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Chris Kavan's Video Game Reviews (497)

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Control 4/5
Victor Vran 3/5
Katamari Damacy REROLL 4/5
Hitman: Absolution 3.5/5
Alternativa 2.5/5
Stardew Valley 4/5
Undertale 4/5
Cyberpunk 2077 3/5
Fable Anniversary 3/5
Strange Brigade 4/5
Satellite Reign 3/5
Watch Dogs 2 4/5
Divinity: Original Sin 2 4.5/5
Marvel: Ultimate Allian... 3/5
Star Trek: Bridge Crew 3/5
Metro 2033 3.5/5
South Park: The Fractur... 4/5
Sundered 3.5/5
Mass Effect: Andromeda 3.5/5
Life is Strange: Before... 4/5
God of War 4/5
Doom (2016) 3.5/5
Armada 3.5/5
Detroit: Become Human 4/5

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Strange Brigade   PC (Steam) 

Raucus, Rip-Roaring Adventure Time    4/5 stars

While not every pick I have provided has been an unmitigated success, I have to say that I think Strange Brigade is probably one of my better choices. It's one of those games that probably went under the radar for many people and that's too bad as Strange Brigade is more than solid - it's a lot of fun and Rebellion should be proud of the result. Granted, you have to have some enjoyment of pulpy adventure aesthetic, but provided you like Indiana Jones style adventure, it's a hell of a fun romp.

Looks and Stuff: The game looks damn fine - from characters to enemies to levels, it has a very nice look to it. It is as polished as the latest AAA title? No. But it doesn't have to run on 8k 5080p to look nice, it gets by on what it has and it gets by just fine. There are four main characters (8 if you include the DLC) and each is very distinct from the scholar to the African warrior to the hard-working burly girl to the British officer. Enemies range from typical zombies and skeletons to giant scorpions, hordes of explosive beetles and charging minotaurs - a good variety all around. And that's not all, the levels are varied from cursed villages to caves to pirate coves to jungles - and while it does suffer from the greens and browns - it at least provides a decent amount of variety in level design. While the music is mostly background, the voices are excellent, especially the cheeky narrator who provides plenty of in-game jokes and commentary that really help things along - and all in a proper British accent to boot.

Story: In the style of a 30s-era serial, our group is an international collection of British agents who investigate the strange and supernatural. It turns out one of their members embedded themselves in an expedition for the tomb of an almost-forgotten Queen Seteki - who has been forgotten for good reason in that she was evil to core and wanted to raise an undead army and conquer the world - you know, typical bad guy stuff. Their contact was tasked with making sure the expedition failed - but Seteki has a quiet army that has been waiting patiently and find their chance to resurrect their queen - and thus make sure the expedition succeeds and succeed it does, with Seteki, not to mention many, many minions, now unleashed upon the world and, guess what, only the STRANGE BRIGADE can save the day. This involves essentially shooting your way through various levels, even solving a few puzzles along the way, all while trying to prevent Seteki from fully gaining her power back. This involves destroying Soul Stones - the games mcguffins - and stopping a series of deadlier and deadlier bosses.

Gameplay: A typical team-based, third-person shooting in the vein of Left4Dead or Rebellion's other Zombie Army Series - you fight off waves of enemies in each level (head shots doing the most damage). You can also build up a magic meter that unleashed a deadly attack (like turning enemies into chickens) as well as throw grenades and even activate traps (but look out - friendly fire on those). Your primary (weak) weapon has unlimited ammo, but your better weapons do have ammo you have to refill, but the game is generous in placing them. You can also find unique weapons in chests (many you have to pay for, so watch out button mashers) as well as gems you can insert into weapons to give them various abilities like ricochet shots or fire or freeze damage among others. While the combat can get a bit repetitive at least the game tries to break things up with some random puzzles that are fun, along with collectibles along the way. Sure, this is also a way to stretch the game a bit further, but nothing wrong with that. Money can be tight, especially as almost all treasure chests are first-come, first-serve, so greedy players can easily win out in multiplayer. If you want to upgrade everything it will require a few double-dip levels for sure, probably on single player to collect all the goods. But it's worth it as better guns make things oh so much easier late game when you get better armored and bullet-spongy bosses to deal with. Combat feels pretty fluid overall and we didn't encounter any major bugs to speak of.

Replay value: Depends on if you like searching every nook and cranny for things and if you want to play as more than one character. Oh, and if you like wave-based challenges, of course.

Final Verdict: Bring some friends and enjoy some pulpy, third-person, team-based fun!

Presentation: 4.5/5
Story: 4/5
Gameplay: 4/5
Replay: 4/5
Overall (not an average): 4/5



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