Strange Brigade Switch Review: Old School Action-Adventure Fun

by David Sanchez July 13, 2021 @ 2:37 pm

Strange Brigade on Nintendo Switch.

Rebellion is quickly building a reputation for bringing high-quality ports to Nintendo Switch. Sniper Elite 4 brought some of the most polished and intense stealth action around to Nintendo’s platform last year, and now we have the supernatural action-adventure shooter, Strange Brigade. Though there’s nothing new here in terms of content, this is the same highly entertaining game now optimized for the Switch hardware — which is to say there’s a lot to enjoy about the core gameplay and quirky writing.

Pulpy, Campy, and Just Really Fun

The campaign in Strange Brigade is presented as an old-time supernatural action movie or television serial. You’ve got the silly, somewhat-cheesy-but-still-pleasant narrator asking you what will happen to “our heroes” whenever a new threat appears. Text that looks like it was pulled right out of an old 1950s horror movie pops up when you encounter new enemies. Dramatic music plays as if through an old CRT TV set, It’s all very stylized, and it works really well because this is a game that knows exactly what it’s going for.

Strange Brigade Switch gameplay.

Strange Brigade isn’t just about accurate vintage style, though — the gameplay is really cool, too. You’ll explore large areas and complete multiple tasks, taking down hordes of mummies and other undead baddies as you go along. There are optional collectibles to find (or shoot), but even if you stick to the main road, you’ll find yourself solving simple puzzles, engaging in lengthy combat scenarios against waves and waves of monsters, and discovering alternate routes to reach the goal.

You’ll find and unlock different guns and abilities as you play through the missions in Strange Brigade. Despite being heavily rooted in gunplay, the shooting mechanics are a bit imperfect. Aiming and shooting work well, sure, but these mechanics never feel as precise as they could. That said, this is rarely ever a problem since you’ll likely just unload on eight or nine enemies that are slowly hobbling toward you. This is very much an old school “shoot all the things” type of game, which isn’t a problem in the slightest.

Not to mention, beyond the shooting, the combat of Strange Brigade is largely entertaining because of the environmental traps you can trigger to kill the swarms of creatures that come at you. Spinning fan blades, swinging pendulum axes, spike traps, explosives — these are all available to you in most of the game’s more populated areas. So you can trigger these traps to make disposing of enemies a tad easier.

One More Win for Switch

Strange Brigade combat gameplay.

There’s a lot of game here if you’re looking for a lengthy adventure. The main campaign could take you around eight to ten hours, though that number will definitely increase twofold if you’re looking for all the hidden stuff that’s strewn about. In addition, there are also Horde and Score Attack modes to keep you busy if you’re looking for some arcade-y fun. On top of that, you can also play the game in co-op for up to four players with friends or randoms — though it’s worth mentioning that I wasn’t able to get a game going with random players.

In terms of both aesthetic style and technical visuals, Strange Brigade looks great on Switch. Areas are large and feature rich detail, lighting, and character designs. Once again, Rebellion has delivered a Switch port that’s every bit as impressive as its counterparts on other consoles.

Strange Brigade co-op.

Aside from the jovial narrator’s voice acting, you’re also treated Walking Dead-esque zombie sounds and loud gunshots. The music is a little generic, but it fits the whole 1950s movie theme quite well.

You’ll have a lot of fun with Strange Brigade on Switch. Despite feeling a bit same-y after a while, the action and presentation are awesome enough to keep you engaged for the duration of the campaign. This is a game that’s fun alone or with friends, too, so if you’re in the mood for an old school action-adventure ride on Switch, Strange Brigade offers up exactly that.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

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