Strange Brigade DEALS
Britain – Proud maritime history, workshop of the world, and one time had an empire covering 1/10th of the world, which came with one major plus was of ancient treasures to fill some museums. This history lesson brings me onto Strange Brigade, an action-adventure shooter set during the 1930s made by Rebellion Developments – the same guys who made the Sniper Elite series, which is a series I’m quite fond of and I have played extensively, let us take apart this new title and add in some facts and my opinions, so, here we go tally-ho.
The story takes us to the plains of Egypt where during the days of ancient discoveries of long lost treasures and archaeological discoveries, and fame and fortune are the ultimate aphrodisiac, but some things are better left forgotten. An Egyptian queen by the name of Seteki who ran Egypt with an iron fist and black magic until overthrown by her people in a bloody coup and left forgotten for thousands of years, until the bumbling explorer Edgar Harbin discovers her resting place and fatally unleashing her upon the world again.
The Strange Brigade are called in to jolly well sort out the mess and give Seteki what for before the world gets buggered over by her completely. Taking on mythical creatures from large scorpions to mummies and plenty more from the pages of myth and history. The story while competent is not something we have seen before (*cough* The Mummy) but what sets it apart for me is the narration which gives the story its colour and its charm, just imagine a Victorian British man with a bushy moustache, think of the likes of General Melchett from Blackadder goes forth and you have got the idea.
As you progress through the story fighting all sorts of mythical nasties with the narrator gives the game its colour, and the 1930s style keeps going with font and with black and white cutscenes it just oozes charm for me at every turn. Though there were times where it did stagnate a bit in a holding pattern in the second third but did kick back into life in the last third of the game, overall the story while not uncharted territory but has lots of colour and charm to make up for it.
Now, we come to the gameplay which while does its job and is engrossing with plenty of secrets and puzzles to solve there are some issues though. Gunplay is good with a nice assortment of weapons to use, and quite easy to control with some guns once the recoil patterns are learned and controlled. Though lack of blind firing and lack of switching camera shoulders are a frustrating absence. Also, killing all the mummies and nasty creatures powers up your special ability which can be very helpful in a pinch. There is a nice assortment to choose from with upgrades and there are a nice variety of enemies which some are cannon fodder and others will harass and be a right royal pain, so plenty to keep you on your toes.
Now, along side of the main quest of giving an evil witch queen what for, there are puzzles and secrets along the way, now some are just simple collectables which can be acquired by combing every square yard, however, others however are locked behind puzzle doors which are a nice touch keeping with the theme. Which may open to collectables cash in which to buy new equipment, collectables if you are one of these 100% nutters or want to learn more about the world.
Finally, relics which if you collect a set allow for more amulets for your special abilities including changing bad guys to chickens and a whole lot more, which makes collectable hunting and puzzle hunting a necessity but enjoyable.
There is other game modes as well to delve into alongside the campaign, Horde mode which is surviving waves of bad guys which is fun and also score attack mode playing back through areas in the campaign with now your final score of loot and plunder taken more seriously. This can be taken on solo or with up to 4 players in co-op multiplayer. Now I’ve played both sides of solo and multiplayer with the game modes and personally I would have to say (obviously) that it better in multiplayer. Solo play is still good fun, playing with friends in multiplayer is the way to go which even from the early days at EGX 2017 was pretty obvious and also 4 heads are better than one when dealing with collectables and fighting off the mummy horde.
Overall in the gameplay department there is plenty of positives to take from a nice assortment of weapons and skills to utilize, mythical enemies to destroy and loot and puzzles to find and solve. All wrapped up nicely, but there were some issues mainly little things like camera swapping and blind firing which would be helpful and pacier.
Other aspects to report graphics are nice and the art style with the 1930s style kept right on through it till the end with the black and white cutscenes, 30s font text that would have been found on cinema posters at the time. Sound is good, online servers are reliable and pretty easy to get into games and stay on till the very end. Aside from some funny moments with people ragdolling which never stops being funny falling rather awkwardly, no major bugs of a game breaking degree and glitches to report from my time.
Overall, Strange Brigade is a good game, while not a barnstormer of a game mind but with a fun story, 1930s style, solid gameplay, and a very entertaining narrator. Which can be taken on solo and multiplayer, there are some niggles with story pace and some gameplay tripe and maybe overpriced as there isn’t a lot of content to value at the moment but I’ll still say with most co-op shooters evolving every day i.e. Destiny. It’s nice to see that there is still one that does not want to treat its player base like sheep, so, well done Strange Brigade, old boy.
A fun co-op rampage across Egypt in this ye olde Indiana Jones caper against the antagonist from The Mummy.
- Beautiful 1930s style
- Fun co-op
- Surprisingly fun puzzles
- Cannon-fodder enemies
- Slower gameplay late game
- Strange ragdoll physics