all of my next generation chips at a downloadable shooter, I found few things more gratifying this year than observing everyone accept this for the spectacular release that it is. Slick, sharp, and utterly stunning, I’m personally thrilled that this fired its way to the top of our Game of the Year countdown. Now about that Dead Nation sequel that Housemarque keeps teasing...
Jamie O’Neill, Retro Editor
Housemarque talent has been working on shooters since the splendid Stardust by Bloodhouse on Amiga in 1993, and PlayStation gamers have been enjoying their exploits in Super Stardust, Dead Nation, and Outland. Subsequently, the gameplay in Resogun is tightly tuned, and it feels particularly pleasing to control a side-scrolling shooter with the accuracy of twin sticks – a control method often confined to top-down shoot-‘em-ups. Surprisingly for a smaller downloadable launch game, this is a technical showpiece for the PS4, with the huge Armageddon explosion that ends each level demonstrating impressive impact and voxel violence. The risk and reward strategy of rescuing humans, hunting down Keepers, plus juggling the boost, overdrive, and bomb control options makes Resogun one of the most enjoyable Defender-style games that I’ve ever experienced.
Ben Tarrant, Reviewer
Although a relatively new release, this little particle-fest is worthy of its place in Push Square’s coveted Game of the Year countdown. It delivers that crucial balance between difficulty and simplicity, then goes and neatly dresses everything in exceptional graphics. It’s a perfect little freebie (for PlayStation Plus users, anyway), and it’s got everyone at Push Square towers detecting glowing green Keepers in their sleep.
Graham Banas, Reviewer
When I was in line waiting to pick up my PS4 at the midnight launch, I didn’t really expect Resogun to be my favourite game of the initial software offering. While I paid relatively little attention to it leading up to the system’s release, a couple of days after I purchased my system, I was surprised to find that Resogun was the only title that I kept coming back to again and again. The gameplay was so fun that playing the same level over and over didn't get tiresome, and the fact that the entire experience was one giant particle effect left me in awe of its visuals.
Marcello Apostolico, Reviewer
Housemarque has wowed gamers on the PS3 with its intergalactic exclusive Super Stardust HD, its Metroidvania Outland, and its intense undeadathon Dead Nation. However, with the launch of the PS4, the Finnish developer delivered a brilliant twin-stick shooter in Resogun. Bringing some familiar elements from its previous titles, the shmup excels in practically every department: stunning visuals, bumpin’ soundtrack, stellar sound effects, high-octane intensity, and downright addictive fun. Even upon earning the Platinum Trophy for the game, it’s still incredibly replayable, and near impossible to put down. It’s a system seller, alright.
We could talk about Resogun until 2017, but we suppose that it’s your turn to take centre stage. Do you agree that this was one of the best PlayStation games of the year, or has Sammy been secretly brainwashing our staff due to his own love for the release? Where does the title sit in your own personal top three, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, and then don’t forget to check back tomorrow to see who's taken our overall Game of the Year crown.