Rebellion’s Strange Brigade is one of the upcoming titles that made a soft appearance at E3. It wasn’t quite showboated around like Anthem or Destiny 2. However, the game doesn’t promise to be some giant, galactic, AAA blockbuster like the other two titles, and instead Rebellion is focused on making a throwback, third-person shooter action romp through the jungle.
Designed to mimic the pulp comics from the 1930s and 1940s, Strange Brigade is set in the safari of the 1930s away from the burgeoning warfront.
Nearly 15 minutes worth of gameplay footage was on display at this year’s E3, and IGN managed to capture some footage and share it with the general public.
The game starts by giving gamers a look at the controls, which is standard fare third-person controls. You have your aim on the left trigger, fire on the right trigger, the ability to dodge on the right bumper, cycle weapons on the ‘Y’ (or Triangle) face button, melee on ‘B’, interct on ‘A’, and throwable on the left bumper.
The game then head into the actual match at the Stone Church map.
The map is setup in parts. You hop in with up to three other polayers and the action starts right away. It’s a survival, arena-style shooting fest in third-person much like the Sniper Elite: Zombie Trilogy game.
At the beginning of the match players have to take down the zombies until a boss monster pops up. Players start with two primary weapons, but have unlimited ammo in their secondary pistol.
Surprisingly the recoil and firing mechanics look really good in the game. The characters react as if each weapon – pistol, rifle or otherwise – has a real kick.
After clearing out the low level zombies, a sub-boss will appear that requires killing. The sub boss has a lot of extra health and packs a mean punch, so you’ll have to work together to take him down. Once he’s dead a new part of the map will open up, and it works more as an exploration platformer during the down times.
Players can examine the map for secrets and check the boxes for hidden treasures.
There are even puzzles in the game where you’ll need to figure out the right sequence of tablets to access hidden areas or unlock special treasures.
As showcased in the screenshot above, when you check the weapon cache you can unlock new primary, secondary, and special weapons using the coins you gather throughout the map.
Unlocking new areas of the map alternates between completing puzzles, taking down waves of enemies, or defeating bosses.
Surprisingly, Strange Brigade avoids being a complete derivation of Call of Duty‘s Zombie mode.
There’s a healthy mixture of different gameplay elements on display, and as the stages progress players can unlock new special abilities, or trigger specific stage hazards to take down some of the more difficult enemies.
The third leg of the stage ramps up the difficulty even more, as projectile-throwing enemies will begin to make life hard for the Strange Brigade.
The arena-style segments are definitely the less interesting aspects of the map, for sure. However, the variewty of gameplay elements is what will assuredly give the game legs to stand on and replayability.
I wasn’t all that thrilled with Strange Brigade when it was first announced because it looked like another cash-in zombie shooter that we’ve seen a dozen and one times before. However, I was presently surprised with the gameplay footage that was on display at E3.
After seeing how the stage layouts are actually progressive and require objectives to complete beyond just killing wave after wave of zombies, I think this is one of those games that could easily become a sleeper hit amongst action fans looking for a shooter that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but has enough meat on its bones to stay entertaining and interesting.