Strange Brigade: The Thrice Damned review (PC)

Rebellion has just completed their multi-part DLC campaign for Strange Brigade, entitled The Thrice Damned. Time to take a closer look at their post-release content.

When we reviewed the original Strange Brigade release in the summer, we remarked on the similarities with Rebellion’s Sniper Elite franchise in terms of the engine and look and feel. Perhaps not surprisingly, their strategy for the DLC/season pass also follows a similar pattern. For those who didn’t play Sniper Elite, that means a strong and lengthy campaign that doesn’t feel like an afterthought, but features the same amount of detail as the base game.

The Thrice Damned is a new campaign that was released in a trilogy format by Rebellion over the past few weeks, but being more of a binge watcher of shows I decided to wait until it was complete before I tried my hand at it – or almost, as I started playing a few days before the release of the third episode.

strange brigade - the thrice damned

The campaign kicks off with a nice visual change compared to the main story, as it feels like Pirates of the Caribbean meets Strange Brigade. Undead pirates are ready to welcome and overwhelm you and your brigade on tropical beaches amidst shipwrecks and palm trees in an episode called “Isle of the Dead”. The environment is richly detailed and full of little secrets to discover as well. The original game did the same thing, but it’s nice to see that the developers didn’t take a shortcut with the DLC and opt for a more linear affair. Yes, Strange Brigade is fairly linear in nature, but it’s nice to have little bits to explore as well.

There’s a new member of the brigade as well in Tessie Caldwell, but unfortunately the enemy designs are all ones we previously encountered in the main game as well. The second and third act of The Thrice Damned follow a similar pattern in this regard, adding Hachiro Shimizu and Anjali Khan as new characters. All three come with their own weapons and fighting styles, and they’re great additions when you consider that the price of each episode is roughly comparable to what you’d pay for just a character pack.

strange brigade - the thrice damned3

The second and third act, titled “The Sunken Kingdom” and “Great Pyramid of Bes”, flow a little differently from the first one. The Sunken Kingdom especially emphasizes puzzles and traps, which I always enjoyed as a change of pace in the original game. The pyramid also features deadly traps, but it wouldn’t be a good pyramid if it didn’t also involve curses and the afterlife coming to haunt you, of course.

In terms of gameplay length (and thus value for money), I found that I was able to complete all three episodes in just under an hour each. If you’re not too interested in the new characters that come with them, that makes The Thrice Damned a little expensive at a price point that is only just below what the game recently went on sale for. There’s a season pass, but it also includes a bunch of extra characters, so that’s not an option for those mainly interested in the extra campaign.

The Thrice Damned is a well designed and fun continuation of the original game, and something that fans of the game will definitely want to play. I just hope that Rebellion will release a story campaign bundle or something like that, or includes the campaign in a future sale – a price point in the 10-15 range feels more fitting if it’s just the campaign you’re looking at.

Score: 7.0/10

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