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Est. April 2016. III Version 2.0. III

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STRANGE BRIGADE DLC
The Thrice Damned #1: Isle of the Dead

REVIEW
By JAY TEE
15/10/18

Strange Brigade is a quintessentially British, highly polished co-op shooter. It quickly endeared itself with an ever persistent tongue in cheek narrator, ‘open linear’ map design, and a clear emphasis on playing together. The announcement of a traditional season pass, with a brand new multi part campaign, is exactly the kind of support a title like this deserves.

We absolutely loved the original release, and the first part of The Thrice Damned, ‘Isle of the Dead’, feels like more of the same, but in a good way. There’s a couple of new flourishes that are appreciated, including a shipwrecked pirates galleon kicking off a fun beach set piece, alongside some neat side puzzles. But the core experience is retained, and feels very familiar.

There’s an argument to be made that anyone unconvinced by the base game won’t be won over by this DLC. But part of me feels that that’s OK; Rebellion are doubling down on what worked, and don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

THE BASICS - Third person co-op shooter, set in the 1930’s, with branching paths and upgradeable characters.

PLATFORMS - PS4, XB1, and PC

PLAYERS - Offline - 1, Online - 4

CO-OP? MULTIPLAYER? - The entire campaign is playable in co-op, along with score attack and horde modes.
 
DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT - A season pass with new campaign levels, characters, weapons, and abilities.

TARPS? - At the bottom of all our reviews, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery.

REVIEWS KEY:

The Look - Art style, graphics, and overall presentation.

The Feel - Mechanics, controls, and learning curve.

The Sound - Music, sound effects, and dialogue.

The Experience - Anecdotes and random thoughts.

This truly is my Sea of Thieves.

You can access the first part of this new expansion from any point, which is a pleasing design choice. Although it’s set after the events of the main campaign, you don’t need to worry about spoilers. ‘Isle of the Dead’ kicks off a brand new side adventure, and even though passing references are made to the existing single player campaign, the narrative isn’t what’s driving the action. If added context is something you’re after, there’s plenty of optional collectibles that expand on the lore of the world.

It all culminates with a tough boss encounter in a large arena, slotting in nicely with the pattern of previous levels. On the whole, the difficulty feels a tad ramped up, which again makes sense as DLC for seasoned players. The core combat loop is as satisfying as ever, even with the same persistent gripes; the melee / execution mechanic is still a tad fiddly, and some player animations lack polish.

Bottom line: Strange Brigade has kicked off its season of paid DLC (and a smattering of free updates) with a strong first chapter. If this is any indication of things to come, we can’t wait to see what’s next. We’ll have full reviews of ‘Sunken Kingdom’ and ‘Pyramid of Bes’ in the days and weeks ahead.

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ARTICLE!
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, TWEET US @JAYTEE_GA, OR E-MAIL: EDITOR@JTGA.CO.UK.

The SARU’S GANGLIA badge is for a game that does a great job of visually immersing you in its world.

The ALPHA SITE badge is for a game with an excellent PvE or Horde mode.

The MARSHALL LAW badge is for a game that lets you fight back against an overwhelming force.  

The BARREL OF LAUGHS badge is for when a game boasts a keen, sharp wit and several laugh out loud moments.

The POPPY SOUND badge is for a game where the music, sound effects, and/or dialogue are superb.

The FULL IMPULSE badge is for a game that is short, but still a great experience.

The ARCHER’S EXPANSE badge is for a game with large multiplayer maps / courses / levels.



4

‘Isle of the Dead’ is a worthy addition to the Strange Brigade experience. Consistently challenging and a great deal of fun, the future looks bright for this co-op classic.

*PS4 review code provided by Rebellion*

TARP BADGES:

GOLD DUBLOONS

Visually striking with the same great performance. Rebellion have continued their winning streak.

SMASH IT

We still can’t work out some of the control quirks, but the shooting mechanics are as solid as ever.   

NARRATOR WINS

Doubling down on what worked in the base game was the right play. The audio production values are top notch.

IT AIN’T BROKE

The experience is familiar, but it’s still a tremendous amount of fun, and very challenging throughout.  

THE FINAL SCORE:

REVIEW POLICY:

We use a simple “out of 5” rating criteria for all reviews.

4 out of 5 is GREAT.

You’ll have a fun and varied experience, with plenty of reasons to invest. Even if it’s just shy of perfection.

OUT OF 5

THE BREAKDOWN:

THE LAST WORD: