Contra Rogue Corps' Nobuya Nakazato Tells Us If We Can Aim Up, Why the Game Has Pandas
While you wait for our Contra Rogue Corps review, which is currently on the way, you might be interested in what the game's Nobuya Nakazato had to say about the game ahead of its September 24 launch.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with him at a Konami event in Seattle, Washington, and while our conversation was brief, Nakazato-san shared some tantalizing details about the upcoming shooter.
GameSkinny (GS): Historically, Contra has been light on story; its narrative is often minimal or told through the environment. Why did the team choose to emphasize story in Rogue Corps, and what movies, games, or other media inspired that story?
Nobuya Nakazato (NN): Contra has always been about two parties fighting together, so the story wasn't that important, but this time we are up to four players, so you need each character to stand out. It made sense to create the background story for each of them, having a personality for each of them. This is why we decided to put more focus on story this time.
GS: There's a huge, gun-wielding panda in Rogue Corps, as well as a katana-wielding assassin fused to an alien. Contra has had some crazy characters — Brad Fang and Browny from Hard Corps come to mind — but how did the team come up with these wild examples?
NN: I'm a huge movie fan, manga fan, so I take a lot of influences from there. That's where the ideas start to come up.
GS: Is there a manga or anything specific that you may have pulled from for the inspiration for these characters?
NN: When it comes to [influences], I could quote the drama series the A-Team as an inspiration for this. [Laughs]
GS: I can definitely see that! Focusing on the gameplay, Contra typically has a fast, frenetic pace. There's a lot of running and constant gunning. In Rogue Corps, that seems to be dialed back a bit with weapons overheating, as well as the precision aiming mechanic. Why slow things down and was that a deliberate decision by the development team, or did it naturally happen as the game moved through development?
NN: In this game, we wanted to include hack and slash elements. So you can customize your weapons, you can basically make one of your own from scratch. Having that in the game means you have to add a strategic layer to it.
To decide if you want to go for a super-powerful weapon, such as something that only has one shot before overheating, or something weaker but will overheat more slowly ... Everything is [built around] the purpose of adding a bigger, more strategic layer to the game.
GS: I ran into Big Fuzz it appeared at the end of [the PS4] demo, and it really surprised me. I was glad to see a familiar face! What classic Contra enemies or bosses might we come across in Rogue Corps?
NN: You will find old enemies making a comeback in this game, as well as old environments. You may come across some old stages from the first Contra as well.
GS: Lastly, I have to ask: Can we aim up?
NN: Actually, that's one of the things that you can customize on your weapons. So it's more like aiming up to aerial enemies [with certain weapons that you make or unlock]. And yes, it's straight up with the weapon you're using. [Laughs]
Contra Rogue Corps was unveiled at E3 2019. The game features four-player co-op and PvP, as well as a single-player campaign and a plethora of modes. According to Konami, the game can take players up to 30 hours to complete.
While it's not the best Contra game ever made, Rogue Corps is fun to play. Having only played the PS4 demo before this weekend, I admit that my stance on the game was originally very negative. But after spending almost four hours with the game since then, my tune might have changed just a tad.
You'll have to wait and see in my review coming tomorrow.
Contra Rogue Corps will release on September 24 for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It is the first new Contra game to release since 2011's Hard Corps: Uprising for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.