In the world of post-launch updates and downloadable content (DLC), there are a good amount of examples of games providing not only good value, but expanded value on your original purchase. For the sake of this article on some of the best ways to implement updates and DLC, I wanted to point out the insanely fun, and at times incredibly difficult, Resogun.
If you have had Playstation Plus since the launch of the PS4, you received a digital download of a title called Resogun. The game is at its most crude description, a twin-stick shooter, but in a broader sense it was and continues to be a PS4 showcase title. Not in the sense of differentiation from PC or Xbox One, but in the way even the dynamics of a twin stick shooter can be changed with a little more power behind it in a way not capable on a PS3.
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All of the little sprites in Resogun come together to create a fun, frantic, memorable experience that has continued to roll out over the last year and 3 months since its release. The first free update of the game provided a ship editor and local co-op gameplay so you and a friend could tackle the game together. The first update also reset the leaderboards as it had patched a couple loopholes that led to exorbitant scores. A little over six months after launch an entirely new way to play the game had been opened up to players.
Alongside the free update came the first DLC content for the game called Resogun: Heroes. Resogun: Heroes once again expanded the game to an additional two modes utilizing the controls for more difficult and complex activities. Survival mode equips you with one life and the base weaponry. The game pits you in the main world and you survive through a day-night cycle counting the days of your survival. It is awesome. You do not have to save humans as with the rest of the game, but you will want to as they provide weapon upgrades, shields, and bombs to your arsenal as the number of enemies around you increases.
Demolition, the second mode from Resogun: Heroes, flipped the entire game on its head. Instead of shooting your enemies, you must navigate the map knocking around indestructible cannon balls to destroy your enemies. This mode creates all kinds of mind boggling confusion as you evade and bounce cannon balls in different angles and speeds. Building upon the already great mechanics of Resogun and then flipping them precluded a much bigger transformation in the game to come with the next DLC.
This is the way I believe every publisher and developer should seek to support their game.
Recently, Resogun: Defenders launched as the next in the line of DLC included in the Resogun season pass. Just as before, a new free update was added to Resogun before the launch of Resogun: Defenders. This free update provided players with an all new challenges mode and a new trophy collection mode. Alongside those updates was an update to allow for players to capture different humans this time around alongside UI changes and an all new leveling system. Now in addition to leaderboards to watch progress against friends, you have additional progress bars to watch and challenges to complete. Similar to the previous free update, Housemarque has again supported the game with an expansive free update alongside its paid options.
Resogun: Defenders changes even more of the core concepts of the game than the previous DLC. The first mode, Protector, operates in a similar manner to Survival. You are tasked with collecting humans through wider and more varied obstacles with time, but with only one life. The most cool aspect of this mode is the stage shifts in the background after you have saved all of the humans in a location. It looks pretty amazing and with the inclusion of Photo Mode in the previous update, you can share some of the amazing spectacle with your friends as well.
Commando, the second mode included in Resogun: Defenders, is a throwback to classic defense games. You get a home base to protect and then you, as a humanoid figure now, blast all of the attacking aliens out of the sky or off the ground. Each phase boss defeated upgrades weapons and adds shields or bombs. On top of all of that, your character throws out phrases in an Arnold Schwarzenegger sound alike voice. A fun, Resogun twist on a classic gameplay style.
Resogun shows a title’s support life does not have to end once the game has sold as many copies as they think it will.
Through free updates and a season pass of varying content that flips the original game on its head, Resogun maintains all of the fun, energy, and pace of the original concept, but with expanded variations. This is the way I believe every publisher and developer should seek to support their game. Obviously bug fixes, balance, and stability improvements are important in the post support of any game, but many games sit back and add only new maps without changing many aspects of the gameplay. Resogun, among other titles like Titanfall, show there is a way to bring players back in by expanding the player’s options through both a paid and an unpaid model.
While other games stop full-scale support after a year, Resogun shows a title’s support life does not have to end once the game has sold as many copies as they think it will. The value of the game is maintained for all players and the players can continue to support the game as long as the developers do should they choose. I hope it is a trend that continues across all kinds of games.
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