Strange Brigade Preview E3 2018
Do you have that itch I’ve been having? I’m talking about the type of itch that can only be tamed by the likes of a solid co-op shooter reminiscent of the Left 4 Dead series. Well, luckily for me (and hopefully for you) that itch could possibly be alleviated with Rebellion’s next co-op shooter, Strange Brigade. I had the chance to go hands-on with it at E3 2018 and left only wanting to play more.
Strange Brigade is sort of like a cross between Left 4 Dead and The Mummy or Indiana Jones, but quirkier. I say this because it has its own very unique feel to it that stands apart from all three. It has solid combat mechanics that make it look and feel great, cool characters that feed into the narrative, as well as cooperative puzzles alongside traps and other hazardous objects. It’s also set in 1930s Egypt starring a party of four very different individuals named the Strange Brigade (rightfully so) – it doesn’t get quirkier than that.
Going in with a party of four, everyone had their initial specializations, gun types, and particular aesthetics. However, throughout the adventure, you’re able to upgrade your guns by attaching gems to empower them. So, in my case, I attached two gems – one that enabled additional damage with headshots and the other for fire damage.
There are also a handful of enemy types in the game; regular short-lived undead creatures, mummies, ghouls, and other unseen monstrosities. As such, managing your inventory and preserving particular items play a huge role in the success of the adventure.
An interesting mechanic in Strange Brigade is collecting the souls of enemies to charge an amulet. After the amulet is charged fully, you’ll be able to execute a character specific special power like a chained lighting attack. Other than that, you have satisfying finishers you can perform on downed or stunned enemies if you want to save some of your precious ammo.
An important component of Strange Brigade other than the combat itself is the puzzles. While my time with it didn’t have any highly intricate puzzles, it did have a few nifty ones that made my team work together to progress through the stage. I think this is an important feature as to avoid it being a completely mindless, mind-numbing shooter (which you can find elsewhere).
A teammate and I died in our play through and were resurrected in a rather peculiar way. Instead of being resurrected at the same spot we were annihilated, our teammates had to approach a nearby mummy tomb to allow us to re-enter the battlefield. While we were seemingly dead and trapped in the tomb, we had to option to shout and annoy our teammates to get us out of there ASAP.
My time with Strange Brigade proved to be extremely enjoyable and I definitely yearned for more as soon as our mission was completed. Thankfully, Strange Brigade’s launch isn’t too far away for me to get over that co-op shooter itch I’ve been meaning to deal with.
Strange Brigade is slated to be released on August 28th 2018 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.