|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Genre(s)||Side-scroller, shoot 'em up|
Resogun (stylized as RESOGUN) is a 2013 voxel-based side-scrolling shoot 'em up video game developed by Finnish indie developer Housemarque and published by Sony Computer Entertainment exclusively for the PlayStation 4. The game was released in North America on November 15, 2013, in Europe on November 29, 2013 and in Japan on February 22, 2014. Resogun: Heroes, the first DLC, was released in North America on June 24, 2014. Resogun, a PS4 launch title, draws heavily from the games Defender and Datastorm, and is considered the spiritual successor to Housemarque's previous shoot 'em up games Super Stardust HD and Super Stardust Delta.
In Resogun, the player battles enemies and rescues trapped humans in a cylindrical, voxel-based world. The game was well received by video game journalists, who lauded its graphical prowess, fast-paced gameplay, and soundtrack. Eric L. Patterson of EGM described Resogun as "another expertly produced retro-inspired shooter from Housemarque", while Brad Shoemaker of Giant Bomb called it a "real audio-visual treat". The game was criticized for its short length and lack of tutorials or explanations for several gameplay elements. Resogun was nominated for Action Game of the Year at the 2014 DICE Awards, but lost to BioShock Infinite.
In Resogun, the player battles phases of enemies on five distinct, cylindrical, voxel-based levels: Acis, Ceres, Decima, Febris, and Mefitis. Each level is separated into three phases, and includes a unique boss enemy. Although the primary goal of each level is to eliminate all enemies, including the boss, humans can be saved in order to gain bonus score towards the player's final score. In order to save a human, it must first be released from its chamber by killing a set of "keepers." Upon release, the player can pick up the human and bring it to one of two safety points.
Three ships (Nemesis, Ferox, and Phobos) are available for selection; each ship has different levels of agility, boost, and overdrive. In addition, various upgrades and powerups are available to the player throughout each level. Overdrive, once charged, produces a powerful beam of energy that is capable of taking out large quantities of enemies. Boost acts as a speed boost, and allows the player to escape from enemies, as well as destroy enemies by colliding with them. The nova-bomb produces a large explosion that clears all enemies currently on the level. These are limited in quantity, but can be obtained through pickups. Ship upgrades and extra lives can also be obtained through pickups, or by saving humans.
Upon completion of each level, the player will receive a bonus score. The amount of bonus score depends on various factors, including the number of humans saved and the amount of nova-bombs preserved, to name a few. In addition, the game features two game modes: Single Level and Arcade. In Single Level mode, the player selects one single level and attempts to complete that level for a single high score. In Arcade Mode, however, the player continues to the next level after successful completion of each previous level. Difficulties include Rookie, Experienced, Veteran, Master, and Hero.
Development and release
Resogun was developed by Housemarque, an independent game development studio from Finland known for its previous shoot 'em up games, and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. Resogun draws heavy inspiration from the games Defender and Datastorm, and acts as the spiritual successor to Housemarque's Super Stardust games, from which it directly borrows certain gameplay mechanics like the boost powerup. Harry Krueger, the lead programmer of Resogun, expanded on the inspiration for the game in an interview with S2P Magazine, explaining that "on the one hand, you have the classic shoot-and-survive gameplay of shoot 'em ups ... but there was this extra layer of gameplay there with micromanaging and saving the humans." Despite being a launch title, Resogun makes extensive use of the PlayStation 4's hardware, with each level being built by nearly 200 million voxels. Housemarque CEO Ilari Kuittinen stated that "we wanted to create a world which can break down into tiny pieces, so voxels were one of the options to use" [sic].
The game went through several stylistic changes through development, partly due to Housemarque's initial uncertainty of the graphical capabilities of the PlayStation 4. In the end, the developers struggled more with "how 'retro' the game had to look", going through several stages (including a colorful style reminiscent of games like Minecraft and Parodius) until they settled with the neon aesthetic of the game. Certain render-heavy visual effects were cut, however, to avoid placing too many fast-moving objects on the screen and to prevent visual clutter. Many Housemarque developers have remarked that the PlayStation 4 was easier to develop for than the PlayStation 3, which played a role in creating the GPU-intensive levels of Resogun. Tommaso De Benetti, community manager at Housemarque, explained that many PlayStation 3 features were initially poorly documented, and that "we [didn't] have to spend an afternoon reverse engineering basic features" during the development of Resogun.
Resogun was released in North America on November 15, 2013, in Europe on November 29, 2013, and in Japan on February 22, 2014 exclusively for the PlayStation 4 as one of two free titles offered to PlayStation Plus members. Resogun was completed mere days before its release in North America, due to last-minute tweaks and polishing by the developers. Prior to its release, a demo version of the game was playable at the Sony PlayStation booth at Gamescom 2013 and at the Eurogamer Expo in London. On June 24, 2014, the first Resogun DLC, Resogun: Heroes, was released, featuring two new game modes, a new and improved leaderboard, and new trophies.
