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Monday 22 October 2018

Strange Brigade - a little dated, but great fun nonetheless

Game Review: Strange Brigade (PC/PS4/XBox One), 8/10 

Strange Brigade comes from the same developers of the Sniper Elite series, though possessing a decidedly more eccentric tone than that of its long-shot-obsessed cousin.
Strange Brigade comes from the same developers of the Sniper Elite series, though possessing a decidedly more eccentric tone than that of its long-shot-obsessed cousin.

Chris Hayes

Strange Brigade comes from the same developers of the Sniper Elite series, though possessing a decidedly more eccentric tone than that of its long-shot-obsessed cousin.

Strange Brigade is a rose-tinted view of the quirks of a long-forgotten era, bringing Colonial British aesthetics to the fore. You are afforded four playable characters - none of whom would feel out of place in a role during the Golden Age of Movies. The whole game is a rather camp affair, though the healthy does of self-awareness helps keep everything on the right side of tongue-in-cheek.

Strange Brigade's story is largely relegated to a smattering of pre-combat cutscenes that never really offer more narrative meat beyond 'kill wave after wave of undead foes'. Levels also offer small prompts towards to overall plot in the form of collectable letters and diaries that go some of the way towards fleshing out the game's characters.

The objective of Strange Brigade is to explore its multitude of forgotten crypts and lost cities, in search of hidden bounty, means to progress your character and of course to slaughted wave after wave of the undead hordes.

Strange Brigade can be completed either solo or in four-player online co-op. Like most cooperative games available nowadays, Strange Brigade truly shines when you manage to get a few friends together. When in online co-op, Strange Brigade's levels become more challenging, with a greater number of enemies but also a greater number of puzzles.

One gripe I have with the game's cooperative play is that loot is not shared between teammates, meaning an extra and wholly unnecessary level of competition is introduced between you and your friends.

Each of the four playable characters share similarities - including your weapon loadouts. Where they express their individuality is in their fierce amulet powers. Slaying foes goes towards charging your amulet, which once charged can be used to unleash a number of different amulet abilities. Unfortunately, some of the powers are simply objectively better than others, unfortunately making some of these powers feel redundant.

Strange Brigade feels a little dated, but nonetheless is great fun. There are some odd design choices that definitely take marks off the final score but that isn't to say that Strange Brigade isn't a generally well-made game that will offer ours of fun to individuals or online groups.

Drogheda Independent

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