Review: Strange Brigade (PC)

Picture this: What do you get when you put Resident Evil (RE), Left 4 Dead (L4D) and maybe, just maybe. Serious Sam (SS) together in the same game and set in the 1930s?

You’d get the Strange Brigade.

20180903045036_1

From the creators of the Sniper Elites series, the Oxford game developer Rebellion Developments has raised the undead with a fresh yet over-the-top third-person squad shooter that could be next top co-op shooter game.Rebellion

Firstly, you would be definitely asking why I’d described Strange Brigade as the hybrid-monster child of RE, L4D and SS.

In this third-person squad shooter, to gun down hordes and hordes of the undead, you would need to be in “trigger mode” (right click mouse button).

I need not explain how L4D is similar (well, unless you never played the game, how dare you?!), while for SS, it is the over-the-top and campy British hilarious narrator and the four characters you get to play and choose from.

If you enjoyed watching The Mummy trilogy (not Tom Cruise’s 2017 flop but with the with Brendan Fraser), this would tickle your fancy too.

Kickstarting Strange Brigade, you play as one of the four characters (five if you had bought the game within the first month of release) to set on an adventure to send back mummies, giant scorpions, minotaurs and evil spirits back to Duat(Hell).

Each member of the Strange Brigade has their unique abilities and attributes that could fit one’s playstyle.

For the Northern English-speaking accent lass, Gracie Braithwaite, she is awesome for close-combats, while the ancient African tribe fighter, Nalangu Rushida, where she can draw upon supernatural while gaining health from the recently killed.

Meanwhile, Frank Fairburne is the sharpshooter for the team, whereas Professor Archimedes De Quincy is the good-natured scholar, who is also a magician that can absorb souls.

That said, this will help you choose the suitable character to your playstyle in co-op or keep the game fresh if you decide to play it solo, (please, you must have more friends than me).

Like in most third-person shooter co-op or solo games, you’d need to survive the countless waves of the undead however, in Strange Brigade, it included several puzzles rooms which help keep things fresh.

However, these puzzles are rarely remarkable as what you unlock is usually just a skill point.

Playing solo (as most times), you’d find it rather repetitive as you go through countless of waves of the undead, finding scarabs and keys to unlock while not forgetting boss battles.

However, the further you progress, you will unlock and collect exclusive and new powers while finding secret weapons (you pay to unlock a treasure chest) to boost your firepower.

You’d also find gems in randomised loot boxes that you can use to upgrade your weapons.

Strange Brigade’s storyline is linear where each level is designed in a series of a semi-open world.20180903051149_1

And unlike how the random generated and high replayability rate of both Valve’s L4D and L4D2, this co-op third person shooter could go stale if you decided to go 100% solo in the Campaign, Horde and Score Attack modes.

Yes, get the hint and play it with friends as the more friends you play with, the harder the level gets (more undead to shoot and fire spells at) and more the satisfaction if you and your friends ever succeed.

The only factor that kept me going solo, (let’s not judge me), it is the campy British narrator who constantly calls out your objectives or judges your actions and says the darnest things such as “Wood! The ancient nemesis of all adventurers! How will our heroes ever hope to bypass such a thing!”20180903010629_1

Here lie some frustrations, if you had started out the level with the ‘wrong’ loadout, you will need to either restart the level or fight the living hell to get pass it.

Second, if you play both or either Call of Duty and Battlefield and trusting the cross-hair to hit your target, I am afraid it is not quite the same with Strange Brigade.

Strangely enough, I tend to have some misses every now and then (some left me dead, oh thanks a lot) so maybe the developers could look into it or it is designed purposefully to light some hell in the gameplay.

In terms of graphics, I decided to crank it all the way up to ‘Ultra’ settings to fully appreciate the curvaceous Samsung 32” Gaming Monitor with Quantum Dot (C32HG70), while pushing the limits of AMD Radeon RX 560 while running on the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X 8GB Quad-Core Processor.

The average FPS was at 36.8 while the minimum was at 27.4 and the maximum was at 48.2.

According to the Benchmark given from Strange Brigade, it reported 2207 number of frames within 60 seconds.20180903051235_1

I’d say gameplay was smooth as I expected some form of lag when there were more undead on the screen. However, I had been proven wrong.

And once you have cleared the waves of pesky mummies and scorpions, do enjoy and immerse yourself the vast world Rebellion had designed that has brought out the perfect setting for any Mummy film in the 1930s.

In conclusion, Strange Brigade is certainly refreshing from the current roster of co-op shooters, however, the mundanity can easily creep in if you decide to play solo most of times.

Playing with friends will definitely keep the gameplay challenging and satisfying, though how much can you replay the campaign again and again.

Rebellion did it right with the over-the-top narrator and with its deluxe edition and Season Pass, let’s just hope we haven’t seen the last of the Strange Brigade.

And if you’re out in the market looking to purchase a new GPU, check out AMD Radeon RX570 or the recommended AMD Radeon RX580 and get three free games which include Strange Brigade. (The other two are Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Star Control: Origins.)

Strange Brigade gets a 3.8/5

 

One Comment

Leave a Reply