Hey Nutella Caked Toasties, Toasty here. I am going to come clean with you guys – I never played Contra growing up. Heck Contra wasn’t even the title of the game in Europe. Apparently it was Probotector, which I think I am safe to say is far less catchy and should never be mentioned again. Despite my lack of Contra experience, I heard a lot of good things about it as I got older and I was very excited to jump into the latest entry in the series – Contra: Rogue Corps. Let’s just say that excitement didn’t last long.
Not to spoil the whole review, but where do I even start with this train wreck of a game? Graphics? Why not. Upon booting up Contra you are greeted with one of the worst looking games on the Switch. Every texture is low res, every enemy is a blur of rancid character models, melded unceremoniously with putrid colours. When you consider Doom, The Witcher and Breath of the Wild exist, you simply cannot look at Contra and think it is acceptable in 2019. Even it’s art style is jarring to behold. A ridiculous giant panda running around a drab brown city killing hordes of uninspired zombies just hurts the eyes. It hurts the soul. It’s hideously low poly world is just the tip of the iceberg unfortunately.
Once you’ve rinsed your mouth after witnessing the graphical fidelity, you will have to find a bucket as you are assualted with an endless tyrade of stomach churningly bad characters, events and story. Imagine the cringe inducing Duke Nukem. Now remove any charm or humour. That is Contra in a nutshell. Over the top everything, done in a way that is meant to evoke a sense of fun and hilarity, but misses every single mark. The story itself is a continuation of the Contra games of old…apparently. There is nothing of substance here, so if your looking for anything vaguely interesting to push the game forward, you will be sorely disappointed.
I might be coming across a bit harsh. Contra has never been one to take itself too seriously. It has lived and died on it gunplay. It’s a shame then, since Konami royally screwed the pooch on this one as well. Contra is all about shooting, everyone knows that, even I know that. So what possessed them to put an overheating mechanic on every gun? As you fire into the endless horde of shambling enemies your weapon will slowly accrue heat. If you acquire too much heat, your gun will not function for a while. This encourages you not to shoot in the typical Contra way. In fact, it forces your attention to a tiny little bar on the HUD at all times.
The gunplay is not helped by the monotonous structure of the missions either. Every mission revolves around the same handful of objectives linked together by a series of linear paths that are chock full of brainless enemies. Your only real strategy is to slowly walk backwards and shoot in bursts (as to not overheat your weapon) and kite the enemies to death. The occasional boss will appear from time to time, but these are handled in much the same way. Move away from danger, burst fire your weapon until you win.
The only saving grace for Contra is it’s progression system. Every weapon, as well as each character, can be equipped with implants to make them more efficient. There is a fair amount of depth to these systems, and it does encourage replaying the game. It is just a shame that the game is not good enough to justify going back. Heck the game isn’t even worth going through once.
Contra: Rogue Corps is nothing short of a disgrace. Rolling in as a full priced AAA title developed by a seemingly AAA developer, it is embarrassing that this got released. It clearly does not understand the appeal of Contra, and goes out of its way to bore you with repetitve missions and stagnant gameplay. Avoid at all costs.
Disgusting graphics, monotonous gameplay and painful levels of cringe. Contra can only be described as an abomination. Have you been burned by this pile of hot trash? Let me know in the comments below.
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