Someone needs to Contra Code this.
It's never a good sign when the most exciting part of a demo is a power failure.
Such was the fate of Contra: Rogue Corps, the demo at E3 that was interrupted by the power surge/flicker/whathaveyou that knocked Treehouse Live off air. The trailer didn't exactly leave a good impression, but the demo was solid but inoffensive. Maybe it'd be more exciting if I picked the right character.
In the demo, the tutorial section sets you as Max, the human character who was in the army that Bill and Lance completely made redundant a couple of years prior (in storyline, Rogue Corps picks up after Contra III). This new Contra is an overhead view shooter with some third-person looter elements, as there are intended to be pickups of various rarities that boost the stats of the characters. After Max reaches the base, it's possible to switch to the other characters, so of course I went to the panda... but maybe that was a mistake, as I didn't have as much fun as I expected with his weapons.
Each character has a standard gun and a unique weapon that are swapped between with the Switch Y button, as well as a screen clearing bomb and a super move. 2019 is also apparently the year of the warp, as certain enemies have to be stunned with a warp move (ZL) before hitting them with a unique finisher. Unlike pretty much every other Contra game I've ever played, you can't spam the fire button as the weapons will overheat. And when you have 25 enemies on screen at once, the weapons will overheat constantly and force you to run away for five seconds.
The demo itself ran fine on a PS4, though I suspect they're trading resolution for framerate as our Jared Rosenberg estimated the resolution at 720p. This may get ironed out before launch, however. There was one incident where I used a super move near an obstacle and got a nice up-close view of the obstacle. The voice acting is about as overbearing as would be expected in a tutorial sequence, while if there was music I couldn't hear it over the sound of the gunfire.
Definitely wait for our review of Contra: Rogue Corps before you jump in. There's a tiny spark of potential here, but Contra was always at its best as a run and gun game and when you can't run and gun forever, what's the point?