Contra: Legacy of War

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Contra: Legacy of War
Contra - Legacy of War Coverart.png
Developer(s) Appaloosa Interactive
Publisher(s) Konami of America
Series Contra
Platform(s) PlayStation
Saturn
Release date(s) PlayStation
  • NA November 29, 1996
  • PAL March 30, 1997
Saturn
Genre(s) Third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Distribution CD-ROM

Contra: Legacy of War is a 3D action game produced by Konami and developed by Appaloosa Interactive that was originally released in 1996 for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. It was the first of two Contra games that were externally developed by Appaloosa, followed by The Contra Adventure in 1998. The game marks the series' jump to three-dimensional graphics and controversial changes in gameplay. Legacy of War was released packaged with a pair of 3D anaglyph glasses, which the game supported. Legacy of War bears the distinction for being the first console game in the series to retain both the Contra title and human characters during its release in Europe and Australia (where the console series has been known as Probotector from the first NES game and up until Contra: Hard Corps). The game was scheduled to be released in Japan as well,[1] but was canceled.

Story[edit]

Colonel Bassad, a dictator of a small country, has become a threat and is amassing an army of soldiers, robots, and alien mutants. Bassad has allied himself with an unknown alien entity for his bid to world domination. Ray Poward (returning from Contra: Hard Corps) is deployed to thwart Bassad's scheme along with three of the newest members of the Hard Corps team: Tasha, a female mercenary; CD-288, a robot; and Bubba, an alien. After making the way to Bassad's Mountain Stronghold, the team defeats him in his armored pod, but is dragged into his mind for a final battle. With Bassad defeated, they are teleported to the alien entity, which turns out to be a small living planet. With it destroyed, the team is drifted in space, and a surviving small alien bug is seen hiding.

Gameplay[edit]

Each character plays exactly the same except for the type of weapons they wield and their movement speed. All characters start with a machine gun and flamethrower, but the remaining two slots are for player specific weaponry. The game plays from an isometric angle. Since the game takes place in three dimensions, enemies come from all angles. Ducking and strafing have been added to the player's abilities, as well as an auto-aiming feature to help attack airborne enemies. Jumping has been slightly changed as the characters no longer do tightly curled somersault jumps (a feature in every previous game since the arcade version of the original Contra). The player's progress can be saved to a memory card.

Reception[edit]

Reviews of Legacy of War compared the game unfavorably to the previous installments in the series. Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot gave it an overall score of 6 out of 10, saying "for those looking for a real game of Contra, break out the SNES and have at it".[2] Jeremy Parish and Sam Kennedy in their Contra retrospective for 1up.com wrote "the gameplay was clunky and the graphics were drab compared to the crisp visuals of the 16-bit games".[3]

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