I’ve always felt a bit of a gap in the market that was left when Left 4 Dead wasn’t ported over to the current generation of consoles. Games where you can play solo or with friends, across some story scenarios, against relentless hordes of enemies. Strange Brigade is a game that evokes that same kind of feeling that Left 4 Dead was but mixes it with a rather appealing pastiche of the best bits of the Uncharted games and Indiana Jones films. The result is a game that’s better than it has any right to be but also slightly derivative.
Strange Brigade does have a story but it’s not the strongest aspect of the game. Around 4000 years ago, Africa was ruled by a barbaric queen known only as Seteki. Eventually, with the way she was running things, Seteki’s people overthrew her and sealed her in a tomb. Fast forward to 1930 and an archaeologist unwittingly unleashes her vengeful spirit. With no other options, the British government sends in The Strange Brigade to investigate and hopefully defeat Seteki.Yeah, it’s not the most groundbreaking story, but it’s surprisingly self-aware of how goofy the whole thing is. For the most part, Strange Brigade is presented like a cheesy adventure film from the 50s, complete with black and white, grainy looking cutscenes and a so-bad-its-good dry and sarcastic narrator.
The most important thing to highlight about Strange Brigade from the get-go is that it can be a pretty enjoyable experience when playing solo, for sure, but shines the most when playing with friends. Structured almost like an Uncharted game, but minus the massive spectacle, the game has you exploring exotic ruins and similarly ancient locales while you take on hordes of the undead. It’s a simple concept, but if I had to make a shallow comparison, it’s Indiana Jones meets Left 4 Dead. And that’s pretty great.Despite this, there were times where the game felt a little bit monotonous and I’d have to take a break after finishing a level. The pacing isn’t even that bad – the game is constantly throwing new enemies at you, forcing you to change up your approach in some of the most intense of firefights. There’re even some cool boss encounters too. But overall the general flow of the game, even when playing with a friend, can be a bit grating.