The Strange Brigade are called on in times of need. And when an ancient evil awakens in Rebellion’s new title, they get that very call. With guns drawn and powerful amulets in tow, the brigade must use their skills, and their wits, to battle the monsters. Find out how they do as a game in my full Strange Brigade review.
While small in size and an indie team behind this game, we are also seeing the new IP from Sniper Elite. A game series that I and many other gamers really enjoyed. Strange Brigade takes on a fresh challenge and it’s one I think is well worth your time.
Now, grab a pot of tea, and put a ruddy good beating on these nasty nefarious undead uglies!
How does Strange Brigade play?
Strange Brigade is a third person shooter which can be played both solo, and in a team of up to four players.
In single player, you don’t have your team, but the balance of the game seems to take that into account. There are fewer enemies coming at you where there is a lot more in co-op. That being said, there are difficulties and such you can use to up, or down, the challenge.
As you play it presents you with waves of enemies to beat but also gives you puzzles and a few mysterious trinkets to collect.
You get guns galore, ranging from the pistols, to molotov grenades (grenades refill over time, rather than need to be recollected. And talking of recharge, traps recharge over time, these vary from flame throwing ground panels, a spinning blade propeller and even some overhead fire traps!
I Have The Power
One thing I liked about Strange Brigade is the selection of characters you can select from. Each of them with their own special abilities, traits and personalities that really come through well.
You have 4 characters at launch, with more coming to the game via DLC. Each has different character traits (be it a gruff London accent, or a dorky run), but they also have amulet powers, that can be unlocked beyond basic ones.
Killing enemies allows you to charge up your amulet, which in turn allows you to use a special, these are character specific, with more you can unlock as the game goes on.
Some of these powers feel a little overpowered, and some are underwhelming. But that’s the point, as they each have uses, beyond the obvious damage.
The best examples from the first tier, one of the powers is a basic shoulder charge, now whilst this is pretty unuseful for groups, it is great against bigger enemies. Whereas another member gets a barrage of magic missiles that hit multiple enemies but seem to scatter too wildly to be predictable against one larger enemy.
Balance is key and they do it well, making Strange Brigade a fun, fast-paced game, with a lot to enjoy.
Presentation and Graphics
Strange Brigade really does look good, gorgeous in some aspects and Rebellion have gone into some considerable detail with the design. The enemies are particularly detailed, and really do look good and undead.
I really like the player character designs too, they are fun, vibrant and really stand out. There is a mini-boss fight with a mythical beat on one of the earlier maps, which is set in a large area.
This room and this boss, encapsulates everything I liked about my experience, the Minotaur mixed in with Egyptian tones, and with the hazards, this boss fight was a thrill ride.
A stand out part of Stange Brigade is also the voice acting. It’s simply outstanding and one that stands up with any big-budget AAA title. All the characters looked at above are well voiced, with good writing, and the narrator is immense.
Honestly, I chuckled at some of the charming, funny dialogue, that feels like a throwback to the older cartoon misadventures narration. With some British turns of phrase in there for good measure, this has everything that makes a game fun
The game is both single player, multiplayer, campaign, horde and time trial. As you advance you get gold that serves to help in the missions. Plus it allows you to unlock the better weapons and more power for the amulet.
Maps also have hazards the player can use to decimate the hordes of enemies. These are present in both multiplayer, and while playing single player. In my time, it seemed there were a few more options in single player which helps with crowd control.
While the game does feature both options and does a decent job of balancing it all out. It’s clear the primary focus is playing with others. This is where you will get the most out of Strange Brigade.
Whether you play alone or with others, you’ll also be taking a liking to the guns. Either for the hard-hitting ones or the rapid-fire ones or maybe you’ll like the balance. There are solid options for all types of players, with more to come with the DLC.
There are also those campaign time trial and horde modes to add to this. Meaning there is enough to do, beyond the episodic presentation of the campaign.
Should You Play Strange Brigade?
But I will say and the only reservation I have with it for most players is the issue of longevity. Will it survive the player base drop off we see so often in games designed in such a way?
I hope so, this game certainly deserves to be played and supported by a fan base. Oh, and that narration deserves an award!
Gamers who will suit this game…
If you’ve played left 4 dead, or want your British humour fix, this game is for you. There is something here for both solo and multiplayer fans. The latter will find this more entertaining overall.
|The Good||The Bad||The Bugs|
|Great presentation||Longevity concern||None Experienced|
|Fun gameplay||Inconsistent power quality|
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About This Strange Brigade Review
Game Reviewed: Strange Brigade digital edition, provided by the publisher.
Review Format: Xbox One
PEGI Rating: 16