Release Date: 28th August 2018
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One
Supernatural Beings: Mummies
Rebellion Developments have crossed many genres of console games over the years, including Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six in 1999, Rogue Trooper in 2006, The Simpsons Game in 2007, the Zombie Army games, and the Sniper Elite series, as well as many GameBoy Advance and PlayStation Portable creations. But Strange Brigade, their new IP, is something quite different, combining some satisfying gunplay with puzzles and an element of comedy from its cast and narrator.
Strange Brigade is set in the 1930s, where you take on the role of an adventurer from said brigade, ready to uncover the mysteries of ancient Egypt and shoot anything that tries to get in your way – mostly mummies and deities of ancient Egyptian myth. You select from tribeswoman Nalangu Rushida, boxer and factory worker Gracie Braithwaite from Manchester, Professor Archimedes De Quincy, and sharpshooter Frank Fairburne. You also get to select your own inventory, from a wide range of primary weapons, sidearms, items, and amulets. But perhaps the most notable character of the game isn’t available to be played, with the exaggerated, alliteration-loving English narrator playing a huge part in keeping the game light and fun at times when the flurries of mummies or a seemingly confusing puzzle may incite a bit of white-knuckling.
One of the best elements of this game is that Rebellion Developments has gone all-out to make it a true co-op experience if you so choose. With more players in the game, the number of enemies and overall difficulty increases while the puzzles also alter from the single-player experience, altering the layout to demand more teamwork for completion. Teamwork, or competition, is the order of the day in co-op as the spoils aren’t shared as a team, so you’ll either want to collect all of the drops before your buddies do, or come to an agreement that you’ll each take it in turns to loot chests and pick up drops.
The gameplay itself is very much that of your standard shooter. You’ll explore a linear path to reach the goal of each mission – of which there is around 12 hours worth of gaming – and shoot any mummies that pop out. Shooting is very satisfying in Strange Brigade, from the sound that the gun makes to the impact that it makes on each enemy. You’ll also come across boss battles at key points in the story which can be frustrating due to the fleeting auto-aim, but that helps to deliver an enhanced sense of achievement when you topple to often much larger foes. Amidst all of the gun-toting action and flailing mummies, there are welcomed fairly straightforward puzzles to solve, leading to you collecting items for your character and the Strange Brigade.
The biggest appeal of this game is its unique setting, amongst a very Colonial British team of experts ready to uncover the secrets of the ancient world. This stylish ‘30s-set third-person shooter boasts very enjoyable gameplay, especially in local co-op, featuring a welcomed dose of light puzzling alongside the combat situations.
Strange Brigade delivers all of the mummy-slaying action that you could possibly want, made even more fun by its smashing narrator.