Review: Strange Brigade (PS4)

Review: Strange Brigade (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: Strange Brigade
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (28.1 GB)
Release Date: August 28, 2018
Publisher: Rebellion
Developer: Rebellion Developments
Original MSRP: $49.99 (US), €49.99 (EU), £39.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 16
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Seteki the Witch Queen has risen once again after being erased from history and buried in a tomb for 4,000 years. Rest assured, that Queen isn’t happy.

The British Secret Service has sent an elite troop called the Strange Brigade to Egypt where they will explore the ruins and defeat her mummified army – and maybe grab some treasures along the way.

Gameplay:
Strange Brigade takes the old Left 4 Dead formula and gives it some personality and wit while pushing back the camera to a third-person view so it can show off the memorable characters and their unique abilities.

Maybe comparing it to the old 2008 game is unfair, they are quite different once I got stuck into this more-ish shooter. The classic zombie killing game was playable without the full complement of players as it filled the gaps with bots, but it seemed to suck out the fun in the process. What Rebellion, the talented developers of Strange Brigade, manages to do is retain at least some of the fun when playing this game alone.

Review: Strange Brigade (PS4)

I got a little ahead of myself there and should really start at the beginning.

The unlikely team begins their quest in a trusty dirigible and parachutes down to the level. Seeing as I opted to play the Campaign on my own, at least for now, it was just my lone character descending to the unforgiving ground. The goal is to acquire treasures, artifacts, and gems hidden in the vast maps while solving environmental puzzles and killing lots of enemies before they kill you.

Death isn’t the end if you have a health potion or an ally to free you from a nearby sarcophagus – this is where playing on your own is a little more difficult. On a few desperate occasions, I have stumbled upon an enemy clasping a much-needed potion in their decaying hands, all I needed to do is kill the blighter and it’s mine.

Apart from being attacked during a tutorial cutscene, a problem that I have been unable to replicate, I have not found any bugs or glitches. Although, I have found another type bug, the creepy crawly ones. Luckily, you can take them out with some well-aimed shots or a trusty grenade.

Picking up a health potion or refilling your ammo can be irksome at times, especially during a boss fight as your character has to be really close to the object and I generally start pressing the button before the prompt appears. This means nothing happens until I stop and press it once more, wasting valuable time.

Review: Strange Brigade (PS4) Review: Strange Brigade (PS4)

During the Campaign, I encountered an assortment of enemies with new ones being introduced in all the flair of an old black and white television show. Eventually, the hordes I faced were an eclectic mixture of foes, with an assortment of attack patterns and strength.

Every creature, including teammates, can be hurt by the assortment of traps littering the map. From gigantic swinging blades to deadly spikes, there is an abundance of dastardly contraptions waiting to be triggered, usually by shooting a glowing orb close by.

Horde Mode and Score Attack are pretty self-explanatory and good fun. Although, I would advise going through the Campaign beforehand unless you’re fine with battling against all the enemies from the game in areas you might not have seen before.

Along with the stacks of gold coins and shiny artifacts, the seasoned adventures among you might be good enough to acquire the Ultra Rare Platinum Trophy. I am happy to see only a few Trophies require another player so it shouldn’t be too difficult to obtain for the completionists.

Visuals:
I can tell the animation and art department for Strange Brigade poured their hearts into this beautiful game. The levels radiate with luscious detail and variety while keeping the same theme and palette throughout each large area.

You can unlock the framerate and remove individual parts of the on-screen display should you feel the need to tinker with the settings, which I probably won’t do, but it’s nice that I have the choice. I did find myself stopping every so often and simply looking around at the lovely details and gorgeous scenery oozing out of my PS4 Pro and onto my TV.

Review: Strange Brigade (PS4)

Audio:
I adore the stiff upper lipped speech from the narrator. The different characters also bring their own unique accents and charm to make Strange Brigade worth listening to. This can be troublesome in a co-op focused game but not impossible as the Campaign lets you play alone and therefore gives you the opportunity to enjoy the comical comments.

Everything from pausing the game or stepping too close to a nasty trap prompts a little remark from the narrator, voiced by the talented Glen McCready. These are often quite funny and I haven’t become bored with hearing them. There is an option in the Audio Menu to turn down the Brigade Chattiness, but I haven’t felt the need to change it from the Max setting.

Did I just hear a cat’s meow? There are secrets to find everywhere and sometimes it might be a good idea to listen in the calm moments.

Few games realize the importance of what I like to call the ‘Kill Jingle.’ You know what I mean, in Call of Duty when you hit an enemy in the body with that little thud sound or better yet, in the head giving that satisfying ping. This game incorporates its own gratifying little tune.

Online/Multiplayer:
Strange Brigade excels in online co-op, but playing with people who don’t communicate makes it occasionally frustrating. At least the game gives you the time to solve most puzzles on your own and it only went wrong for me when another player kept standing on the wrong pressure pads.

You can jump straight into a Quick Match or Browse Games in the succinct menu that displays the game mode, current map, connection quality, and difficulty. Every game I played has worked very well with no apparent issues and considering this game relies so heavily on co-op play I was very pleased.

Review: Strange Brigade (PS4) Review: Strange Brigade (PS4)

Conclusion:
Strange Brigade is a great third-person shooter, full of 1930’s deadpan British humor and some nice shooting. It works well as a single-player game and worth playing through alone just to hear the narrator. However, the game is much better with a group of friends.

It feels like the good part of Zombie Army Trilogy albeit without the disgusting Nazi Zombies and morbid graphical style. Yeah, the aiming can be a little off once in a blue moon and the characters need a lesson in picking things up in a prompt manner, but overall this is a good game, and worthy of a few weekends with some mates joining in online while chatting and shooting hordes of mummified monstrosities. Plus, it has a lower price than many others of the same caliber and already received some free DLC.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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