Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. Apr 7, 2011
    Hard Corps: Uprising is a treat for fans of the original Contra series. The game pays homage to the older titles in the series while making its own mark with modern additions and improvements. Expect a challenge though as the difficulty level of the game has been turned up to eleven.
  2. Feb 28, 2011
    It's not going to be for everyone, the punishing difficulty you'll encounter by just hopping into Arcade mode can certainly be off-putting, but if you end up spending time with the Rising mode, you'll definitely find a lot to love.
  3. Mar 3, 2011
    Hard, "old school" and rewarding. Hard Corps honors the genre, while it adds new ideas where they are needed.
  4. Feb 8, 2011
    The hardcore fans that don't want any handouts can stick to the arcade mode. You start off with set abilities and limited health and lives. At least players can learn the stages and patterns in Rising Mode beforehand. Even then, it's tough to imagine anyone but the absolute best making it all the way through arcade. I guess that's why Konami put the word "hard" in the title.
  5. Mar 16, 2011
    It's definitely classic Contra, but at the same time feels new and exciting.
  6. Feb 28, 2011
    If you are someone who wants a game that will challenge their old-school gaming skills, as cliched as that sounds, then Hard Corps: Uprising is definitely for you. It's a game that is initially punishing, but ultimately satisfying.
  7. May 26, 2011
    Hard Corps: Uprising is bar none one of the best side scrolling shooters of this generation. It's slick, intense, and a lot of fun.
  8. Apr 25, 2011
    Hard Corps is the spiritual sequel of the classic Contra game. The gameplay is oldschool because you have to walk from left to right and shoot everything that comes on your path. With upgrades you can make your character better and better and the game can be still pretty challenging.
  9. Apr 8, 2011
    Griping aside, Hard Corps: Uprising is a game that delivers exactly what it promises. It isn't going to be for everyone, but for those who appreciate the challenge of old-school gaming, it's a must-buy. For the rest who are going to whine that "it's too hard," go play Black Ops. This game is exclusively for the hardcore.
  10. Apr 5, 2011
    Uprising is for gamers who seriously enjoy punishing games.
  11. Mar 3, 2011
    Looking for a crazy difficult game? Hard Cops: Uprising is your best choice! This Contra remake is an awesome example of the old school madness, where players have few lives to beat the hell. A great design and an high production value are great extras to create a fantastic experience.
  12. Feb 21, 2011
    It still feels like Contra, but with something more. Every action lover will enjoy it, even if sometimes it's hard as hell.
  13. Feb 16, 2011
    While the gameplay might be a bit too hardcore for gamers that are easily frustrated, the upgrades in Rising mode will eventually give you the edge you need to beat every level. Just know that you will die a lot your first time through. If you're a fan of side-scrolling shooters like Contra and Metal Slug, definitely check this game out.
  14. Apr 21, 2011
    A solid challenge. [Issue#204, p.97]
  15. Mar 21, 2011
    There is a very specific kind of player for whom Hard Corps: Uprising is going to be better than crack. These are the people that keep Cave employed, who lined up for Gradius V, and who have characters from Metal Slug tattooed on their unmentionables. It's an arcade game for serious shooter fans, and only for serious shooter fans.
  16. This is for the punishment-addicted only. [May 2011, p.84]
  17. Mar 28, 2011
    This Contra-style shooter is packed with pleasure and punishment.
  18. Feb 18, 2011
    The overall feeling we got from Uprising is one of a game not quite up to the standard of the very best Contra games.
  19. Feb 16, 2011
    Uprising may not break any new ground in a genre that is arguably an endangered species, but it does a good job of breathing life into the dying breed. It's a reminder that an artist's eye, when met by a designer's understanding of modern tastes, can revitalise a struggling brand and make the old feel new again.
  20. Feb 14, 2011
    Hard Corps: Uprising really justifies its name "hard". It has a lot of variety in its situations and very direct action, but everything is conditioned by its almost exasperating difficulty level, which makes this game only recommended for the most seasoned players.
  21. Jul 7, 2011
    The worst part about Uprising is the lack of balancing. The weapons you'll get and the difficulty don't add up, making it extremely difficult to finish the game. For those that like a challenge, Hard Corps: Uprising just might be the thing they're looking for.
  22. Deeply frustrating lack of checkpoints holds it back from retro greatness. [June 2011, p.103]
  23. May 10, 2011
    Just far too slow. [June 2011, p.92]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Apr 28, 2011
    Dear God in heaven this one is a hard nut to crack. It's almost obscene how hard this game is (at first). And here is the deal: "at first".Dear God in heaven this one is a hard nut to crack. It's almost obscene how hard this game is (at first). And here is the deal: "at first". Once you play Hard Corps: Uprising in its "Rising Mode" you aquire points which can later be spent to turn down the difficulty a little. And you do this in many ways: upgrading weapons, increasing health bars, adding extra lives and so on. There is something very addictive about this game that makes you come back for more, to fight it and, most of all, defeat it. It is so rewarding when you beat a boss that seemed impossible to be beaten before... My only complaint is its checkpoint system. It is not fair to die in the last seconds of a stage just to be sent to its middle and do it all over again. For hardcore gamers, yes. But not for hardcore gamers, only. There is tons of fun to be had even for the most casual gamer. It is one of my must-buy downloadable games. Full Review »
  2. Aug 22, 2014
    This, and probably Velocity, were the two games for this generation of console I could not put down, in the category of network releasedThis, and probably Velocity, were the two games for this generation of console I could not put down, in the category of network released games, and store released too, honestly. People just weren't making the type of games that I wanted to play for this generation, but then this came out, and I played nothing but this game for, like, 2 months straight.

