Strange Brigade: – Thrice Damned 1: Isle of the Dead is finally here and with it we get new puzzles, new secrets to find and now it’s time to review. Does Rebellion deliver or does Isle of the Dead manage to fall short? Let’s find out.
+A nice change of scenery thanks to the sea-side adventure that unfolds
+The newest member of the crew is a delight and brings with her new abilities and equipment to use
+A funny, charming and silly story that keeps true to the classic movie elements it has to offer.
-The level itself is extremely linear and easy to navigate compared to previously released levels.
Somehow, earlier this year, Strange Brigade from Rebellion didn’t cease to amaze us with the quality of their games. Strange Brigade managed to scratch up a 7.5 out of 10 on our site, it had some noteworthy qualities such as its coop mechanics, horde-style mode and even its push to keep players coming back with the hunt for all the secrets and unlocks for them to obtain.
But now, here we are once again thanks to Rebellion sending a Season Pass our direction in order to play the DLC and review them as they are released. Now, with the launch of Isle of the Dead, you have a lot going on compared to the previous game, which includes new scenery, familiar enemies and some new and challenging puzzles to solve and even quite a few collectibles to be found.
This time, however, I took to the game along, taking my time to experience Tessie Caldwell, one of the newest characters to launch with the release of the American Aviatrix Pack. Even with her addition, not a whole lot changes in the game except for the equipment she brings with her in the same of a submachine gun, a frost grenade, a few new amulets and even a few nice little one-liners she delivers from time to time.s.
Yep, Seteki is gone and now something else is goin’ on and it’s happenin’ in your neighborhood
With Seteki having been locked away and The Strange Brigade having received wind of these occurrences, the crew once more take off to the local area in order to investigate these happenings. Unfortunately, the crew finds out that they didn’t fix the mummy and undead problem in the lands, but instead, they’ve made things quite a bit worse and now they’re going to be working with Bes, the Guardian of Egypt in order to restore his shield and stop the undead invasion from happening around the world.
However, The Strange Brigade finds out that it’s not exactly what you would think as the story begins to unfold. The island and jungle environments are a nice change from the desert-filled landscapes we’d experienced in previous levels. Along with the return of a certain pirate, you also will get a few decent laughs along the way. As usual, the narrator himself – the mand behind the scenes – remains a solid supporting cast member as one would expect.
Jars, Cat Idols, and puzzles once more turn for some fun in the jungle
As the story unfolds, so does your need to find all the secrets within each of the maps. Some of them easier than others in order to find. The canopic jars themselves are still stowed away in tough-to-find locations, often times hiding just out of sight. Meanwhile, the cats themselves remain easy to find as they pop up around the map, their appearance signified by their “meows”.
Other puzzles include finding hidden targets (not those shiny blue ones) that are hidden near the gates they open. But, just like any puzzle, they do have to completed within a time limit, making it so that if you are playing with another player that you will need to communicate with them as you search for each of the targets.
That isn’t the only new style of puzzles though. Along with the practice target shooting, there’s also an entirely new one, one that requires you to once again communicate to the best of your ability. The puzzles do swap out what symbols that need to be shot in order to open the doors. Since this one does appear only once, this very puzzle does leave us hoping to see more of its kind in a future DLC.
If you’re playing solo, this puzzle does require you to associate the symbols with their alternative ones through short-term memory.
Sadly, the level is pretty linear and does leave room for more open and diverse future levels
Unlike the previous levels we’d experienced in the core campaign, Isle of the Dead does change it up a bit. Levels in the core campaign are massive, open and filled to the brim with treasures to be found. However, that’s not the case here, Isle of the Dead is smaller, not as open and doesn’t have as many layers to it as the others do.
Even without as many layers as the other levels, the canopic jars are hard to spot and easily give Halo 3 a run for its money when it comes to skulls you had to find in it. Even while it leaves room for more to be desired, there’s still a bit more to it than in other levels thanks to the changes in the puzzles and hidden items.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 4
Developer: Rebellion Developments
Publisher: Rebellion Developments
Release Date: Available Now
Cost: $49.99 (Game)| $6.99 (DLC) | $34.99 (Season Pass)
The only downer here is evident – it’s a very linear level unlike others, but it does manage to redeem itself thanks to its overall aesthetic, design and overwhelmingly fun encounters.
Our review is based upon a retail version that was provided to us by the publisher of the game. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.