E3 2010: Hands-on with Hard Corps: Uprising

New Contra looks animazing and plays great

We are super excited to play the brand new Contra game at Konami's E3 booth. Hard Corps: Uprising looks animazing with deliciously detailed hand-drawn sprites overlaying luscious 3D backgrounds. But the best part is that the it plays great, too.

Hard Corps: Uprising's controls feel much more sophisticated than the controls in the original Contra for the NES. You can now double jump, dash on the ground and in the air, and reflect weak enemy bullets back at them. One hit kills are gone, replaced by a life bar – and you can carry two special weapons at a time. Holding the R trigger locks your character in place, allowing you to shoot in 8 directions with the D-pad without having to run as you shoot. Also, holding the L trigger, lets you strafe.

Above: Hard Corps: Uprising is developed by Arc System Works, the creators of BlazBlue and the Guilty Gear series, which explains the clean anime art style

The extra movement options really adds a lot to the game, especially during boss fights. In one area, we got to jump on some awesome looking hover bikes while giant robots attacked us from both sides of the screen. Using the new strafe command to lock our firing arc so that we were shooting to the left, allowed us to keep peppering the big bots chasing us from the left side of the screen while we moved left and right, and hopped to avoid getting hit. But despite all the changes, it still feels like “classic Contra,” which is a great thing.

Above: Look familiar? The first mini-boss fight is a throwback to the ultra angry wall from the first Contra

Hard Corps: Uprising also features a new 'Rising Mode,' which will allow you to level-up and upgrade your characters with special perks, like extra health and weapon upgrades. You can even fix it so that you start off with the Spread Gun at the beginning of each level, for example. Unfortunately, we didn't get to try out this mode at the show floor.

Above: The two main characters' names are Bahamut (the guy) and Krystal (the girl), but you'll be able to unlock two more by playing the game

Expect more details as Hard Corps: Uprising's winter release date for XBLA and PSN draws closer.

Jun 15, 2010