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Kontrakt Review

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Fast Facts

Kontrakt

Developer: Shotx
Publisher: Ultimate games
Website: https://shotx.itch.io/kontrakt
Genre(s): Arcade, Action, Shooter
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on PC)
Age Rating: PEGI 16 / ESRB Mature 17+
Release Date: May 27 2021
Price: £6.29

A code was provided for review purposes

one of the scenes in Kontrakt, where we  are looking for someone to shoot.
Disco lighting is iconic

Taking on a New Kontrakt

Every once in a while, it feels good to let off some steam. There’s only so much cute and cosy Animal Crossing one gal can play. Despite spending hundreds of hours on the likes of Stardew Valley, Sims and other similar tranquil recreation, my gaming story started with some good old classic shooter games.

So, after taking a peek at the games list and spotting Kontrakt, it was time to revive my inner soldier. Check out how it went below!

One of the crime scenes, a cinema.
I hate noisy cinemas!

Far From a Fairy Tale

The story of Kontrakt revolves around extreme violence, so maybe not one for the kids. You take on the role of a hitman, Leo, who is given varying contracts to kill those who least expect it. You complete the jobs, unaware as to why a said person is your target for the day, but as the game unravels, you also uncover hidden truths behind the location, the City of Light. With up to 12 different weapons to choose from – with a range of attachments – this game is not for the light-hearted. You must embark on piecing the puzzle together and pool all the information to discover what is truly going on in this dark and gory world.

A blood stained house, waiting for a good clean up
How do I get blood out of a carpet?

Not Your Average Story

Personally, I haven’t played many games like this. Throughout my time growing up, all the shooters I explored were limited in the story. But what makes Kontrakt stand out from its competitors is that it does provide a rich narrative for its audience to indulge in. Quite early on we are presented with information to highlight the story’s twisted note around Schizophrenia. With such a difficult subject to portray, it’s an interesting stance on what could have been your standard point and shoot game.

When diving deeper into the history and creators of Kontrakt, it appears the lead developer behind the game, is a victim of the illness himself. As such, you could argue the game has provided him with a perfect opportunity to express and portray some of the challenges he may have faced in life through the promotion of this story. The game is themed around mental disease, so you would hope that it would be rich in gameplay, with eye-opening stories told, or dialogue that is addictive. As the game progresses, it’s disappointing to see the only chance of gaining information is through the internal dialogue of your (Leo’s) head, with the odd addition from your boss. Both of which make what could have been a fascinating story, a bit blander.

A day visting the office, but this time with guns and a new contract.
Just your average 9-5

Switch Gameplay

Immediately as I began playing this game, I noticed the clunky controls. It’s definitely far from a point and shoot game, but how can it be as simple as that when the joy-cons don’t sit well with moving the gun around. Not helped by the quick response by the enemy. They can sniff you out from miles. To say I died a couple of times just on the first level is an understatement. But that’s not to say it’s a hard game. It does propose a challenge, in which stealth is of the uppermost certainty, however, the actual killing bit, is not too tricky. Enemies fall down as long as a bullet is somewhere in their direction. However, I found the gameplay with the Nintendo switch controls difficult to manoeuvre. Pointing the weapon was a bit chunky, and often didn’t point the way I needed it to. It took a bit more precision and practise, so being stealthy was not really an option.

Being a third person style game with an overhead camera view, meant that exploring the contract locations was limited. Leo couldn’t venture into more of the world but could simply just look at things such as receipts, or blood stains. With this in mind, it felt like vital parts of this game were left out, to what could have been a novel of ideas to explore.

A car park with the aftermath of the latest contract killing.
Where did I park my car?

A Contract Worth Signing?

When I look back on this game and what I experienced, I had fun. Will you? Well, that depends on how you view the game. Something to do, a new shooter to experience? Then I think it’s a decent game. It’s a bit clunky, and the graphics aren’t great but it does the job. However, if you are looking for something with more zest and a darker storyline, Kontract does not fulfil that. I can’t help but feel like the developer has taken a huge hit on not involving more with the schizophrenia storyline and the potential depths it could have reached. Sign the contract, but maybe not on a full-term basis…

Leo appears to be falling from a block window. His fate is unknown.
Forgot to pack my wings

Rapid Reviews Rating

3 out of 5

3

You can purchase Kontrakt here.

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