Every once in a while, you just want to play game that is just as rewarding as it is challenging, while also not having to strain yourself under the weight of an emotional story. Well, that’s Brigador.
Brigador is an Isometric top down shooter in which you play a pilot in what can kind of be called mechs destroying everything in your path. Oh and I do mean everything. It pulls lots of elements from previous mech titles like Battletech and Mechwarrior which is awesome for players of those classics, while also adding its own, real-time battle style that should appeal to gamers used to faster-paced play.
Once you start the game’s campaign you are told about a planet, Solo Nobre, that’s a lot like Earth, but not Earth. It was under the thumb of someone known as “The Great Leader” who is now dead, and you have to tear down what remains of his iron grasp. However, if you forget the plot, don’t worry. This is all about fighting.
The game is very much like an action sci-fi film from the 1980’s. There are bad guys. You are not them. Kill anything that stands between you and sweet, sweet victory. The game’s campaign is 21 missions long each one varies in objective and challenge. However, the gist of every mission is the same: destroy something in particular and then destroy everything else if you feel like it. This explosive action mixed with the game’s own humor makes for a unique experience.
However, it also has a problem with its own simplicity as it might become repetitive to those looking for more varied and skill-based objectives. While the style of generic non-detailed stories full of destruction make for a great nostalgic return to the olden days of video games, this sort of direction almost feels like a short cut on part of the dev team with games like Brothers and The Binding of Isaac proving the capability for an old gameplay style to tell deep and interesting stories.
When it comes to gameplay, Brigador feels somewhere between Hotline Miami and Broforce on challenge, and of course with the style of MechCommander. Action is fast paced and intense, and you are always in danger; it is very much a game where speed and aggression trump slow and methodical movement. The game offers a number of different vehicles to use in your war on Solo Nobre ranging from classic mechs, to floating assault tanks, even to something called the “Killdozer” (yes, it’s a bulldozer with guns) and many more. Each vehicle and vehicle type offerd different weapons, defense ratings, and even special abilities that make every vehicle feel unique.
Alongside that you can purchase pilots. Each of these pilots changes the difficulty while also increasing how you are paid for each mission you complete. Each pilot also has a short biography written for them and their own profile photo both of which just adds to how ludicrous this game can be.
One of the things I mentioned about this game was how it reminded me very much of Hotline Miami and Broforce. I say this for two reasons: first is its punishing difficulty. If you aren’t ready to go or you throw yourself into the fire carelessly, you will regret it. Enemies, of which there are many kinds ranging from soldiers to tanks to mechs, actively try and flank you and make you pay for just existing. The game doesn’t run on the one hit equals death system, however it carries the restart after death system and no extra lives. This of course can be just enraging when you are almost finished with a mission only to be destroyed by an army of angry tanks.
That said, this high difficulty is not unfair as it truly amplifies the gameplay and the reward of successfully completing a mission. Once you are done with the campaign, you can enter the free mode which add more hours of content and destruction for you to enjoy. This all adds up to a fun and rewarding gameplay experience. Plus, the great visuals and soundtrack make a recipe for a good time.
Visually, the cyber-punk neon 80’s style is just fun. Everything is very Blade Runner-esque; dark colors contrasted by bright purples, pinks, and blues along with the oranges and yellows of explosions. The game’s vehicles carry this sort of style with vehicles like the Treehouse being a bunch of stacked up cars with guns attached for the previously mentioned Killdozer. Character portraits are interesting with every character very much looking like they are some form of vagabond or psychopath. This art style works even more with the soundtrack. The game is filled with techno and EDM that add to the overall style of the game. The sound of gunfire and explosions are also very hard hitting. It sounds like the effects you’d hear in a Starship Troopers film. This style is just another solid addition to the experience.
In conclusion, Brigador is an entertaining cyber-punk isometric destruction indie. There are very few problems other than perhaps with its own delivery. While it may not fulfill the desires of purely strategic MechCommander fans, it still provides an overall fun and rewarding experience for all. For all that Brigador does well, getting the title for under $20 is one heck of a bargain.