Konami has announced that it is bringing its seminal Contra run and gun action game franchise to the Nintendo DS with a wholly new game in the series that promises to take advantage of the handheld's duel screens and multiplayer capabilities.
Tentatively titled simply Contra 4, the game is being created by Valencia, California headquartered WayForward Technologies, which specializes in both licensed and original Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance properties such as Sigma Star Saga and Godzilla: Domination.
Contra 4 is set to take place two years after the events depicted in 1992's Contra III: The Alien Wars for the Super NES, during which soldiers named Bill Rizer and Lance Bean saved Earth from the alien threat posed by Red Falcon.
The new game will introduce a new other-worldly threat known as Black Viper, and will team the series' heroes with new characters known as Mad Dog and Scorpion. Konami has revealed that the new game will include support for two players to play simultaneously, however a Konami representative has confirmed to Gamasutra that the multiplayer will be restricted to local play only, and will not take advantage of Nintendo's WiFi Connection.
Now 20 years old, the Contra franchise was first introduced in arcades in 1987, and has gone on to spawn numerous sequels across multiple platforms, most of which follow the original's side scrolling style of action. However, the last game to be counted among the long running series was 2004's Neo Contra for the PlayStation 2, a title that abandoned this formula and earned tepid reviews from the majority of the gaming press.
Unlike Neo Contra's shifted perspective, Konami promises that Contra 4 will mark a return to the series' classic 2D side scrolling, together with original gameplay mechanics that take advantage of the Nintendo DS handheld's two screens. Finally, the game will also include a grappling hook accessory, a first for the series, allowing players to grab onto elements of the environment directly above their character.