Operation Hardcore: A Modern Take on a Gaming Classic


Operation Hardcore: A Modern Take on a Gaming Classic

Operation Hardcore is unapologetic about good old fashioned manly fun. The game draws on inspiration from classic action games like Contra while updating the gameplay for a more modern audience. It also focused around simple yet enjoyable controls and ideas.

The year is 1999, and aliens have invaded Earth. Their assault is violent and unprovoked. You, as a real man’s man can’t just sit back and let such devastation go unanswered. So you do what any manly, facial hair wielding warrior would do. You pack up some guns, a few cigars, and most importantly, a lot of whiskey. With your arsenal, you’re going to make sure those aliens pay for what they’ve done in Operation Hardcore.

Operation Hardcore is a classic 2D side scrolling shooter. Use your weapons to shoot your way past enemies while you double jump to avoid their return fire. Collect coins to purchase upgrades between levels. Utilize a shield to deflect enemy fire, and drink your favorite brand of whiskey to slow down time and increase damage at the cost of “mental clarity.” You even get a jetpack, and can have couch co-op to play alongside your manliest friends.

Operation Hardcore features 12 levels of pure mayhem. “Badass Ranks” that you earn by beating a level in a certain amount of time. Other achievements and unlockables spread throughout the game. 4 playable characters. Modern lighting and particle effects make each level shine, and the soundtrack by Snug fits like a glove. Analog controls allow precise aiming. Finally there are multiple difficulty settings, different upgrade paths for weapons and abilities, and plenty of secret areas to find.

Operation Hardcore is exactly what it sounds like, an unabashed good time. If you liked Contra, you will like this game as it is just like an upgraded version of Contra. Except, it won’t just punish you for no reason by making you restart the entire game if you die. It’s a lot of fun, and it is currently available on Steam for just a few dollars. So, did you ever play 2D shooters like Contra? Were they a staple of your childhood? Let me know in the comments below.


About Spencer Havens

Spencer is a writer and a gamer always looking for that next game to envelop his life.

One comment

  • Marco
    Jan 10, 2017 @ 0:54 am

    First Contra I played was Imagine’s Gryzor conversion on the Schneider/Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64. I never owned a NES, but I played all the Contras and Contra hacks on NES emulators, Contra III on SNES, owned Probotector (censored Contra Hard Corps for PAL territories) on Sega Megadrive and most recently, Hard Corps Uprising on XBox 360 and Contra Rebirth on WiiWare.

    So yeah, I always loved Contra. Metal Slug has sort of supplanted it, the diagonal = strafing turns certain situations into a vertical SHMUP with jumping, I find that kind of genius.

    I watched a video of Operation Hardcore first level on YouTube and I found the sound design rather… discordant… if you listen to the games mentioned above, they all have a pumping soundtrack that gets you excited for action. Snug’s sound design is much more suited to a exploration game like Metroid… it makes your action game seem boring and sedate, when it should be exciting and frantic.

    Maybe you could use your game engine to make a Metroid style game for two players and use Snug’s sound design for that. Operation Hardcore needs a different sound designer, sound is an incredibly important part of the video game experience.


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