2024 is gearing up to be a novel year for 2D side-scrolling action adventures. With Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown arriving in January, fans of the genre won’t have to wait too long for another nostalgic heavy-hitter: Contra.
Since first being revealed with a short trailer in the September Nintendo Direct, Wayforward’s Contra: Operation Galuga has been eagerly awaited by fans. It’s special in that it’s the first new faithful Contra entry since 2007’s Nintendo DS-exclusive Contra 4. After the top-down misstep that was Switch-exclusive Contra: Rogue Corps, it’s no wonder Operation Galuga has fans excited.
The new gameplay trailer that was dropped today by Konami shows off six of the playable members of the Earth Marine Corps, including series mainstays Bill Rizer and Lance Bean along with newcomer Ariana. Each comes equipped with a different primary weapon, such as Probotector’s wormhole gun that covers a large area, wiping out any enemies standing in its path. Their ongoing fight with the Red Falcon army will need all possible firepower and it seems no sacrifices have been made there. You’ll ascend waterfalls, fly through an enemy base on a hovercycle and more as you attempt to conquer all eight stages.
In addition to a new 2.5D art style, a first for the series, all six revealed playable characters are voiced. Contra 4 also had voiceovers, but they were mostly quips and battle cries. If the trailer for Operation Galuga is any indication, it appears that a fully-voiced storyline is on offer. Personally, I’ll just be stoked to hear Bill Rizer yell, “Lock and load!” again. You’ll be able to play with up to two players via local co-op in the Story Mode and up to four players in Arcade Mode.
With individual weapon loadouts featuring the new weapon-specific perk-granting Overload System, a stunning new visual overhaul, new characters with stakes in the fight, returning favorites and, of course, lots of explosions, Contra: Operation Galuga is shaping up to be the run-and-gun return to form fans have been waiting for. We don’t have to wait too much longer to find out more. Contra: Operation Galuga releases early next year for Nintendo Switch, PC via Steam, Xbox Series consoles as well as PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
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