Contra: Shattered Soldier PlayStation 2

  • Publisher: Konami
  • Release Date: Oct 22, 2002

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
Buy On
  1. Probably one of the toughest titles released for the PS2 and right up there with the other games in the Contra series.
  2. Pure Contra goodness. Most of the hallmarks that make the series great are here, including finger-frazzling gameplay, the indispensable two-player cooperative mode, constant shooting action, and giant bosses with well-hidden weak points.
  3. Cheat Code Central
    I felt there was entirely too many bosses to fight and not nearly enough run and gun action. Each short action stage is merely setting you up for another boss battle.
  4. While Contra: Shattered Soldier is a short game, fans of the original will eat it up. It’s also a game for anyone looking for a challenge.
  5. Prime rental territory; it's one of those games that will be adored by some and abhorred by others, with hardly any middle ground.
  6. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Old school in every possible way. [Jan 2003, p.173]
  7. Entertainment Weekly
    Delightfully preposterous H.R. Giger carnage. [22 Nov 2002, p.85]
  8. You spend too much time learning patterns, and not enough just running around blow stuff up.
  9. Anybody who remembers the good old days of Contra should steer clear of Shattered Soldier, unless you have some sort of sadistic urge to lay waste to your senses and pollute your fond recollections of this once proud series.
  10. 80
    The simplistic gameplay of the series is not lost but refined to create a challenge that is both undeniably fun and not entirely impossible.
  11. Game Informer
    I sorely miss the old weapons that Konami decided to remove. Gone are the spray gun, missle launchers, laser cannon, and super bomb. [Dec 2002, p.116]
  12. I really enjoyed Shattered Soldier and I highly recommend that you grab a best friend and tear through this game some Friday night.
  13. It's fun to learn the patterns and hone in on that perfect game, though the limited gameplay and the shortness of the actual experience make it well suited for a rental.
  14. I’d like to see Contra taken to the next level while retaining its identity... Give me something besides a carbon copy of action that has already been done, and done to perfection on older systems.
  15. GameNow
    You'll definitely get into it if you're into classic shooters, but if you've been reared in the modern era, it may simply be too frustrating. [Jan 2003, p.54]
  16. 90
    Its combination of old-school shooter gameplay and high-end graphics makes it a blast to play.
  17. Due to the sheer difficulty, it's actually only for a select few.
  18. Die-hard Contra fans hoping for a pure Contra remake may find themselves a little disappointed that, for all its similarity to its classic predecessors, Contra: Shattered Soldier takes a few too many liberties.
  19. 75
    In my case, the funnin' exceeded the bummin', but not as much as I wanted. This just isn't the game that'll bring 2D gameplay back into vogue.
  20. Its sheer difficulty will put off all but the most hard core of gamers (and even then it’s gonna take a lot to convince.)
  21. I'm sure that I'll have the urge to beat it again in a year, and then again in five years. But aside from playing the co-op multiplayer mode, it'd be tough to get me to come back any more frequently than that.
  22. A mind-bendingly tough game that you simply cannot put down.
  23. This game is excellent, although very frustrating. I only made it past the Easy difficulty, I am not even going to try the Normal difficulty even if the real ending is behind it.
  24. GMR Magazine
    After numerous shoddy attempts to bring classic Contra gameplay to a next-gen system, Konami finally gets it right. [Feb 2003, p.92]
  25. 80
    Make no mistake, you will die like a fly playing this game, very early and very often. But the pattern design is good enough that skill and perceptive analysis offers the possibility of mastery for dedicated players.
  26. Adding lots of enemies and huge bosses only makes the game more frustrating. Expect veins to pop out of your cranium, and a few broken controllers. Although I did have a tough time getting through the missions, I did have fun.
  27. netjak
    Does a lot of things right, but sadly it is mainly for the purest of pure hardcore gamers, as Shattered Soldier’s steep learning curve and INCREDIBLY difficult gameplay, this probably will not please a mainstream gamer too much.
  28. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Just like the best Contra games before it, Shattered Soldier puts your gaming skills completely to the test, but can still be mastered. [Jan 2003, p.126]
  29. Play Magazine
    The most faithful translation of a classic yet, but there's no denying that the difficulty will turn some off. [Dec 2002, p.56]
  30. PSM Magazine
    Fine shooting action served straight, no chaser. [Holiday 2002, p.30]
  31. What it lacks in flash, longevity and accuracy to the “Contra” universe (no weapon pick-ups??!!) Shattered Soldier compensates for with old-fashioned, thumb-blistering, bang-your-head-against-the-wall hard shooting antics of the 2D and 2.5D variety.
  32. No matter how many times you die in the same place, no matter how frustrated you get, it has that magical power to make you snatch that controller back and soldier on.
  33. 70
    You also never get into that old-fashioned running and jumping zone that so characterised the initial games in the series, because you're usually timing laser blasts and calculating jumps.

Awards & Rankings

#50 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2002
#14 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2002
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 7 out of 15
  1. DH
    May 8, 2008
    One of the worst games ever made. I appreciate the fact that they stuck to the original action-packed side scrolling genre, but none of the One of the worst games ever made. I appreciate the fact that they stuck to the original action-packed side scrolling genre, but none of the core values of Contra are here. You start with 3 weapons, and only have those 3 weapons throughout the entire game. There are no overhead powerups to shoot down, which was something a gamer could look forward to in the originals. There are three different difficulty levels, and the only thing they change are the number of continues you start with. There is no platforming except for maybe 5% of each level when you battle the "halfway" boss. All in all, this game in an utter disappointment compared to it's predecessors. This game makes me pity the Konami corporation. Full Review »
  2. JimmiA.
    Jun 4, 2005
    Very good old fashioned shoot´n up. Hard pump action in old school way.
  3. BillS.
    Mar 31, 2003
    Contra has made a fine return to form. The current generation of pussy gamers need not apply. Unless you're around 18 or 19 and enjoyed Contra has made a fine return to form. The current generation of pussy gamers need not apply. Unless you're around 18 or 19 and enjoyed the originals (or if you think you've got the skill to tackle a Contra game) then you won't be able to appreciate. Sad too, since it's a stellar old-school shooter. Full Review »