When I was first presented with the opportunity to cover Brigador, I’ll admit, I had no clue what it was. I did a little bit of research and discovered the upcoming game, being developed a group of four guys under the name ‘Stellar Jockeys‘, striven to be a isometric hybrid of ‘Syndicate‘ and ‘Mechwarrior‘. After reading that I was determined to jump into Brigador without any further knowledge of the game and see how much fun I had, and let me tell you; I had a ton of fun.
Damn is Brigador a beautiful game. The game is set in the bright and bustling isometric cityscape of Solo Nobre. At launch there are nine very detailed levels/districts to Solo Nobre, each with their own unique but similar layout. At the beginning of each mission (dubbed contract’s in the game), you choose from one of three categories: tanks, mechs, and anti-gravity vehicles. The tanks are typically defensive, the mechs primarily offensive, and the anti-gravity vehicles are fast. Each mech has it’s own weapons and play style as well as toughness when taking damage.
From here you’re thrown into the contract you selected and begin dishing out massive destruction to anything and everything in the district. The entire map is fully destructible, including attacking enemy vehicles, all of the buildings and enemy defenses, and even the civilians attempting to flee the city from your carnage. There are quite a few unique weapons in Brigador, all of which take some getting used to. You move using the W-A-S-D and a mouse, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. The movement is similar to Resident Evil in that you use the A and D keys to rotate your vehicle in places, W to move forward, and S to move backwards. You have a red and a blue line that project from your vehicle in different arcs and help show you where your weapons will be fired. Using this system you can aim high, low, and even around buildings to take out aerial or ground enemies at command.
Brigador is tough. On top of the intricate(but fair)movement system, the enemies themselves are quite challenging. By design, there is no saving or restarting, so you must play through the district’s clearing out enemies and completing the objectives of your contract to move forward. While keeping track of your ammunition is certainly important, there are ammo stations scattered across each map, and defeating some enemies will result in them dropping ammo packs to replenish your ammo. That being said, successfully completing a level carries over your current ammunition counts and health, meaning to ‘beat’ the game you would have to complete each district in one sitting and straight playthrough.
If you’re a fan of isometric ‘top down’ shooter type games, Brigador is definitely for you. As I mentioned before, it’s an extremely beautiful game, and a ton of fun. Destroying the city of Solo Nobre while wiping out your enemies and completing your contracts does require a bit of strategic shooting, but is enjoyable the whole way. While the game itself was a bit too difficult for me to successfully clear all districts in one sitting, I feel as though that’s necessary with a game like Brigador. The only thing I’d ask for is perhaps more of a story or campaign rather than just “Complete Objectives in all Districts’, but after playing through all of them there is definitely the feeling of some repetition.
Brigador enters early access on October 20th at the price of $20 on Steam and Humble and plans to add more content throughout the early access stage.
This review score is based on its Early Access launch. We may or may not do another review for this game once it enters the full retail launch phase.