When Rebellion announced Strange Brigade, my first thought was not another team based shooter, they seem to be popping up a lot of late, but thankfully the game offers a single player option, but the best news, even if it was multiplayer only, it is still worth investing in.
Strange Brigade is set in the 1930’s where 4 adventures have headed to the sub-continent of Africa, all for their own reasons and while the reasons don’t matter in the grand scheme, they do offer up extra back story to why they have done it. I selected the scholar, Professor Archimedes De Quincey and playing as him gave me a unique ability that only he has, as you take down enemies, you power up your mystic ability and when that is fully charged, he can launch multiple balls of flames at the closets of enemies, perfect for thinning down the horde.
Where the game really shines is that it is not just another shooter, and yes the game is a third person shooter, but the theming of the game is what makes it worth your time. Given that it is set in 1930’s Africa, if you think Brendan Fraser’s Mummy movie, you will have an idea of what it looks like. Before the section I played, there was even an announcer, the kind that people of the time would have heard ahead of the news reels at the cinema, giving a rundown of what is going to happen and should you fall in battle, he has a quick quip lined up and ready to go.
When you are playing the game, you have the basics of a third person shooter, aiming and shooting of course, dodging is also present, which comes in handy when you get some of the harder enemies coming at you. The only strange part I had is with the melee combat, using a melee attack and knock most enemies to the ground and when down, another one or two attacks will finish most of them off, the problem is that the melee attack is also in the direction your character is facing, not the direction the camera is looking, like most games, it took me quite a while to understand it.
While the section I played is considered a vertical slice and may not appear as it is now in the final game, it’s hard for me too comment about how it felt playing it, but given that the bulk of the ideas will find their way into the final product, that is ok. There are plenty of environmental traps that you can trigger, explosive barrels to be discovered and more, it really opens up the options, especially when fighting the bosses. While the traps are great at thinning the heards down, you only get a few uses of each before they break, so determining when to use them is going to be super important.
It is early days for Strange Brigade, but I for one can’t wait to play more of it, it scratches that itch of a classic adventure movie, but interactive and until I played it, it was not something I was aware that I needed. While no release date has been announced yet, or even a release window, the game is coming to PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, no enhanced console supports has been discussed at this time either.