Resogun received a generally positive response from critics upon release. GameRankings, an aggregator for video game reviews, assigned the game a score of 85% based on 38 reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the game received an average score of 84 based on 66 reviews. Brian Albert of IGN gave Resogun a score of 9.0/10, praising the fast-paced, lagless gameplay, the energetic music, and the co-op experience, but insisted that several boss fights were not challenging enough. Peter Brown of GameSpot also praised the music, as well as the use of voxels, explaining that the "accompanying beat of the techno-laden soundtrack and the constant trickle of voxels are mesmerizing." Brad Shoemaker of Giant Bomb described Resogun as "a real audio-visual treat", also praising the graphics and sound.
Edge magazine gave Resogun a score of 8/10, praising Housemarque's use of voxels: "despite the modest expectations players might have ... Housemarque never wants you to forget that Resogun is running on new tech." Christian Donlan of Eurogamer praised Resogun's gameplay elements and challenge, such as the need for the player to be aware of their surroundings in order to do well. David Jenkins of GameCentral also praised the gameplay, but criticized the game's length, explaining that the game was too short. Jenkins was also unimpressed with the graphics, as well as the visuals: "the backdrops in particular are very disappointing as all the new stages look almost identical, just with a slightly different kind of fortress-like structure in the middle." Eric L. Patterson of EGM gave Resogun a score of 9.0/10, describing it as "another expertly produced retro-inspired shooter from Housemarque."
McKinley Noble of GamesBeat gave Resogun a score of 65/100, praising it for its graphics and challenging gameplay, but criticizing it for its lack of clarity with regard to gameplay elements; in particular, the lack of any kind of tutorial level or "training wheels". Noble expanded on this by explaining that "some players might get bewildered when trying to figure out their weapons and when to use them, and the audio cues aren’t obvious enough to be helpful." Noble also criticized the game's lack of appeal to players who wanted to "blitz through tons of levels" and "unlock extra ships", stating that "you won’t find much content past what’s offered upfront." Kyle Hilliard of Game Informer gave Resogun a score of 8/10, criticizing the graphics as "doing little to showcase the next generation", as well as the sound, which he described as "forgettable-yet-appropriate". Hilliard praised the game for its controls, however, as well as the accessible and fun nature of the gameplay. Ben Kuchera, writing for The Penny Arcade Report, declared Resogun as "the best PlayStation 4 launch game". The game was nominated for Action Game of the Year at the 2014 DICE Awards, but lost out to BioShock Infinite.
- "The first Hero of RESOGUN". Housemarque Blog. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- Andrew Stevens (2013-09-03). "Gathering More Details On Resogun Interview with Housemarque - Playstation I Love You - PS4 - News - Reviews - Videos". Retrieved 2014-07-10.
- S2P Magazine (2013-11-09). "Making of - Resogun - Pure shooter - PS4 - YouTube". Retrieved 2014-07-10.
- Gamers Sphere (2014-03-24). "Exclusive Interview With Housemarque Studios - Gamers Sphere". Retrieved 2014-07-10.
- GearNuke (2013-10-31). "Resogun Developer Interview: GPU Compute, VITA Port, Lighting, Install Size and More - GearNuke". Retrieved 2014-07-10.
- Steimer, Kristine (October 31, 2013). "PlayStation Plus: November Preview". blog.us.playstation.com. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- Stapleton, Dan (August 20, 2013). "Gamescom: Sony Announces Resogun for PS4". IGN. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- "RESOGUN PS4 Gameplay Demo! Adam Sessler and Anthony Carboni with the PS4 PS+ Launch Title".
- GameRankings staff. "Resogun for PlayStation 4 - GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-07-09.
- Metacritic staff. "Resogun reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
- Brad Shoemaker (2013-11-14). "Resogun Review - Giant Bomb". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2014-07-09.
- Peter Brown (2013-11-13). "Resogun Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
- Brian Albert (2013-11-13). "Resogun Review". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
- Lucas Sullivan (2013-11-14). "Resogun review - GamesRadar". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2014-07-09.
- McKinley Noble (2013-11-13). "Resogun: Next-gen graphics push a pretty shoot-em-up that quickly runs out of bullets (review) - GamesBeat - Games - by mckinleynoble". GamesBeat. Retrieved 2014-07-09.
- Edge staff (2013-11-28). "Resogun review". Edge. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
- Christian Donlan (2013-11-29). "Resogun review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
- David Jenkins (2013-11-25). "Resogun review – Defender of the PS4". GameCentral. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
- Eric L. Patterson (2013-11-18). "EGM Review: Resogun - EGMNOW". EGM. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
- Kyle Hilliard (2013-11-14). "The Accessible Next-Gen Shooter - Resogun - PlayStation 4 - www.GameInformer.com". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
- Ben Kuchera (2013-11-14). "Resogun is the best PlayStation 4 launch game, and may also be the hardest to master". The Penny Arcade Report. Archived from the original on 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
- Luke Karmali (2014-02-07). "The Last of Us Wins Game of the Year at DICE Awards 2014". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-06.