- Developer: Rebellion
- Release Date: August 28, 2018
- Genre: Third Person Shooter
Strange Brigade Release Date – When is it coming out?
Rebellion has confirmed that Strange Brigade will launch for PS4, Xbox One and PC on August 28, 2018.
Strange Brigade Trailer – How does it look?
Strange Brigade Gameplay Preview by James Pickard
There’s a level of absurdity to Strange Brigade that I just can’t help but appreciate. This is a game where a veteran sharpshooter, a no-nonsense factory worker, a noble scholar and an enlightened spirit-warrior travel from their zeppelin sky base on perilous adventures. They blast away reborn monstrosities with bullets and magic in order to save the world. Oh, and they gather a few ancient relics for their troubles too. It’s all sort of ridiculous.
Yet, Strange Brigade wallows in its silliness and is all the more fun for it. A delightfully over-the-top pulp adventure tone helps carry it off, complete with the crackling and nasally barks of a 1940s-style movie trailer narrator, who guides us through the escapes of the unlikely band of adventurers. What are they up to this time? Well, they’re hunting down a resurrected Egyptian witch queen, of course.
That means you’ll be dropping into all sorts of exotic locations and crumbling ruins to stop her advancing minions, with the aim of sending her back to her sarcophagus for good. Each stage is a breezy march towards this goal, as you mow through the mummies, zombies and, er, giant scorpions that dare to face down the end of your gun barrel.
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You won’t just be using shotguns and machine guns against enemies, however. Levels are dotted with all sorts of traps for you to exploit – from your industry standard spike traps and fire pits, to more elaborate spinning blades and swinging axes. When some of the bigger combat encounters kick off, Strange Brigade is more similar to the arcade action of tower defence game such as Orcs Must Die or Dungeon Defenders.
You’ll lead the horde around the arena, thinning the herd with rifle fire and the odd grenade, before queuing up some rotating blades to cut down the masses to a more manageable size. It’s some solid and enjoyable combat, with the added twist that each character also gets an amulet that they can power up by drawing on the souls of all the enemies they’ve slain. Once fully charged, it’s ready to unleash a massive magical attack that can obliterate entire packs of foes.
Given that Strange Brigade is a co-op shooter full of waves of shambling undead, it was only natural that the Left 4 Dead comparisons would soon follow. And while it’s true that both games do share moments of the same level of chaotic co-ordination as you frantically try to fend off masses of encroaching monsters, there’s also more to Strange Brigade than a series of desperate attempts at survival with your friends.
Strange Brigade also splits up its shooting with moments of puzzle-solving. The challenges are usually straightforward – most requiring you to do little more than find a few concealed switches or memorise a code to open a door – but they offer a welcome break from the action and give single-player runs some extra nooks into which to poke your head. Although, who would have thought that the Ancient Egyptians were really so into Pipe Mania?
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There’s a surprising openness to many of the campaign levels, too, giving you room to explore and discover all sorts of other bonus secrets. Many of these hidden areas can unlock new weapons or upgrades for your character. There are different amulet powers, as well as gems that you can slot into weapons to give them added effects.
For example, you can give yourself vampiric bullets that restore some of your health with each attack, or fire rounds that set enemies ablaze with each hit. Again, nothing wildly original, but they both add to the frenzy of combat – especially when all four players are firing off different effects and amulets at once.
It’s no surprise that Rebellion takes the chaos of Strange Brigade’s combat and makes it the focus in the game’s two additional modes. First up, there’s Horde mode: a survival arena that steadily escalates the challenge until you’re simply too overwhelmed. It works like many you’ve likely played before, with each wave you clear resulting in more money to spend on better weapons or unlocking new areas containing useful items. If there’s a problem, the bullet-spongey nature of some of the game’s more frustrating enemies becomes far more apparent here, although it remains a fun little distraction.
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Score Attack is perhaps the more successful of the two extra modes, as it challenges you to find the perfect route through sections of the game’s campaign levels while racking up the most points. This becomes a puzzle in itself, as you make the best use of the weapons you’re given, the traps that litter the area, and the generous helping of explosive barrels that are conveniently placed in your path. It’s relentless, but also encourages you to play aggressively so you get the most out of tearing through a sea of foes.
It’s a mode that also best reflects the frivolity of Strange Brigade. It’s a silly game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it knows there’s obvious pleasure to be found in merrily blasting away at all sorts of hideous monsters like you’re Indiana Jones with some newly found magical powers.
Jump in solo and this is fine: you can carefully tackle each encounter and take your time pondering quick brainteasers or rooting around for lost treasures. And Strange Brigade is a decent third-person shooter if you’re looking for a change of pace from the cinematic action-adventures that now dominate the genre.
Of course, finding your own strange brigade to play with is what can ultimately make the game even more of a good laugh. With friends the pace can quicken, as it becomes more about barrelling through packs of undead creeps and hoovering up whatever loot you can find in the rubble nearby. Sometimes, that’s all you need.