Friday, September 27, 2019
"Contra: Rogue Corps" Review
The "Contra" aesthetic has always played best in 2D and top-down paradigms, but struggled to blast its way into 3D. "Contra: Rogue Corps" is the latest awkward effort to shove the fist-pumping, 1980s shoot-em-up aesthetic into a more modern realm, but settles for moderate success, falling short of outright triumph.
A frenetic but slippery twin-stick shooter with attitude to spare, "Rogue Corps" gets into trouble when it tries too hard to be edgy and surprising. Developed by Konami and Toylogic, the cigar-chomping, bullet-splattering heroism has a tendency to get in its own way.
Inventive enemy types and big bads, as well as limitless ammo and easy weapon upgrades grant the game an authentic throughline that dates back to the franchise's NES and SNES heyday. The option to go it alone or via online or offline co-op enriches the experience.
Still, there's something forced and cynical about the affair. While care has clearly been put into enemy and weapon design, there's a haphazard feel to the level design that gives the game a rush-job, cash grab feel reminiscent of a quick-and-dirty mobile game.
If you're jonesing for a more authentic "Contra" experience, better options abound, including Konami's exquisite "Contra Anniversary Collection" and "Blazing Chrome," both of which dropped in the past few months.
"Contra: Rogue Corps" is something for those who look back on the old "Contra" style fondly but want to push forward into new realms. If you've got a reliable multiplayer squad, you'll have plenty of fun here. If it's a solo experience you're after, you may feel like you're firing blanks.
Publisher provided review code.