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Strange Brigade Preview: The multiplayer game you never knew you needed - E3 2018 Hands-On

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Every E3 there is a game that we play that stays with us for hours after leaving the session. Last year it was Skull and Bones and this year it is Strange Brigade. Developed by Rebellion Developments, the game is a four-player co-op experience where you and three other people take on different survival scenarios set in a 1930's-like world. With an over-the-top narrator, a beautiful engine and great gameplay to boast, Strange Brigade went from being that game I had heard about to that game I need in my life.

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Check out some awesome E3 2018 gameplay below and read on for more thoughts on this upcoming co-op shooter. 

So what is Strange Brigade? I would love to compare the experience I had with the likes of other co-op games like Left 4 Dead and another E3 game Earthfall to make it easier to understand but it is very different. Set in Egypt in the 1930's the game follows four "heroes" through an adventure as they fight through deadly undead enemies brought to life by Seteki, the Witch Queen. Yes, you can be a Queen of being a Witch too you know.

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There are four playable characters to choose from. Nalangu Rushida, Prof Archimedes De Quincey, Frank Fairburne and Gracie Baithwaite. Don't let the strange names fool you, these heroes mean business. Each character has a specific loadout but they can basically equip each other's weapons too. The only difference between the characters is their appearance. 

The loadouts include a heavy weapon, a side weapon, a throwable and an amulet that has a specific special attack. This ranged from automatically shooting all enemies around you in the head to a powerful chain lightning attack that dealt damage. Equipping the right gear for your preferred playstyle is all about what you want to go with and I am sure later on, more specific missions will have a better loadout to go with. I am no gun expert but I can say I went with the default loadout for my character which was a bolt-action rifle.  

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Strange Brigade sees you going from one start of a mission to the end while triggering traps, collecting loot and killing enemies but it is the combination of it all that makes the experience so much fun. Each level is littered with collectables, treasure chests and even prototype weapons which are rare and powerful variants that are a bit stronger and have different attack styles to those of the standard weapons you start with. 

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As we all ran through the level different challenges opposed us. These included different enemies, some armoured, some not and even some that were super-fast and were able to teleport in and out of the area throwing us off our guard. The best you can do is just aim down your sights and shoot everything in site but at the same time be careful not to trigger traps that can kill you while triggering them smartly to kill the enemies. 

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The beauty of the demo I played has to be how chaotic it all got and how many different routes you could take to kill the hordes of enemies. It also makes a big difference that you don't share loot with players so when you see an alternative path you always want to take it as it might hold treasures and loot. I found a prototype weapon which was the Blunderbuss but I died soon after because I was greedy and went searching for more loot only to die by the hands of a spiked log that knocked me out of existence. 

During the most intense moments you and the other players are just trying to do your best to keep the enemies away and yourselves alive. Shooting, throwing dynamite and of course using the amulet which you have to charge by collecting souls before you can use it. It is all a very exciting combination of features that while familiar, feels fresh thanks to the game's unique approach to treasure, powers and gunplay that feels fantastic in your hand. 

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Strange Brigade is something that came out of nowhere and really surprised me this E3. I am a sucker for a co-op game and it has my attention. There is something about it that I just cannot put my finger on but when the demo was over, all I wanted to do was shoot more undead Egyptians, charge my amulet to shock them and search the area to find more prototype weapons without being killed by a tree. 

Strange Brigade is set for release on 28 August for PS4, PC and Xbox One

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