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Strange Brigade: Hordes of monsters, challenging puzzles, ancient special abilities and a whole lot of ‘zombie’ bashing

Strange Brigade gives the Left 4 Dead co-op zombie slaying model a fresh coat of paint

Last week we got the chance to preview Rebellion’s brand new IP, Strange Brigade.

The developers of the Sniper Elite series were on familiar grounds when looking to create a game that delivered hordes of undead enemies tasked with taking you and your team out.

After all, they released the Zombie Army trilogy as a stand-alone after the success of the mode in Sniper Elite V2.

We played through two of the levels in Strange Brigade, tried out the three game-modes and got a real feel for the game.

Here’s what we learned:

Aspects of the Zombie Army trilogy can be seen clearly in this game

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Aspects of the Zombie Army trilogy can be seen clearly in this game

Interactive levels

The two levels we played through were both very different.

The first was Egyptian themed and featured hordes of mummified enemies, the odd giant scorpion and a sword-wielding pharaoh.

In the second we faced down an undead pirate captain with a sarcastic attitude, who’d set up camp in an expansive subterranean cave system with boobie traps and pirate cronies.

Strange Brigade is set in the 1930’s

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Strange Brigade is set in the 1930’s

I found both levels to be totally unique utilising different traps and environmental weaponry to keep the puzzles and fights fresh.

Never having had the patience to get a 100% achievement score in a game, I failed to find all of the hidden relics or solve all of the puzzles.

However, for those interested in ‘extra features’ whilst running from undead baddies, you can find these scattered around every single level.

The big-boy-bosses were far trickier to take down than their smaller mummified underlings

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The big-boy-bosses were far trickier to take down than their smaller mummified underlings

Enemies galore

Zombies are not a thing in Strange Brigade. Instead, you’ll have to deal with mummified monsters.

This comes thanks to the awakening of the 4000-year-old Egyptian warrior queen Seteki, who has unleashed her minions to hinder your character’s mission.

Giant scorpions, pirates, minotaurs, armoured undead and a few bosses were all characters we had to face.

The sword-wielding ones are deceptively nifty

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The sword-wielding ones are deceptively nifty

Enemy movement is unpredictable with some of the faster characters getting behind you. This means you had to often use the roll function to get into open space.

Aiming and shooting didn’t feel completely natural at first, but as I adapted, shooting seemed less clunky and random.

The third-person perspective, on the other hand, felt pretty smooth with the shooting feeling reminiscent of Gears of War 3 (not Fortnite like I was used to).

Fans of the Gears or Sniper Elite series will feel right at home playing this game.

Gears of War is the META of third-person shooters

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Gears of War is the META of third-person shooters

What makes the game so special?

Weapons and the co-op functionality really turn this game into something original and unique.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to test out co-op, however, we did try some of the best guns in the game.

  • Shotguns – ridiculously useful, however, can be a pain when reloading and lots of bad guys are around
  • Semi-auto rifles – accurate and deadly, will need a quick secondary pistol to handle large hordes though
  • Submachine gun – lots of recoil on this one, but very deadly up close
  • Secondary pistols – fairly standard but useful in a bind

As you progress through levels you can collect gems that can be added to your weapons to buff them up.

With around ten different augmentations and up to four gem-slots per gun, you can adopt a weapon to suit your character’s strengths and your style of play.

Finding yourself with too much gold? You can spend it on powerful weapons around the map to hold off hordes and finish off bosses.

We tried out the flamethrower, blunderbuss, freezing SMG and grenade launcher – all of which pack plenty of stopping power.

There are a huge amount of traps in the game

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There are a huge amount of traps in the game

Power up

Finally, another great gameplay mechanic was your character’s specialist ability.

By choosing one of four amulets you collect ‘souls’ and power up a special ability that either attacks multiple enemies for less damage or one single target for massive damage.

We are ready to get into the fight… are you?

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We are ready to get into the fight… are you?

Overall Strange Brigade is looking like a well-rounded and fun cooperative game.

Rebellion has also promised for tonnes of post-launch content to come along with the season pass, including new characters, levels, maps and more.

You can pick the game up August 28 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.