Destroy the fiends!

Konami are back with a new game in the Contra series. Contra: Rogue Corps is set based after Contra III: The Alien Wars. If you live in the UK, you may know this series better as Probotector. This actually is my first time playing a game in this series, but it looked like a fun game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. After a few hours with the game, it’s exactly what I thought it would be…

Contra: Rogue Corps is a fast paced shoot-em-up game where you can take control of one of 4 characters. Having not played any of the previous entries in the series, I thought I’d find the story confusing but in all honesty, it is pretty straight forward. After the end of the Alien war, a ‘damned city’ has appeared, causing more threat than ever to planet Earth. These 4 characters are tasked with ending this threat, whilst also collecting treasure along the way.

Graphically, Contra: Rogue Corps wasn’t really that much, it would look in place on the PlayStation 3 if I’m honest. The 4 characters are detailed enough, which is as expected but apart from that, I found the fiends (enemies) in the game to look bland as well as the environments. I’d have hoped for a bit more but it’s definitely not the visuals for what this game will be talked about once it has been released.

Sound wise, Contra: Rogue Corps offers up some great humor, especially in the beginning sequence. There are some hilarious lines and overall voice acting in this, and it did make me laugh on more than a few occasions. There’s not much else to write about here, but overall, Konami have done a good job, especially with the overall dialogue.

The inner core of the game where you’ll spend all of your time is of course, in the missions themselves, and this is where Contra: Rogue Corps offers up some simplistic and fun gameplay. You have 4 characters (Yes, including a Panda!) I spent most of the time with Kaiser, but switching up the characters made it a nice change now and again. You go through missions which are largely quite similar to each other. Basically it’s go through, smash and fight your way through hordes of enemies until you get to the main boss at the end.

Those worried about ammo in this, the short answer is don’t. You have unlimited ammo at your disposal but you do have a bar which fills up when you are shooting so be sure to watch out for it, as if you fill it up all the way you are going to have no weapon for a limited amount of time. You also have a second weapon which can easily be accessed by the square button. A dash/dodge feature is also handy, and when stunning an enemy, you can finish them off with your finishing move, which does look great, as it lands with devastating effects. Using your environment is also to your advantage as you can throw bombs at your enemies. Enemies will come at you at hordes and whilst if you die you come back instantly, you’ll still need to dodge when necessary. Jumping I found quite strange, it felt like there was a slight delay, whilst the aiming system also felt a little stiff at times.

There is quite a deep development system in this game, which is good for players who want that added longevity in the game. As you go through missions, you’ll earn credits which you can use to upgrade and buy new weapons. You’ll also have ‘surgeons’ available to you in the game, which can upgrade your stats in order to get you better body parts. As there are 4 characters for you to choose from, it’ll be interesting to see how many players develop each and every one of them.

Online is a big aspect of Contra: Rogue Corps, and it’s probably the mode where most will go, as single player will get quite repetitive I feel. Both PvP and co-op modes available, as well as couch co-up for those who prefer the more local multiplayer. As I type this review, I struggled to get a game online but I’ll be revisiting it once the game has been officially released as I can see myself having some fun facing enemy hordes with friends online as we mix each character’s skillset.

Whilst Contra: Rogue Corps isn’t going to win any Game of the Year come the end of this year, Konami have delivered a fun experience that should be taken for what it is. I played this for a few hours and enjoyed my time with the game, and online will definitely be something I dive right into once the game is officially released.

A PlayStation 4 Review Code was provided by Konami