PS4 Review


Arcade perfection

Housemarque have become Sony's go-to studio when they need a snappy downloadble title to fill in their launch line-ups.

Super Stardust HD has happily entranced thousands of PS3 and PS Vita gamers with its brightly-coloured pseudo-3D take on Asteroids and has quietly become one of the most respected indie games of the current console generation.

And so, Housemarque have returned to the drawing board to bring something special for the launch of the PS4. The result is Resogun. Resogun

Resogun's heritage lie with the arcade classic shooter Defender. Players move around a decaying futuristic city shooting down alien ships and trying their best to save the last remaining humans.

Again they have employed a pseudo-3D effect on the visuals. While the ship moves upa and down, left and right as the original Defender did the visuals have been constructed to make it seem like the player is zooming in a circle arount a 3D city much like players orbited a 3D planet in Super Stardust.

This effect works so well and adds an extra level of spectacle to the occasion beyond what you'd normally expect from such a simple arcade game.

Resogun employs the twin stick mechanic to great effect which adds a bit of depth to the classic Defender-style gameplay that the have faithfully recreated so well. Players can also deploy a bomb to take out overwhelming numbers of enemies, kick their weapon into overdrive for a short period to take on more powerful enemies (handy for bosses) or make use of a boost which takes out enemies in a burst explosion at the end, to get out of a tight spot. Resogun

Every so often the game will drop a weapon power-up which needs to be shot and collected. Other bonuses and power-ups are available for destroying special Keepers which free one of ten humans to be collected and returned to one of two evacuation points at the top of the screen.

Each enemy explodes in a shower of colour and leaves behind it a bunch of floating green tokens which boost the score multiplier which will keep on rising as long as the shooting continues. Pause between shooting enemies for too long and it will drop back to one though.

It's all painfully simple to learn so even arcade game novices can have stand a chance of playing the game and getting a respectable score. The real joy is when you begin to master these controls, boosting at just the right time to save your score multiplier and taking out a cloud of enemies or kicking in your overdrive to take out a boss with one shot provides a real sense of achievement.

Housemarque haven't skipped on the PS4's special features though. It may be a basic-enough twin-stiick shooter at heart but they've thrown in feedback through the controller's speaker so players will know if they've managed to save that human they've just freed or when they've perished. Resogun

They taunt players with the online leaderboards at the end of the game. Some players have already managed to score some 630 million points in arcade mode – a seemingly insurmountable total – but these achievements only serve as motivation to play again rather than to pour scorn on your score.

Resogun is without a doubt the launch title of choice for the PS4. With stunning executed visual and beautifully executed mechanics this is as close to arcade game perfection as you'll see on any console. If you have PS Plus, it's still available for free. If not the buy it or sign up to PS Plus. One way or another you must own this game.