Prequel to Sega Genesis’ Contra: Hard Corps, Hard Corps: Uprising (working title) was one of the simplest, yet outstanding games on the show floor at E3. It is a side scrolling shooter where players assume the role of Bahamut, the antagonist from the original Hard Corps, as they explore his origins. Being a shooter, Uprising had a big emphasis on gameplay and we were begging for more by the demo’s end. Read our impressions to find out why.
Uprising is perfect for old school gamers, featuring the same type of gameplay Contra fans are used to. Run, shoot, jump, and dodge; not much has changed here. As with previous Contra games, players can hold a button to stand still while shooting, which adds a strategic element to character placement in relation to enemies. New to Uprising are the strafe and reflect options. Strafe allows players to aim and shoot in one constant direction no matter what direction they’re running towards. Reflect will shoot back bullets and missiles with a well timed press. Sadly, the reflect ability did not work while jumping or against the boss’ bullets, which would have made for more exciting fights and interesting possibilities.
Boss fights are reminiscent of old Contra titles. They’re big, over the top, and require players to constantly adapt to the new patterns using every possible tool at their disposal. Boss fights will be exciting to say the least. Unlike in older titles, however, players will have a health bar, leaving more room for error. Hopefully this will make Uprising more accessible than older Contra games.
It was also interesting to see that such a simple game would include some nifty details in its gameplay. At one point in the demo, Bahamut and his partner were in quicksand, forcing players to continuously jump out in order to prevent dying. Just to experiment, I made Bahamut lie down, which made him drown so fast I didn’t even notice his crouching animation! It’ll be interesting to see more of these thought-out details included in the final game.
Although not present in the E3 demo build, the all-new RISING mode allows players to build up their character, giving Uprising an action-adventure game type of progression rather than the arcade it has now.
Developed by Arc System Works of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue fame, Hard Corps: Uprising seems to be in good hands. We’re already very impressed and hope to see more of it when it hits PSN and XBLA later this year.