Playing Contra: Rogue Corps made me sad. It is absolutely not what I, as a lifelong fan of the series, expect out of a new Contra game in 2019. For one thing, it’s not good. For another, it feels like outside of tough difficulty and over-the-top co-op action, Konami has lost sight of what made the series popular in the first place. Calling this poorly made twin-stick shooter a Contra game not only fosters misplaced expectations, but also sours the legacy of the once-great franchise even further. Also, what’s with the random panda?
In Contra: Rogue Corps you’re thrust into the center of a massive alien invasion, as per usual. The campaign takes place in The Damned City, which is ground zero in the war, supposedly shortly after the events of Contra III: The Alien Wars. The story is far from memorable, unsurprisingly, and barely gives any context for all of the generic alien slaughter. Plus, the sophomoric humor is extremely off-brand. Contra has never taken itself too seriously, but this cheesy banter is painfully stilted and forced.