Another title that I got hands-on time with at E3 was Strange Brigade, the latest title from Rebellion Develpments. Set in the 1930s, Strange Brigade follows the titular Strange Brigade, an unlikely team of ragtag heroes based in Britain that investigate unusual activity and supernatural threats. The demo I played took place in Egypt, as the adventurers attempt to find out how Seteki the Witch Queen has returned. I played in co-op with two other members of the press as well as Ben Fisher, the Design Lead at Rebellion Developments. My friend and colleague Lord Cognito was able to record some gameplay and ask Ben some questions about the game, its setting and what players can expect.
You can watch that gameplay and interview right here or below:
Now, here’s my Strange Brigade impressions!
Strange Brigade Impressions
The level opens up with a 1930’s-style intro, with a black-and-white cutscene playing while an overly enthusiastic narrator explains the plot. There were four playable characters to choose from (as you can see on the featured image) and while there are more characters in the Brigade, Ben explained that these are the coolest and the ones available for the time being. During the demo, we had to dodge deadly spinning blade traps, solve puzzles and mow down endless hordes of undead mummies, armored warriors and teleporting shaman-like natives.
In co-op, you’ll need to work together as each of the different characters has different possible weapon loadouts and a different special ability. Despite needing each other to progress, there’s also a slightly competitive tone to it all, as the character who does things like kill the most enemies, collect the most souls and so on will be commended for it at the end of the level. You also collect treasure such as gems and gold as you play, which can be used to unlock new weapons or upgrade your existing armaments.
The game has a whimsical, lighthearted tone to it that is a thoroughly refreshing change of pace nowadays. Objectives are marked with scribbled notes that show up in over-the-top fashion on you HUD, traps have humorous ragdoll effects and all throughout, the narrator gives his opinion on how things are progressing.
It’s worth noting that the game looks really good and despite having dozens of enemies on screen at the same time with lots of detailed particle effects, the framerate never dropped noticeably. Ben also confirmed that Strange Brigade would run in 4K on the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro.
By killing enemies, you can collect their souls to charge your amulet. Each character has an amulet that allows them to perform a powerful special ability. For example, the character I played as, a redhead named Gracie, could unleash bolts of lightning across the field, shocking them into ash. At certain points, you’ll also need to cooperate and use your amulets to solve puzzles together.
The demo ended with the giant, clawed hand of a boss smashing its way onto the screen and serial-style cliffhanger cutscene.
Strange Brigade is the game I didn’t know I needed. It’s funny, doesn’t take itself too seriously and has a great cheesy tone that, when combined with solid gameplay and competitive elements, should make for a ton of fun when playing co-op with some friends. Strange Brigade is releasing on August 28th, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
If you’re interested in checking out any of my other E3 2018 impressions, here’s the list of coverage so far:
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps Impressions
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider Impressions
- Resident Evil 2 Remake Impressions
- Anthem Impressions
- Dying Light 2 Impressions: Ambitions Shining Bright in the Dark
- Soulcalibur VI Impressions: White Wolf Takeover
- Days Gone Impressions: 1 vs 300
- Spider-Man Impressions: A Web-Slinging Playground
- Metro: Exodus Impressions – A Juggernaut of Possibilities
- Control Impressions: Remedy Unleashed
- Kingdom Come: Deliverance – From the Ashes and Hardcore Mode Details
- Total War: Three Kingdoms Impressions – China Divided