Contra: Rogue Corps Looks and Feels Way Better Than You Might Think
While I'm not blown away with Contra: Rogue Corps' graphics, I certainly had a ton of fun with the twin-stick shooter at E3 2019.
While I’ve never played a Contra game before, I’m at least aware series. That is why when I learned I was playing the new Contra at E3 2019, I was looking forward to finally learning what everyone was raving about. After hearing some of the reactions to the game’s initial trailer, I agreed with the general sentiment that it was not really like the classic games and series and that the visual quality didn’t look impressive. Fortunately, once I got my hands on the PS4 version of Contra: Rogue Corps, I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had with it.
Gameplay wise, Contra: Rogue Corps feels, more or less, like a traditional twin-stick shooter. As one would expect, players have both a primary and secondary weapon at their disposal, as well as a super ability. In terms of the gameplay itself, everything feels smooth, responsive, and fair. The number of enemies per section forces you to be a bit strategic when approaching each level, while at the same time not overwhelming you and making each level too difficult. That’s not to say that I didn’t die or lose a few times during my demo, I certainly did, but at no point was I even slightly frustrated to the point that I wanted to quit.
Easily one of the most talked about things during the Contra: Rogue Corps’ announcement was its graphics. When it was revealed, some didn’t exactly respond too well to how it looked, with some fans comparing it to games from the PS2 and Xbox era. Given the fact that I was seeing the game, I wanted to reserve judgment until I played it.
While I wasn’t particularly blown away by how the game looked, I did not think it looked terrible. What really helps is the fact that it’s played from the top down, meaning character designs don’t really need to be impeccably detailed. Frankly, the only time when you can notice that the graphics aren’t up to standard with the current-gen hardware is when each of the characters perform their supers. And even then, unless you’re a true graphics-snob, you should be able to easily see past this and not let it ruin your experience.
One thing I wasn’t able to try out was the game’s story mode. While we know some things about the game’s characters, like their names and backstories, and we know that it takes place after the events of 1992’s Contra III: The Alien Wars, not much has been revealed about the game’s story. During my time with the game, I only saw one cutscene and while it was done in a really cool comic book-style, it remains to be seen how good its story mode actually is.
Unfortunately, given the fact that this was my first Contra games, I can’t compare it to the other games in the series. As it is, Rogue Corps is a slight deviation of how Contra games normally play which means longtime fans of the series may end up being slightly disappointed. I obviously can’t be sure on that; however, I can say that I really did enjoy my time with the Rogue Corps.
I’m definitely looking forward to playing the game later this year and while I’m not sure if I can confidently say everyone should be looking forward to it, it’s worth keeping an eye on Contra: Rogue Corps as we get closer to its September 24, 2019 release date.