Contra – or the infinitely more extravagant Probotector, as it was originally known in some European territories – is a revered name in video game fame; Contra: Rogue Corps, the franchise’s first non-pachislot outing in almost a decade, does not live up to the property’s illustrious legacy. This artistically inconsistent isometric shooter plays like a BTEC Alienation, and while it’s nowhere near as bad as its lousy looks may lead you to believe, it may as well be used as the Dictionary definition of middle-of-the-road.
A co-operative and competitive affair featuring four kooky characters, the unremarkable storyline is set after the events of 1992’s Contra III: The Alien Wars. Of course, no one gives a flying frag about the fiction in this storied series, and the odd animated comic book panel aside, it’s far from the star attraction here. But then, we’re not convinced there are any star attractions to speak of: the combat is frantic but wears thin faster than you can type #FucKonami; the visuals are grimy, like they belong to a PlayStation 2 title stolen from a Wilkos bargain bin; and the mission design is uneventful.
The only real accolade you can award this run-of-the-mill release is that it’s inoffensive, but even then it’s almost offensively inoffensive – if you get what we mean. An unwieldy upgrade system, which sees you augmenting body parts to each of the four heroes, adds a bit of character to proceedings – but it’s somewhat cumbersome and confusing. You may eke some fun out of the ostentatious action playing with buddies both online and offline, but there are better games to backdrop your banter. The panda’s pretty rad, we suppose.