'Strange Brigade' Left Me Wanting More 1930s Pizzazz

More of the same

Looking back, the 1930s seem like an especially exciting time, television had just been invented and adventure films that were set in far-reaching places inspired wonder in everyone who watched them. That magic has faded as time has gone by and the world feels so much smaller.

“Embark on an exotic safari of danger where fewer go and even fewer return!” an announcer barked in a chirpy, 1930s-esque news voice in the opening of Strange Brigade, a new third person action title from Rebellion. The game is trying to capture the spirit of the 1930s by combining modern visuals and graphics with the style of those classic adventure films.

Everything about it made for an exciting package that could be a reminder of those newsreels that played before movies long before most players were born, myself included.

Then, mummies showed up and the game hidden under that all that pizzazz showed itself. The core gameplay loop revolved around dropping in different locales and taking on hordes of zombie creatures and other, much larger, monsters like what looked like a giant horned beast. The environments were representative of ancient temples found across Africa, except far more deadly.

While not many details have been released about Strange Brigade since it’s initial announcement last year, I can’t help but be disappointed in the demo that I played through while at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. As I moved through the gorgeous setting I had no time to actually explore it, mummies came by the dozens from literally every direction and would not let up.

Mowing down a mummy felt responsive and nothing was wrong with the technically-sound mechanics of how it played. I just couldn’t get past the fact that I was killing everything inside the temple, instead of actually exploring it. I’ve had my share in excessive killing with most other third-person action titles like the Uncharted and Tomb Raider series. I was looking for something far different when I heard that barking English announcer.

It’s far too early to say anything definitive about this new title, but early impressions did not make a positive impact. But maybe that’s just my lust for adventure talking.

Strange Brigade is coming to PC, Xbox One and PS4 at a later date. More information is set to be released at this years Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.