Super Stardust HD isn’t only very easily one of PlayStation Network’s best games; its sequel on PS Vita, Super Stardust Delta, is perhaps even better. That’s why when Finnish developer Housemarque revealed its PS4-exclusive title Resogun – a “spiritual successor” to Stardust – PlayStation gamers began to wonder how similar it would be to the games that endeared them to Housemarque in the first place.
Well, wonder no more. Resogun is very much like Super Stardust, right down to its twin-stick mechanics and twitch gameplay. But it’s its own game, too, one that stands out as being different enough not to be a Stardust game in its own right. Either way, after playing it a few times, it quickly became clear that this game has the potential to suck scores of hours from your life, just like the Housemarque arcade shooters that came before it.
In Super Stardust HD and Delta, players were cast as a ship hovering above a spheroid body, one being constantly bombarded by asteroids and other space-borne debris. The complexity of those games comes in not only avoiding collisions with aerial junk, but destroying it before the screen got too cluttered with a variety of weapons. When you threw in a litany of enemies that would more actively and intelligently hunt you down, Super Stardust HD and Delta turned into a frantic fight for your digital life. They are grueling, addictive games, ones that beckoned you back time and time again to increase your ever-precious multiplayer in the chase for high scores. And that’s why both games were (and are) so wildly successful on their respective platforms.
Instead of a sphere, you’ll be working your way around a transparent cylinder.
Players familiar with that setup will find something easily recognizable in Resogun, but this time, the rules are a bit different. Instead of a sphere, you’ll be working your way around a transparent cylinder. You still move your ship around with the left analog stick and shoot with the right, but unlike Stardust, Resogun doesn’t let you fire in any direction you choose. You have to defend yourself by shooting only to the right or the left while scaling the cylinder vertically, changing directions while dodging ever-present hazards. This very fact makes Resogun inherently more difficult than the series that so clearly inspired it, and that quickly became part of its charm the more I played.
The familiarity of Resogun drew me in, but I was surprised by how much more tactical it was than Stardust right off the bat. Stardust’s sphere gave you escape routes galore if you got in trouble; Resogun gives you no such security. There’s no eluding danger by moving over the top or under the bottom; left or right are your only options. Resogun also seems to move much quicker than Stardust, and it certainly crescendos in difficulty at a more rapid rate. Because of the transparency of the cylinder and the busyness all around you, it’s also easy to become distracted as your eyes inevitably get drawn towards the clutter.
Resogun may not push PS4 to its graphical limits, but… this isn’t a game that could run on PS3 or Vita...
Interestingly, Resogun’s control scheme shares much more with Stardust than mere twin-stick mechanics. You can use bombs if you’re surrounded by swarms of foes, and you can boost, too, if you need to get out of dodge in a hurry. The game seems to hinge on using that familiarity and seguing it into something different (even if it has a separate, devastating special attack that can clear large swaths of the cylinder at will). Even the game’s reliance on score-building – a hallmark of Super Stardust – works a bit differently. Resogun cleverly shows your combo building to a hundredth of a percent (instead of frustratingly waiting for whole numbers to roll over), and combos can be obliterated by the use of bombs, giving you every reason to approach situations tactically as opposed to with brute force.
Resogun is also undeniably pretty. The screen gets completely hectic as enemy ships chase you, firing at rapid clips, with stationary guns shooting from below. Resogun may not push PS4 to its graphical limits, but, as Housemarque confirmed for me, this isn’t a game that could run on PS3 or Vita, at least not without dumbing it down a bit. It’s certainly pushing the PS4 under the hood. As such, the developer has no definitive plans to bring it to Sony’s previous console, nor its handheld, but as with anything, that can change.
Instead, they’re focused on making the “definitive shooter for PS4,” just as they did with PS3. And they’ll be supporting it for a long time, too. “We are confident players will come back to this game,” a Housemarque representative told me. As such, the game that will launch alongside PlayStation 4 this November will not be the same game it will be a year from now. Co-op is coming, along with new game modes, and “maybe some other cool stuff we can’t talk about yet,” a Housemarque employee told me with a smile.
Look for Resogun exclusively on PlayStation 4 (via PlayStation Network) on November 15th in North America and November 29th in other regions around the world.
Source : ign[dot]com