Rebellion has something special with Strange Brigade. It manages to feel incredibly familiar and totally new all at once. That familiar feeling comes to those who played a previous Rebellion game, Zombie Army Trilogy. The game play is incredibly similar to that. Be that as it is, Strange Brigade is unique to the core. Set in the 1930’s a group of treasure hunters known as The Strange Brigade set out to stop the Egyptian Queen of The Damned, Seteki from bringing thousands of years of darkness to the world. There’s treasure to loot, narrators to annoy, and puzzles to solve, so lace up your boots, grab your compass and let’s get strange.

Mummies, and Ghouls, and Queens of The Damned, Oh My! 

There is a diverse array of enemies that keep Strange Brigade enjoyable. They have everything from skeletons, mummies, zombie looking creatures to the more supernatural like Minotaurs, Giant Pharaoh temple guardians, even a giant pirate skeleton. Each level works really well at giving the player the feeling that this could be their last fight. Cannon fodder basic enemies for each level swarm the player and harder enemies are spattered about the fight to keep players on their toes. Killing these enemies gives players these orbs that fill up their amulet’s meter.

Once the meter is full players can unleash their character’s specific ability. One character’s ability sends an enemy back as a sort of live grenade that will take out other enemies. One ricochets damned spirits around the enemies, while another slam down a fiery explosion on the enemies. The last one rushes the character forward and punches an enemy into the group of enemies and causes them to explode.

Pew, Pew, Pew! 

Fantastic weapon array and enjoyable power-ups help make up for some of the issues the game has with shooting. There are a handful of various weapons in the game such as the Thompkins submachine gun, the standard double barrel, and a .303 bolt action rifle. Each one comes with one to three slots for these stones that do various power-ups to the weapons. The range from the classic armor penetrating and ricocheting bullets to more comical like a vampire (every few shots gives you a health bonus) as well as freezing and burning enemies. After trying pretty much every weapon in the game I tended to stick with one submachine gun in particular and filled all three of its’ slots.

Speaking purely from personal preference I didn’t really see the need to venture from it. To compensate for the recoil I added a stone that reduced it, then I slapped on vampire and fire stones and it ripped apart almost everything in its’ path. Some enemies however required an even stronger weapon and Strange Brigade had just the answer. A good ole fashioned gun box. The player walks up and puts in the required amount of coins and the box pops out a supped up gun that helps out immensely with some of the game’s mini-bosses.

Slips and Trips

Strange Brigade isn’t without its’ faults but they are minuscule when compared to the overall picture of the game. Due to the games third-person perspective, it seems really easy to miss enemies with shots. Tons of games do the third person right, Resident Evil 4, Gears of War, the aiming feels right in all those games, however, there is something off about Strange Brigade’s aiming. It feels like if the gun isn’t center mass on it does absolutely nothing to the enemy. It seemed like I could have my reticle on an enemy’s shoulder and it wouldn’t hit them nine times out of ten. It could have been caused by the bloom effect shooting has, but it definitely got frustrating. It also happens during some of the shooting puzzles. The reticle is on part of the target and it doesn’t register the shot.

While trying out the game’s horde mode something else came to light that as pretty unfortunate. It was really easy to get stuck on an enemy and trapped in an area. The exact example I have was super late into a horde level, two of the Champion enemies (giant Minotaur) were chasing me around the map. I ran into one of the rooms you can buy to grab health. One Minotaur stopped in the doorway and I could not roll past him to exit the room. The other minotaur just charged past him and entered the room. He slammed into the wall being me as I frantically continued to try rolling past the enemy. The Minotaur behind me rushed and trampled me killing me, it felt like a grossly unfair death. There was no logic as to why I could not fit past him, especially since I had jumped through a tinier gap earlier in the game.

Endless Enemies

Horde mode is actually a welcome additive even with the issue I mentioned above. Players fight to survive wave after wave of enemies with differing strengths adapting as they appear. Adventurers spend points to open doors around the area that have weapon blueprints, health and more for the taking. In between waves players can visit the weapon box and spend money to improve their loadout or get a random powered gun. Ammo is plentiful, provided those playing earn enough coin to keep the box open. If it were to close players would have to grind with just a pistol to get the coin necessary to open the ammo crate again. In later levels, this proves all the more challenging. Kiting is surprisingly easy in this mode as well. I played on the dig sitemap and was able to funnel them into a tiny hallway up a staircase and keep them in check. If they were ever overwhelming I fell back jumped off a ledge and looped around to start the process over again. I often stopped playing the mode just because I realized how late I was playing.

The Bottom Line

In an attempt to close this article out Strange Brigade is a standout title that I hope people give attention too. There is so much more to the game than what I managed to cover here. The humor in the game is top notch. There is an achievement for agitating the narrator by having the game stay paused for a certain amount of time. There are a large number of puzzles in the game that require some decent thought and sleuthing to figure out. Some can even be locked for play-throughs if you mess them up enough times. It can be played in single player or co-op! Strange Brigade drips with personality and flair that definitely helps players overlook its small flaws. If you give this game a chance I am sure you will find it to be one of this year’s surprise hits.

Strange Brigade Review
Shiny Treasures
  • Fantastic Humor
  • Tense Horde Gameplay
  • Solid Co-Op or Solo Experiance
Dust Covered Coffins
  • Gun Play Could Be Tighter
  • Easy to Get Stuck On Enemies
  • Seems to Be No Reason To Venture off of One Weapon
8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel