Snug Sound created Operation Hardcore and Greenlight Games brought it to the Nintendo Switch console. The arcade-action shooter/platformer brings all sorts of badassery to the table with cigars, whiskey, and guns in an all-out gun battle against those who dare to cross your path. An alien invasion is happening on Earth and you are responsible for kicking ass and taking names.
There are three different modes off the bat, which is pretty impressive. They are as follows:
- Adventure: An epic adventure through the Operation Hardcore world. Unlimited continues, retain half your coins on final death. Start Here!
- Competition: No secret exits, no continues. Not for the faint of heart.
- Challenges: Test your skills with these quick-hit challenge levels! Sorry to give another list of information, but the game offers four levels of difficulty.
There are four different difficulties. They are as follows:
- Easy: 3 lives, 200% health recovery
- Normal: 3 lives, regular health recovery
- Hard: 1 life, regular health recovery
- Hardcore Badass: 1 life, 50% recovery
For those that played Contra (which is our demographic audience) the spreader is the BEST gun. If you stumble upon the spreader upgrade, do your best to keep it. DESTROY with this gun, just hold down the fire button and annihilate everything in your path from enemies to the terrain. You can constantly click the shoot button to get a little more out for boss battles. Once you have the spreader everything is great. It may be a cakewalk for a bit, but you’re likely going to get caught off guard while having fun and lose the upgrade. It was fun while it lasted though.
Choose from one of four characters in your quest to shoot anything that moves. I only tried two characters but if you ever lose you’re able to pick another character. To be honest I don’t recall a difference between the first and second character, thus why I didn’t try (or get a chance) to pick the third or fourth guy. If there was some sort of upgrade or downgrade, it was forgettable. Holding L keeps your guy frozen in place to be capable of aiming in any 360 direction for precision. Holding R keeps your character stuck aiming in the 8 possible directions to be able to shoot that way. This is helpful in taking down enemies that come from one particular direction, which is most of the time. I recall moments in levels keeping my character shooting in an upward direction to take care of flying enemies.
Lives, health, shield and whiskies held are shown in the top left corner, while the time is shown in the top right corner. Gameplay is pretty simple in nature and the difficulty follows with some dips here and there. Boss battles are where the challenges arise. Purchase additional lives in between levels or guys while having the option to upgrade weapons or perks. The upgrades are temporary and just be purchased again if you die.
The level design is decent because of the variety it holds between them. There are shmup-ish levels that give the character a jetpack. These levels are a good change-up from the slow-paced levels you drag through.
Replayability for Operation Hardcore is low – I don’t see myself coming back to this game, even to try two-player mode. Art style or graphics are an odd mix of styles from the characters and background, to the effects given off by explosions and fire. Maybe a spectrum from 8 to 32 bit? Enemies and your character look fine, decent for their 8 bit looking selves. The fluidity of movement is a bit slow and doesn’t feel like it hit the mark.
This game just wasn’t enough fun to enjoy the time spent on it. I’m glad I beat the game but there was no satisfaction in it. I would not recommend this game to my friends as I did not enjoy myself. Initially the game started out pretty decent but everything got stale pretty quick. The price point is out of this world for what is offered. Operation Hardcore is a good base for what could be a better release following, I’ll keep an eye out for what the developer creates next.
Review code provided
Release Date: Jun 08, 2018
No. of Players: 2 players simultaneous
Category: Arcade, Action, Platformer, Adventure
Publisher: Greenlight Games
Developer: Snug Sound
Download link: eShop