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Strange Brigade

Strange Brigade

Next up from Rebellion comes a co-op driven adventure into the furthest corners of the Empire.

  • Text: Sam Bishop

Rebellion announced their co-op shooter Strange Brigade earlier this month, taking players to the British Colonies in the 1930s so they can shoot mythical creatures. More recently, at E3, we got the chance to play the game for ourselves to see if we could not only survive, but get the treasures that awaited us.

Before we set off on our adventure we had to choose between one of four adventurers, and one of us chose Professor Archimedes de Quincy, and another chose Frank Fairburne. The former was a relatively balanced character, alternating between a semi-automatic pistol and a submachine gun, whereas Fairburne was more of a marksman (must be that he's related to Karl from the Sniper Elite series). Each of these characters not only has their unique way of playing but also their own visual style as well, so we appreciated this individuality.

We then headed off into our adventure, the demo of which took place entirely in a jungle of the Colonies, reminiscent of Mayan or Aztec regions. As you kill smaller enemies like zombies you gradually advance to face tougher enemies like mummies who can raise allies from the ground, as well as bigger boss-type enemies like a giant with a bull's head. Once these are all dispatched, paths that were previously blocked open up for you to explore, opening new arenas in which you fight more bad guys.

These arenas allow interesting options for gameplay, as well as certain risks, especially considering the traps. Throughout each of them are glowing orbs which you can shoot to activate environmental hazards, such as spinning blades and spikes that come out of the ground, but there are risks associated with this too, as these won't only affect you but also teammates. There was one incident, for example, where one of our team was casually minding their own business, when suddenly spikes came up from the ground to kill us and everything around us. When we looked over at our teammate's screen, we could see that they had been the cause of the commotion (and they had killed themselves as well). Care should be taken when operating these traps, then, for this very reason, but if they're used effectively they can definitely help you with your monster-slaying.

Strange BrigadeStrange Brigade

Another aspect of the game that caught our interest were the powers that each character possessed. As we killed more and more enemies and hit them with our weapons, a bar at the bottom of the screen built up before we were allowed to use it by pressing A (using an Xbox One controller on PC). For Archimedes de Quincy this was a fireball attack that split into little fireballs that homed in on enemies, with Fairburne instead having a dash ability to knock enemies away. We weren't expecting the supernatural theme of the game to extend to the playable characters as well, so this was a surprise, albeit a pleasant one, as these abilities provided some added firepower in tricky situations.

Strange Brigade
Strange BrigadeStrange Brigade