bill-swift - December 13, 2013
Ever since David wanged that stone into Goliath's eyesocket and killed that massive bastard, killed him real good, we've all loved an underdog story. A team of elderly asthmatic dudes with personal hygiene issues from Honduras beating the world soccer champions? We're all up in that shit. Sometimes, though, the victory of the underdog can be a vigorous kick in the man-plums.
As it is with the far-too-badass PlayStation 4 exclusive, Resogun. Is it uncool that the most critically acclaimed game on the system thus far is an obscure little slice of indie madness? Yes, yes it is. But in the midst of the game's epilepsy-inducing crazyass lasery lightshows, you'll have no ‘effs to give about such concerns.
Resogun is a deeply demented scrolling shoot 'em up from Housemarque. It's the spiritual successor to their previous futuristic efforts, the Super Stardust series. Let's take a look.
Those who have ventured into the eyeball-melting neon guntastic of Geometry Wars know what to expect here. You're a lone, heroic craft in the midst of a horde of encroaching alien assholes. You propel fiery laser justice into their exhaust ports, and they explode into a garishly-colored pile of twisted metal and flesh fragments. All the while deftly evading their attempts to do the same to you. More enemies take their place. Repeat until you win/lose/grandma enters your man-den to tell you she's baked some brownies.
Except let's halt the piss-takery, because there's more to the gameplay than in your average twitch shooter. Your objective is to rescue the humans in each of the five levels, who have been imprisoned by... whoever these guys we're shooting holy hell out of actually are. They appear on screen as --ironically-- little green men, in generic sci-fi forcefield jails in the background. To liberate these tiny bastards, you must kill a specific wave of enemies known as Keepers. Whereupon, you can pick the human up and deposit them in a teleporter pod to save them.
The Keepers are just regular enemies, with two distinct differences. First, they have a huge eff-off green glowing greeny glowaround them. Secondly, your spangly new DualAnalog 4 controller's speaker will bellow KEEPERS DETECTED at you when they spawn. Both alerting you to the fact that these buggers are now on the field and shattering your eardrums (we should probably find the volume control for the speaker, incidentally).
Preventing these guys from dying a tiny, pixel-y death is the key to points-amundo. As, naturally, is keeping up your score multiplier, canny use of your abilities and all the usual stuff. The higher difficulty options have a greater high score potential, but us regular mortals will probably bust a bollock trying to make it through them. Suffice it to say: revenge bullets.
Resogun is a sensory shitstorm. It might not particularly exemplify the whole ‘next gen' thing, but its techno soundtrack and neon madness is a treat for the eyes, ears and bodily orifices anyway. As nerdly as it is to ogle particle effects, watch the boss-death-explosion-thing that occurs at the end of a stage and try telling us that isn't pretty damn sexy right there.
It's a brief experience, with only five stages and limited online co-op, but score hunters will get many happy, trippy hours out of this. It's a free download for PS Plus subscribers (of which there's surely been an influx, because you can't play online without joining), and a great one at that.