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E3: Contra: Rogue Corps trailer; Xbox One says goodbye to older games; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Contra Rogue Corps gameplay

We can’t let Nintendo’s big Zelda news overshadow one of the coolest and most surprising nostalgia trips from this year’s E3: Konami is bringing the Contra franchise back, and the Switch is where your new commando will be doing his 2019 business.

Konami debuted the new Contra: Rogue Corps with a mildly NSFW E3 trailer, showing how it’s evolving the classic side-scrolling shoot-‘em-up for the HD generation. Billed as a direct followup to a Contra game that’s now 27 years old, Rogue Corps is blasting up the world of the semi-controllable camera movements and isometric 3D action in a major way:

Konami says Rogue Corps is a “brand new canonical entry to the Contra franchise that picks up following the events of Contra III: The Alien Wars.” That means Rogue Corps marks the first official entry in the storyline since The Alien Wars released all the way back in 1992 for the Super NES.

Featuring both single and multiplayer modes and all the hilarious overkill the series made its name on, Contra: Rogue Corps arrives on Nintendo Switch on Sept. 24.

In a signal that Project Scarlett already is beginning to take over Microsoft’s gaming plans, the company has said that this week marks the final countdown for any more Xbox game titles to join the ranks of all those old-school games that’ll play when inserted into a newer Xbox One.

The Xbox One’s backward compatibility with its Xbox 360 and Xbox predecessors proved to be a key selling point through the current console generation, especially as Sony’s PlayStation 4 had to divert gamers onto the PlayStation Store — usually for an additional charge — to offer a curated selection of PlayStation 3 titles (and, going back further, even fewer PS2 games).

Meanwhile, Xbox games like Fable, Forza Motorsport, and Halo: Combat Evolved were happy to run on the Xbox One, even though they’re two console generations removed from the machinery they were designed for. In revealing the end of new backward-compatible titles, reports The Verge, Microsoft is only cutting off games on the original Xbox list. That means Xbox 360 games will continue to be added to the Xbox One roster, at least for the near future — and the forthcoming Project Scarlett console will be able to play games released for both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One (but not, sadly, the original Xbox).

Doom Eternal got the brightest spotlight at Bethesda’s E3 show this year, but the future of Fallout 76 also came into focus as the online game looks toward some major changes that’ll make it feel more familiar to fans of the series’ offline, single-player RPGs.

Addressing perhaps the biggest grievance among fans who couldn’t quite wrap their heads around roaming the West Virginia wilds while getting their missions in new and unconventional ways, Fallout 76 will introduce human NPCs into the game for the first time. Fallout 76 owners won’t have to pay extra for the free “Wastelanders” update, which arrives this fall.

Also expect a new battle royale mode called “Nuclear Winter,” which Bethesda is also releasing for free as Fallout’s answer to player-versus-player offerings from games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and PUBG.