Strange Brigade is an upcoming co-op shooter developed and published by Rebellion Developments. Set in the 1930s, it follows the titular Strange Brigade as they protect the British empire from supernatural threats. If you’d like to learn more about the game, I got a chance to play Strange Brigade at E3 2018 while my friend and colleague Lord Cognito recorded some gameplay and asked the developers some questions. You can check that out right here. More recently, I got the chance to check out a Strange Brigade preview with my co-editor, Nicholas. We played through the first mission of the game and we’re ready to share our thoughts.
Strange Brigade Preview Thoughts
Samuel: Similar to what I played at E3, definitely get the sense you are missing out by not playing this in co-op. Constant banter gives the game a relaxed tone, almost like you are playing through a Saturday morning TV series. With the constant rush of enemies, there’s almost no down time to speak of and the first mission kept a quick pace all throughout.
As I’ve noted before, I’m in love with the aesthetic. It’s cheesy and utterly entertaining, as well as just being a refreshing change of pace and tone from other shooters on the market.
Collectibles unlock new amulets, while gold hoarded in between missions lets you purchase new guns. It feels like a rewarding progression system and the variety in weapons lets you find something that works for your gameplay style.
So far, the plot is pretty basic, as the Strange Brigade investigates the return of Seteki the Witch Queen. With that said, there’s plenty of room for more development and characterization to emerge later in the game.
Nicholas: First, I have to say that the setting is amazing. It feels like an early 1930s adventure mixed with Indiana Jones, all with a strong B-movie vibe. The aesthetic is also enhanced by the choice of narrator throughout the experience. Almost everything that happens is commented on and yet it never gets annoying.
It’s also worth mentioning how it plays. Gunplay is tight and very precise, which relies heavily on your accuracy in order to land flawless headshots. Pistols have infinite ammunition but they feel very weak, with a slight delay on firing.
The first level was designed very well, with many branching paths to find loot and treasure as well as a constant flow of enemies to keep you on your toes while trying to solve puzzles. There was also a decent variety in the types of enemies we faced (especially since it was the first mission of the game), with mummies, giant scorpions and undead spear throwers all making an appearance.
Usage of traps to turn the tide of a enemy attack is very rewarding and highly encouraged with “shoot me” pop-ups that appear. The traps are easy to activate and understand but need to be timed effectively with your co-op companions or else you risk them getting caught in the blast/flatted by the log/sliced by the scythes.
Overall, we’re having a blast playing Strange Brigade. We’ll be able to share more in-depth thoughts on the rest of the game fairly soon, including a full review, so be on the lookout for that.