Contra: Legacy of War

Contra: Legacy of War is a video game that is part of the Contra series by Konami. It was released for the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn in 1996. Legacy of War is the first of two Contra games developed by Appaloosa Interactive for Konami, followed by C: The Contra Adventure in 1998. The game marks the series' jump to three-dimensional graphics and controversial (and soon reverted) changes in gameplay. Legacy of War had the capabilities of supporting 3D anaglyph glasses. Legacy of War bears the distinction for being the first console game in the series to retain the Contra title and human characters during its release in the PAL region (where the series has been known as Probotector from the first NES game and up until Contra: Hard Corps). The game appeared on Konami's release schedule in Japan, but was cancelled.


Colonel Bassad, a dictator of a small country, has managed to buy off a stolen alien embryo and is now using it to breed an army of fierce alien mutants. Moreover, it is rumored that 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 Contra team: Tasha, a female mercenary; CD-288, a robot; and Bubba, an alien.


Each character plays exactly the same except for the type of weapons they yield. 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, and thus plays differently from its predecessors. The view is considered by many to be too zoomed in, such that the player cannot see enemies that may be attacking.

Since the game takes place in three dimensions, enemies come from all angles. This is a problem when dealing with airborne enemies, as it is difficult to be successful without an auto-aim assistance. Ducking and strafing have been added to the player abilities. Jumping has been slightly changed as the characters no longer do tightly curled somersault jumps (which is in every game except the original arcade Contras). The game no longer uses a system of lives, it uses a hit point meter instead. The player's progress can be saved to a memory card.


Since its release Legacy of War received mediocre scores, with reviews comparing the game unfavorably to the older 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." Jeremy Parish and Sam Kennedy in their Contra retrospective for wrote "the gameplay was clunky and the graphics were drab compared to the crisp visuals of the 16-bit games."


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