A few weeks ago, we provided a first look at Resogun, the latest shooter from the team at Housemarque, creators of the Super Stardust series. This time around, the team took a different approach, replacing the typical overhead 3D shooter layout with something that resembles a new-age Defender. You fly your ship from side to side across a 3D circular grid – not unlike a Jell-o mold – shooting enemies while rescuing stranded civilians before they get captured.

There's a catch, though – you don’t simply pick up useless people and drop them off planet side. Instead, there's a two-step process.

First, you have to destroy the "Keepers" that have them locked up in cells. If you don't destroy all of them by the time they leave the screen, the human will suffocate inside the cell – and you'll lose a point bonus.

Once a human is freed, you'll need to pick them up quickly and take them – or fling them, yes, you can throw humans – into a safe tractor beam. Doing so earns you bonus points or a helpful power-up. Otherwise, a renegade UFO may pick them up, and they'll be lost.

When it comes to battling enemies, four general power-ups are available, and we broke them down for you below:

Shot: This is your general source of firepower, a never-ending stream of lasers that will destroy lower-grade enemies with ease. By holding down the fire button, you'll blast foes to smithereens. You can also turn to the left or right, depending which direction enemies come from.

It's important to keep your eyes open because you're vulnerable from the back, since you don't have twin firing capability. You'll want to shift left to right depending where waves of enemies come from. The more you shoot, the higher a percentage rate you pick up for increasing your score by gathering little green particles throughout the stage. If you're good enough, you'll be able to achieve a combo in no time – and that means big business when it comes to the PlayStation Network-supported leaderboard.

Nova-Bomb: Like any good shooter, you receive a strong screen-clearing bomb that you can use sparingly across each stage. This not only eliminates enemies nearby, but also works as a concussive wave across the entire stage. That means wiping out any cannons or incoming waves on the other side of it. It's a cool effect to watch – like a chain reaction of fireworks.

The thing is, you're very limited in how many you can use per stage. Usually, you only start with a handful, and once you're out and become overwhelmed by enemies, you may find yourself toughing it out to stay alive. It's best to save these for the situations that really call for it. They're also useful for boss encounters, in case firepower isn't enough to penetrate their shells.

In addition, some humans you rescue provide extra bombs, but the giveaways are random, so don't rely entirely on their charity. If you're lucky, though, you'll get one and be able to do more damage later in the stage.

Boost: This cool ability puts your gameplay skills to the test, as it practically turns your ship into a temporary battering ram. This is an ability we first saw in Super Stardust HD, where you could launch temporarily into a speed boost, ramming any enemies that get in your way without taking damage. It's about the same here, except for one small difference – momentum. 

As you plow through enemies, you pick up speed. Set on the right path and you can take down a successive group of enemies in one shot, such as a line-up of cannons raining gunfire down on the stage, or a cluster of foes flying in formation. You'll need to time it right, but once you nail it, you'll see your points pick up rather quickly. Just watch out for any objects that might stand in your way – you're not completely invincible, and running into a boss likely will destroy your ship. Unless you're lucky, that is.

Overdrive: Think of it as "lightning in a bottle." Once you have enough energy stored up from defeating enemies in a stage, you'll be able to fire off your Overdrive attack. This is a huge electrical burst that destroys pretty much anything within range, even above and below your ship. It's a wide attack, though it only lasts a few seconds, and doesn't destroy anything that's outside of your visual range.

It's a wise move to save your Overdrive attacks for two situations – either when a screen fills up with enemies, as you can change direction on it and obliterate everything around you; or during a boss encounter, when you can easily chip away at its armor and work on its vulnerable spots.

Again, it's a limited ability, but an extremely helpful one, especially when you're striving to keep your score run going later on in the game. You'll thank us later when you're climbing up the leaderboards.

These power-ups may differ with various ships in the game – some are slower but more powerful, others are balanced across the board – but they deliver the necessary punch needed to clear each wave, face the boss enemy and blow up the city.

Resogun is now available on the PlayStation Network for PlayStation 4.