    The fact that Konami choose not to put the Contra label on this game is a bit perplexing, especially since they've been so hard up to revitalize this franchise; I mean, it plays like a Contra game; it takes place in the Contra continuity and it solves all the criticism people had of 4 and Rebirth, which was that those two entries didn't bring anything new to the franchise. And boy does this bring something new. You can play this game like old school Contra, just run and gun, or you can play it in Rising mode, where you can enable all kinds of cool abilities, like a triple air dash, wall run or the especially cool feature to hit enemy bullets back at them with perfect timing; it adds a lot of variety to gameplay; it almost makes it feel like some kind of Contra/Megaman X hybrid; which is awesome, because those are, like, two of the greatest game series ever made.

    My complaints about this game are few: firstly, if you died enough times, and trust me, you will, you get infinite continues on Rising and Arcade mode; even if you're a Contra master and you almost never take a hit, you replay this game enough times you're gonna get those infinite continues eventually, whether you like it or not. Granted, the checkpoints where you respawn if you die are few and far between (usually only 2 per level, and the levels are pretty long), so it's not like this feature completely kills the challenge, but it still feels kind of cheap, it definitely makes this feel like one of the easiest Contras. I mean, all the powers you can get in rising can, certainly, make the game easier, but you can turn those off, you can't turn the infinite continues off, or, at least, I haven't figure out how.

    Lastly, and this is a small gripe; all additional charactes are paid DLC, nothing unlocks in-game, like in Rebirth, or the original Contra Hard Corps; it seems like they could have had at least one of the 3 dlc characters unlock in game. But, that being said, you will definitely want to shell out the couple of bucks to download Sayuri. She uses a sword, rather then a gun and it's like a completely different game playing as her.

    But all in all this is an amazing game; probably my favorite on the Playstation Network. So much variety of gameplay and replayability. I've probably beaten this game, at least 50 times and I always find a new excuse to play it. Currently I'm trying to play through every level with all action chips enabled getting from start to boss without taking a hit or letting go of the dash-run button.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 4, 2014
    This is one of my top played games on the PS3

    Hand Drawn 2D Sprites. Melodic Metal. Perfect control. Varied levels. Creative bosses.
    This is one of my top played games on the PS3

    Hand Drawn 2D Sprites.
    Melodic Metal.
    Perfect control.
    Varied levels.
    Creative bosses.

    Need I say more?
    Full Review »