Strange Brigade sure is weird, but also wonderfully campy on its B-movie action

Rebellion has always been a solid developer and publisher of games. Sniper Elite is easily the eagle-eyed jewel in their crown of acceptable yet pleasing games, but the studio is clearly looking to branch out from its usual selection of single-player shooters. With a co-operative third-person shooter by the name of Strange Brigade, the British publisher may just be onto something with a game that chucks a tense narrative in the bin for something far more campy and pulp in its execution.

Strange Brigade, a four-player shooter that features a band of explorers colonising the hidden threats of undiscovered lands with their imperial bullets. It’s much better than it sounds so sere’s the debut trailer for it in case you missed it:

Four dashing explorers, several tombs and a lot of enemies to wade through. Strange Brigade’s key focus is on finding yourself on sacred ground in search of glory and adventure, as you instead find yourself swarmed by various undead minions who want you to join their ranks. It’s tyical third-person action, albeit with a challenging horde of monsters to deal with.

Various zombies plague the battlefield, giant bullet-sponge minotaurs are out for your blood an Egyptian mummy with issues will regularly pop up to plague you. Where Strange Brigade differs from other games of its ilk, is in its attitude and inspiration which combines with its co-operative gameplay to create something that is downright silly and fun.

The demo we got play at E3 laid an easy groundwork for Strange Brigade: Land, survive and discover mysteries beyond. While an ample supply of bullets in your sub-machine gun, shotgun or rifle is always handy, having magicl element powers which charge up with every kill isn’t a bad idea either.These amulet skills can either be traded in for one massive attack when activated or saved and stored as an active perk that buffs all of your skills as the horde of undead begins to surrounds you.

Our E3 demo started simple enough as the team took down said zombies and Minotaur, before descending further into chaos as impossible odds were thrown at us. One odd musig: Traps aplenty dot these battlefields, so deftly firing a shot that activates said trap is a surefire way to see a few limbs fly past you.

I think a lot of people are going to look at Strange Brigade and write it off. Which is an absolute shame as this is a game that knows what it wants to be: Silky and focused on the four explorers unlocking tombs ahead of them. That’s admirable stuff, and the ever-present narrator helps sell this idea further with its pulpy and omnipresent narrator.

The core shooting mechanics feel up to scratch and the visuals are a touch above decent enough. I kinda dig it and want more of Strange Brigade’s offbeat sense of humour and bullets. Rebellion might be onto something here, a new franchise that feels more fun than I expect it to.

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Last Updated: June 14, 2017

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