Anyone who’s been hanging around Steam for a good while will have heard of Oniken. This 2014 NES throwback title is the first release from JoyMasher, who excel at making games that seem out of a different time. After 2015’s Castlevania-inspired Odallus The Dark Call, the team is coming back in 2019 with something that feels more at home with their first release. Published by The Arcade Crew on PC and console, Blazing Chrome is a direct homage to Contra: Hard Corps, a bizarre side-scrolling shooter with futuristic military men and towering titanic bosses. From what we’ve seen of Blazing Chrome, it seems like it follows that legacy well.
An army of robots controlled by a central AI has taken over the world. The last vestiges of mankind hole up in bunkers awaiting their death. You play as Mavra, a lone rebel teaming up with insurgent robot Doyle to take back what was stolen. There are five environments to blast through, complete with a variety of weapons and high-speed jetbike sections. To combat this, you’ll equip a range of futuristic weapons, devastating powerups, and exosuits. After all, it wouldn’t be Hard Corps if you knew what was coming next.
While we already knew that Blazing Chrome was coming to PC when it’s done, a recent announcement means that even more retro enthusiasts will get to enjoy. The game releases early next year on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. In addition, if you can’t wait till then, Blazing Chrome will cameo in the form of a themed t-shirt in Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. You can already wishlist the game on Steam, and there you’ll see in screenshots just how close this homage feels. With any luck, a modern sense of checkpoints will make the game feel just slightly less frustrating to play.