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The Demo For Contra Operation Galuga Has Us Excited For Its Full Release

Contra Operation Galuga
Image: WayForward/Konami

If you’re a fan of run ‘n’ gun shooters, chances are you’re familiar with the Contra series. You might also be aware that it’s had its ups and downs over the years, with many fans being very disappointed with the last release, Contra: Rogue Corps (though we quite liked it). Forget about that though, as Konami has teamed up with WayForward to deliver a new Contra game that goes back to the series roots. And with a demo available now, we can confirm it feels like a blast from the past.

Jump into the demo for Contra: Operation Galuga, available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC, and you’ll find that you can try both the game’s Story and Arcade modes. In Story mode, which supports two-player co-op, you can play as Bill Rizer and Lance Bean. In the 4-player Arcade mode, however, the full roster of characters is available, with both Ariana and Probotector added into the mix. It’s not just a cosmetic choice, either, as each character has their own quirks and mechanics. Ariana can slide, for example, while Probotector can make use of a grappling hook.

Like the best demos, rather than simply giving you a stage of the game to play, you instead play through a special stage that apparently combines elements of both the first and third stages of the full game, giving you a good idea of what to expect when it launches. The core thing to take away is that this feels like classic Contra from the get-go, with exhilarating run ‘n’ gun action that combines platforming with shooting everything that moves.

Contra Operation Galuga
Image: WayForward/Konami

Players start out with a basic assault rifle, but more weapons can be collected as power-ups. Two of these can be stored and switched between at any time, though if you want to cause some major destruction you can sacrifice one in order to perform a special charged attack.

While offense may the best defence here, keeping on the move and being aware of danger is also important, especially when it comes to combating the screen-sized boss at the end. Fail to dash here to avoid the creature’s slam attacks and you’ll be in a world of pain. You’ll also need to watch out for fires on the floor and make sure you jump over them.

Contra: Operation Galuga
Image: WayForward/Konami

Like Contra games of old, Operation Galuga is as tough as nails. You are given some lifelines this time around around at least. As well as difficulty options, you can choose whether to have a health bar or play with the old 1-hit and you’ve lost a life system. Perks can also be obtained and equipped, allowing you to customise your character with bonuses such as being invincible while dashing.

With patience, persistence, and learning over time, then, conquering Contra: Operation Galuga shouldn’t be out of the question for most players.

We’ve only had a taste of Contra: Operation Galuga courtesy of its demo, but it’s already got us excited for the full game. And so, if you’ve any interest in the series or run ‘n’ games in general, we recommend you check it out. There’s a benefit to doing so, too, with a reward available in the full game if you manage to make it to the end. Ultimately, while we’ll have to reserve full judgement until it’s available and in our hands, it appears like Contra is back with aplomb.

Contra: Operation Galuga launches 12th March on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!