If you have ever listened to old radio news broadcasts, then you will have an idea in your of the elocution of the reader. Well, in Rebellion’s Strange Brigade this style of perfect English–some would call it posh– makes a return. Very much in the frame of old English serials.
Our narrator friend informs us that it is the 1930’s and that we have been on a discovery mission in North Africa. He also seems to be a parody of the revelling-in-the-Empire, stiff-upper-lip upper classes that Britain fostered in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. As the games promotional blurb says:
“There are remote corners of the British Empire where the shadows linger at their deepest. The servants of The Crown know about these places and the supernatural beings that sometimes lurk there.
Introducing the fearless and unflinching Strange Brigade!
Embark on an exotic safari into danger where few dare go and fewer return! Encounter fantastic and forgotten civilizations shrouded in mystery! Uncover treacherous tombs and unfathomable evil, never-before-seen by any human now living!
This pulse-pounding adventure will rivet you to your game controller!”
Us and 3 other players–the titular Strange Brigade– are dropped into this remote part of North Africa to investigate these supernatural occurrences. Moreover, hopefully, come out alive.
Almost immediately, we are attacked by all manner of the undead. Initially, it is just cannon-fodder skeletons and undead, but it quickly escalates as more powerful enemies are dropped in. Finally, mini-bosses–an actual minotaur–are thrown into the mix. All this creates a concoction of supernatural, undead chaos. All fought by chaps and chappettes with signature imperial charm.
To combat the mass of enemies, players have 1930’s style weapons, explodable barrels and crude grenades. The play area is also littered with traps that can be activated with a well-placed shot. The traps are very much action-fantasy style. One creates a surge of flames, frying our new undead acquaintances, while another has spikes push up from below puncturing the beasties.
These enemies seemingly come from everywhere, forcing the player to be constantly moving and watching each other’s backs.
Oh, and if you do die, you are respawned with the phrase ’tis but a scratch’ showing. Another indication of the time-period charm players should expect.
It is not all gunpowder and spikes though, in its quieter periods there are puzzles to be completed, made far easier with teamwork. In our demo, one person relayed the order of hieroglyphics across the map while the other input them–via gunshots– on images on the wall to open a door. That is what this game is about. It is a 1930’s romp for four friends to have fun in, watching their backs and trying not to die, while solving puzzles to improve their chances. Story depth? Not so much, but it is not a game about that. It is simply a game about having fun with your friends, playing through an old-style adventure worthy of a book, magazine or TV show.
Will it have lasting appeal? I think so. It will not trouble the big boys, but if it is marketed well and put out at a good price point, it will find a following because it is so fun.
Stay tuned for more.