Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: Resogun

Having said "it can't be done!" when the game launched on the PS4, here comes Housemarque's Resogun on the Vita and PS3 thanks to Climax Studios. Sure, they've chopped the frame rate down to 30fps, but guess what, that has no effect on its playability. Yes, the graphics (or the text for that matter) doesn't look quite so crisp, but that has no effect either.

Instead we have a classy looking arcade game with demolition and destruction around every corner. With three ships initially at your disposal, Nemesis, Ferox and Phobos, you roam around the curved landscape, trying to rescue humans Defender-style from the aliens, while trying not to be wowed by the vast destruction and wondering if they let some junior apprentice design the rather primitive baddies.



With the odd nod to Super Stardust, notably in the end-of-level giant baddies, it feels immediately familiar to play with tight controls of whichever ship you play as. The soundtrack is great, but only through headphones, the Vita's speakers really don't do the audio justice, but most of the effects are really bland however you listen.

Most of the fun comes from diving in and out of the waves of enemy fighters, blasting them with the dual stick controls. You sometimes wonder how you came out of some scraps as instinct takes over and the screen fills with enemies. But, if things get too hectic the bombs, boost and overdrive buttons will come to your rescue, letting you unleash some of your own mayhem. The later two are charged up by collecting the detritus of the baddies and building up the score multiplayer which is the key to getting up the online leaderboards.

With arcade and single level modes, plus online co-op to add to the fun, Resogun does look impressive but some weak design choices don't make it stand out among the Vita's crowded roster of top shooters. There's a few things I don't get. Why do some aliens move above the top of the game zone? If you're following them, you can get trapped up top by other waves, or blow your multiplier as they become unkillable, it seems an odd feature.

Then there's the feeble alien design, and I'm still not sure what made them think throwing rescued humans was a good idea, it just distracts you (and sometimes gets you killed). And the total lack of the PS4's DLC - surely that could have been bolted on if we're paying £10 for a port?

So, there's loads of good in Resogun, but I'm not sure why it was hyped as the best shooter ever, except for lack of choice at the PS4's launch, It isn't quite as tight or good as Super Stardust, and not as slick as TxK, Velocity 2X and a few of the other Vita killer killer apps!

Score: 7/10
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Price: £9.99
Dev: Climax/Housemarque
Progress: Lost in the zone

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