Blazing Chrome is gunning to fill the run n’ gun throne that feels like it’s been vacant since Contra 4 released back in 2007.
Earth is ruled by machines. They don’t really like us that much. So, it’s kind of natural humans would want to rise up, hence you have Mavra and Doyle (a robot with a conscience AND a mohawk) out to turn things around. With a bunch of guns. It’s not a great plan when you die in one hit, but it’s the only plan we’ve got.
If you’re at all familiar with the genre, Blazing Chrome will feel instantly comfortable. Its mixture of alien and mechanical locales drip with ruined detail, and its fast gunplay will have you hosing down foes with bullets in moments. You’re able to pick up and swap between several kinds of shots, but you lose the weapon you’re carrying if you die while using it. And with vicious machines everywhere, you’ll be dying often unless you take care.
The game feels good if you’re nostalgic for Contra, but it isn’t a slave to that nostalgia. Movement feels far more fluid and flexible, allowing for dodging that’s a bit less rigid than Contra. The game also moves away from obviously overpowered firearms like the Spreader, instead featuring beams, exploding shots, and other guns that instead have applications in certain situations. A continuous stream of energy might be useful in a given situation, or the arcing shot could be handy in others. It asks the player to think, rather than choose the most powerful gun and stick with it.
The addition of robot buddies adds another layer of strategy to the chaotic gunplay. You can collect helpful robots that will provide protection from shots or fire on enemies on their own, giving you a further leg up on the mechanical competition.
Bringing all of these elements together made for some hectic action as I tried the Pax East demo, carving through clever enemies (even the basic enemies are quite intelligent and persistent). It manages a tight balancing act between pushing the player with constant danger, yet making them feel like a powerhouse as they cover the screen with shots. It’s pure run n’ gun fun, and something any genre fan will want to be keeping an eye on.
Blazing Chrome is slated to release this year, but in the meantime, you can add it to your Steam Wishlist.