By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on September 2, 2018
Are you ready for an adventure of epic proportions? Well, you've come to the right place, because I'm about to ship out on a mission in Africa! Who am I? I'm one of four proud members of an elite group of warriors that goes by the name of the Strange Brigade! So, sign up with me and let's save the world together!
Strange Brigade, which is developed and published by British game developer Rebellion, is a third-person cooperative shooter adventure in the tradition of games like Left 4 Dead. For those of you not familiar with the genre, these are games in which a number of players have to work together to vanquish evil. You are one of four explorers that are chosen to rid the world of said evil. You see, a long, long time ago, Africa was ruled by the Evil Queen Seteki, who had her heart (or what was left of it) set on absolute power. She was vanquished in the end but, as is often the case, true evil never dies, which puts us in the situation we're currently in. We find ourselves in the roaring 1930's when the evil of queen Seteki is once more released upon the world. It is the task of the Strange Brigade to set things right and rid the world of this evil once and for all!
Let's meet the members of the Brigade, shall we? First up, we have Gracie Braithwaite, A northern girl with an attitude who wields a double barreled shotgun and who can throw grenades. Secondly, there's Frank Fairburne; a soldier of fortune with a crack aim who wields his trusty Huntsman rifle and makes use of dynamite. Thirdly, there's Archimedes de Quincy, a former professor who has a submachine gun and can use sticky grenades. Last, but not least, we have Nalangu Rushida, a female African tribal warrior who makes good use of her automatic rifle and Molotov cocktails. Together, these four heroes (with four more to be added somewhere in the near future) have to work together and save mankind from evil!
All four characters have their own basic weapons and abilities and are all customizable at workbenches that are strewn throughout the environments. Once there, you can switch out their weapons and abilities. You can also buy new weapons and abilities at these handy workstations, provided that you've collected enough gold to do so. This lets you customize your chosen character to best suit your personal preferred playing style. Not getting anywhere with a specific weapon? Why not try and switch it for another? A specific power not working for you? Try another one!
The fantastic firearms you use to decimate your enemies with can also be upgraded by adding mystical gems to them that provide your weapon with additional powers. These gems can be found in treasure chests that are hidden throughout the environment, so keep your eyes open at all times! The gems come in really handy when you need that extra bit of "oomph" for your weapons. A gem might increase weapon power, while another may add an armor piercing ability to your bullets. Other gems can also steal life from your enemies and transfer it to you after every kill or make your bullets ricochet between multiple enemies, to name a few!
Of course, we wouldn't need any weapons if there were no bad guys to fight! Luckily, Strange Brigade is home to a veritable banquet of bad and ill-tempered evil characters, so you won't ever have to be bored! The game contains a number of mythical enemies, like giant scorpions, mummies, undead temple guards, minotaurs, and so on and so forth! All of these soulless scoundrels are in service of queen Seteki and have one singular thought on their decaying minds: kill the Strange Brigade! Now, when you start your adventure, these moldy miscreants will not pose too big of a threat, but pretty soon, you will be swarmed by their sheer numbers. As you make your way through the story, more and more powerful enemies will enter the field of battle, so be sure to make each shot count!
The game is divided into chapters, each transporting the Brigade to a new location with its own set of puzzles and collectibles. You can check the status of the collectibles you've found on the pause screen. Any given level contains a certain number of these tantalizing treasures and it's up to you to find them all. For instance; you may be walking through a level and hear a cat. Now, this does not mean you get a free pet; it simply means that a cat statue is in the area. If you manage to find and shoot all of these blue cat statues in the level, you receive a golden cat! Aside from the cat statues, there are also urns, scarabs and reports for you to collect. That is, of course, if you manage to stay alive long enough to find them!
Now, let's move on to my absolute favorite feature of the game: The Narrator! Now, I don't know who this guy is, but give the man an Oscar! The narrator. well, narrates the story for you and he does this in such an awesome way! He reminds me of the voice-overs of old new reels (or, for that matter, of the guy at the end of each episode of the old Batman series) and really adds an extra dimension to this already fantastic game. Just hearing the guy go: "Dead? The Strange Brigade? Surely not!" in a shocked voice when you die, is enough to make me laugh out loud. And this is just one example of the many phenomenal phrases this guy has in store for you! Sir, I don't know who you are, but I'd buy you a beer if I could!
Visually, Strange Brigade looks absolutely beautiful. The lush environments are expertly crafted and look amazing! The Strange Brigade members each have their own personality and style and the enemies all look fantastic. When you put this all together, you get a picture that immediately puts you in mind of your favorite action adventure movie! Playing Strange Brigade actually makes me feel like the hero that mankind needs in their hour of need. Although the game is designed to be played together, it is certainly possible to play this game on your own. Keep in mind though that doing so will prove to be quite difficult at long last, but really, REALLY fun nevertheless!
All I can say is that I love playing Strange Brigade. Everything just looks, sounds and feels just right! I've been wishing and hoping for a new Left 4 Dead or a game like it for years, and here it finally is! Just four people against a horde of demonic bad guys and other assorted miscreants. I can absolutely recommend this game to everybody who loves a great adventure, filled with cool monsters, fantastic heroes, wondrous landscapes and, above all, awesome gameplay! So, do yourself a favor and get your hands on Strange Brigade. You will definitely not regret it. Just take a look at this trailer and I'm sure you will agree with me!
August 28, 2018