A short chat with Lead Developer Nobuya Nakazato about the series’ comeback.
Going clear back to the 1980s, Contra has been a run-n-gun of 2D platform gaming. With its bizarre weapons, ultra intense violence, and cool atmospheres, it was a great surprise to see the announcement of Contra Rogue Corps announced at E3 2019. However, this version is no longer a 2D side scroller, but a 3D world instead. You’ll still have fun unleashing hellfire on enemies with some crazy new weapons and new characters. We had a chance to sit down for a small interview with Lead Developer Nobuya Nakazato to ask him a few of our most important questions about the game.
Contra as a series has been dormant for a while, as far as new mainline entries are concerned. What prompted a return to this franchise?
It’s the 30th anniversary of the franchise. So we thought that would be the perfect time to bring the franchise back. Besides that, some of the old Contra games are on the SNES Mini and people were happy to see these games back. We have this kind of retro game boom right now. So we thought this was perfect timing to bring old glory back to modern days.
"So the new game has 3-D graphics, new characters, new camera angle, so it may surprise the fans. But we’re keeping the same Contra feeling in terms of mechanics."
Was there ever a conversation during early development days about maybe making this a side scrolling 2D title like the classic Contra games?
Yes. Of course Contra Rogue Corps was based on the 2D scrolling games. But what we’re really enjoying is playing the game with your brother or your sister, and we wanted to expand that to four players. But having four players on screen in a 2D scrolling game is kind of messy. So we thought that make in the game for 3D would have a different point of you that would be easier for the players to understand where they are and what they’re doing.
There are millions of veteran series fans that are going to go into Rogue Corps with loads of expectations, considering the pedigree and value attached to the Contra name. What’s it like for you as developers to shoulder that responsibility?
So the new game has 3-D graphics, new characters, new camera angle, so it may surprise the fans. But we’re keeping the same Contra feeling in terms of mechanics. It’s easy to control. You have the same feeling from the first enemy to the last enemy, when you’re killing enemies. That would be for the fans that would be when they were playing real games.
"This time we don’t just have two men fighting, we have a variety of different characters."
What was the idea behind using comic book style graphics rather than full movie-style cutscenes?
This time we don’t just have two men fighting, we have a variety of different characters. So we wanted A style that could match any kind of character. Besides the atmosphere in Contra, I think it’s fitting to use this comic book art in the game. So it’s easy for us to choose this art to make these classes.