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    jp's Strange Brigade (PS4)

    [September 17, 2023 03:22:48 PM]
    I've been playing this for a lot more than I expected - but I'm starting to tire a little. I might not finish it but... I've been super impressed by the game's art direction, they really leaned into the "Indiana Jones-style" temples and stuff, more fairly on the adventure pulps the game mimics. And, it's just fun.

    I'm a bit confused by the game's meta-progression and collectibles. The game has lots of things to find/collect as you play and, when I wasn't paying too much attention I missed a few and assumed that it would all work out because the meta-progression elements would just unlock as you hit certain thresholds. So, get 10 relics and unlock this boon, 15 for the next and so on.

    Here, the relics are grouped thematically - and you get the boon when you complete a full set. And, 3/4 of the way in - I have LOTS of sets that are all missing just one relic. I then assumed that perhaps each set of relics corresponds to a level - so I played a level with a guide (so as not to miss anything) and...that didn't yield a full set either. If I had been paying attention I would have noticed that the sets aren't constrained to a level. BUT, this means that what I had assumed was one of the draws for playing more (to be fair the story is forgettable in a way that is consistent with the genre) is actually kind of out of reach. I'm a bit let down by this, because it seems that these boons are more like Campaign+ type rewards, but - why bother then? I don't have any particular desire to go back and play earlier levels (other than to find/unlock stuff I missed)..

    Similarly, the game has a rune-system where you find runes you can put into slots on weapons that change how that weapon behaves - more damage, heal you on kill, freeze enemies, etc. It's fun - BUT, once you use a rune you can remove it from a weapon by destroying it. So, I filled up a weapon with runes, and I've been using that while hoarding all the other ones because I feel like I don't want to waste them. I think this was another design mistake - I want to experiment with the runes, mix and match, try different combinations, but their relative scarcity means that I feel locked in to my choices. Of course having a system with re-usable runes would require MORE rune-types - but that still might have been better from the player experience side of things?
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    [August 27, 2023 08:12:29 PM]
    I've really been enjoying this game!

    So far I've cleared two levels (chapters?) from the campaign. I don't recall how many there are - but there is a map and it seems like it's 8 or so? Then I played horde mode solo - and that was ok. And then I played horde mode online and it was more fun, looks like things tap out pretty early in terms of upgrades. When I joined the upgrades for weapons were gone and I could only spend money unlocking regular weapons or new ones (temporary) from crates. Which was fine, but I did feel like I was underpowered a lot (compared to my teammates)

    The game is a 3rd person shooter. There are few weapons, four characters to choose from, and supposedly a nice tree of things to unlock (and upgrades to slot on to weapons). So far I've only found 3 upgrade gems (they're not gems, but whatever) and I've used them all - but you can't swap out and re-spec, which makes me wonder, how do you play around with all this later? Or are you stuck with your choices (it seems like a real waste to lose a gem, since they're so rare).

    I've been enjoying the level design and layout - lots of paths, secrets to find and unlock (often via puzzles) and the combat has a nice pace to it that I'm enjoying. It's not super twitchy, my aim sucks, so I have to focus on crowd control AND make use of traps in the environment (that are there for you to activate and take out monsters). It has a good feel to it, though the melee attack is helpful but hard to direct and the timing is hard for me to pull off. BUT, putting your boot on a fallen enemy is nice - they die with a satisfying crunch.

    Enemies tend to come in waves and you need to worry about looking behind you and such, but you can kite them around, throw grenades (that respawn).

    It all works, and the vide/story is very much pulp-action with weird science and stuff. Good stuff so far!
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    jp's Strange Brigade (PS4)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Something better came along

    GameLog started on: Sunday 20 August, 2023

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 17 September, 2023

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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