Strange Brigade: A Co-op Shooter Homage to 1930s Adventure Serials


A band of armed adventurers scours lush jungles, haunted caves, and Egyptian ruins in Rebellion’s co-op shooter Strange Brigade, which launches for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on Aug. 28. Set within the 1930s and closely impressed by the action-adventure serials of the time (full with a narrator using a cheeky British accent), the sport sees you and as much as three pals seek for treasure, resolve puzzles, and survive by the pores and skin of your tooth as hordes of monsters and undead threaten to make your unique, picturesque environment your closing resting place.

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I had the chance to take an early, prolonged have a look at the sport with Rebellion’s head of artistic, Tim Jones, and one other member of the media. The session wasn’t the complete four-player expertise, however I got here away realizing one factor for sure: When it was time for the demo to cease, I used to be prepared for extra monster-mowing.

There are 4 characters to select from: Gracie Braithwaite, Nalangu Rushida, Frank Fairburne, and Archimedes de Quincey, every of whom brings a singular talent set into battle. You assemble a loadout of an enormous gun, sidearm, grenades, and a supernatural amulet that grants the participant a strong, flashy-looking assault that takes time to recharge. There are cutscenes that dovetail into every stage that see the crew briefed for his or her impending mission, and whereas the story appears slight from what I noticed, the sport’s wit and allure actually shine by way of in these little vignettes.

Before correctly tackling the sport with my trusty teammates, I used to be thrust right into a single-player marketing campaign mission known as “Harbin’s Dig Site” to get a really feel for the controls and fall into the movement of gameplay. The recreation is kind of fairly, with a stylized cartoon aesthetic that isn’t in any respect kiddish however nonetheless communicates that the sport doesn’t take itself so critically. The stage’s historic ruins and dig web site scaffolding are detailed and different, and the sport’s lighting results make the sunbaked world’s nooks and crannies pop. The fantastical ‘30s milieu is strengthened continuously by the narrator (Glen McCready), whose flowery commentary echoes the daring British allure of previous serials like The Lost Horizon and The Lost City.

Combat and motion are clean and can really feel pure to these accustomed to third-person shooters, and the number of duties you’re offered with are fairly easy. Shoot baddies, resolve puzzles (some optionally available), scoop up treasure, repeat. But what’s distinctive in regards to the fight is the way in which the surroundings can play into your technique. There are lethal traps strewn throughout most areas (spinning blades, swinging blades, exploding barrels, and the oh-so-classic floor spikes), which when activated on the proper second may cause a brutal chain response that obliterates a number of foes directly. You want to look at your step as properly, and fortunately Rebellion has outfitted gamers with a roll button, which received me out of many a sticky scenario.

After my solo outing, I joined up with my two fellow brigadiers to play a degree from later within the recreation in co-op, “Cut-Throat Caverns,” which noticed us fend off skeletal pirates in a a lot darker, extra atmospheric setting. This degree ramps up the enemy rely tremendously, and regardless of having 3 times the firepower on my facet this go-around, the claustrophobia of being outnumbered was much more palpable. As a crew, we weren’t fairly clicking just like the Golden State Warriors, nevertheless it was clear to see that with observe a gaggle of pals may wreck store by coordinating battlefield actions, herding enemies like cattle, and capitalizing on the deathly alternatives the trap-laden ranges afford.

Speaking of traps, Jones then launched us into Score Attack mode, which plops you into an area much more dense with demise toys than the marketing campaign phases and sends swarms of enemies at you and your crew. We by no means fairly hit our stride right here (there was an uncomfortable stretch of time when there have been no enemies in sight and me and my fellow journalist felt a bit clueless as to what to do subsequent), however that very properly could also be chocked as much as our lack of expertise with the sport.

The closing mode proven was Horde Mode, which is simply what you’d count on from a recreation of Strange Brigade’s ilk. A flood of mummies and monsters descends on you and your teammates, and in the event you can survive the assault, you’re afforded a break to buy weapons and upgrades with gold you’ve collected out of your fallen foes, after which the levee breaks once more. This mode was nice enjoyable, and like I stated, when the demo got here to an finish, my set off finger was nonetheless mighty itchy.

Strange Brigade is a promising late-summer pastime for players with an urge for food for destruction and three like-minded comrades. After the sport’s launch, Rebellion might be providing a season move that features month-to-month content material, a three-part marketing campaign, and new heroes and weapons to select from. Stay tuned to Den of Geek for our full assessment.

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