Contra-Hardcorps is a side-scrolling shoot-‘em-up game and is the fourth release in the Contra series of games. The plot of the game is set less than six years after the events of the previous game Contra III: The Alien Wars. In the story, an elite team of commandos was assembled made to fight the spread of illegal activities after the Alien Wars. This team of soldiers is also called the Contra Hard Corps.
When the city’s security system was hacked, sending robots to destroy everything in their path, the team is called in to fix the situation. Players take control of one of the four playable characters in the game: Browny, a small robot; Ray Poward, a male soldier; Brad Fang, a wolf-like humanoid; and Sheena Etranzi, a woman soldier. Each character has his or her own set of weapons and special attacks.
The objective is to walk through each stage of the game and shoot the enemies that they encounter. At the end of each major stage is a boss that must be defeated and a multiple-choice scenario. Two players can play at the same time with different characters. The game has four possible paths and a hidden bonus stage, with each path having its own final boss to defeat and ending.