Brigador (Stellar Jockeys)

Brigador (Stellar Jockeys)

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Buy your Early Access copy on the Steam Store page 

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Brigador, an Early Access title from Stellar Jockeys, challenges you with the task of liberating the city of Solo Nobre. At your disposal is a selection of tanks, mechs and antigrav vehicles, but standing in your way are the factions occupying the city. Whether you opt to go in all guns blazing or sneak in stealthily while picking off your targets, your mission remains the same, clear the city or die trying.

Brigador takes the form of an isometric vehicular action game and after selecting your vehicle as well as weapons you are let loose in some completely destructible environments. Randomized faction and enemy spawning keeps you on your toes and the wide range of vehicles keeps things interesting. IN the Early Access we played there were nine vehicles on offer, but according the developers they are aiming for a total of 40 by the time that the game is completed.

Depending on your vehicle, you can stomp, bull-rush or belly dive your opponents as a last ditch attack, but mostly you will be relying on your primary or secondary weapons. There is already a deadly arsenal on offer and with a planned total of 50 guns for the full release it is going to be hard to pick a favorite. The game is already looking great and the fact that everything around you is destructible just adds to the fun. It is tempting to go on a killing spree and shoot everything in sight, but your ammo is limited and has to be replenished from depot or by scavenging destroyed enemy vehicles. In addition to your offensive capabilities you can also choose a defensive ability, such as a smoke projector, active camouflage or EMP grenade for when you need to beat a hasty retreat.

The game isn’t very big on story and instead of objectives lets you focus on having fun. Currently levels can be completed by either destroying all the defensive batteries, killing all the marked captains or slaughtering 75% of the enemy garrison. Accomplish any of these and the exits will open up allowing you to leave the area. It is a lot of fun, but don’t expect it to be easy.

The controls definitely have a learning curve to them as instead of an absolute control scheme your movement is relative to the orientation of your vehicle. For the antigrav vehicles it still feels normal, but when you control the tanks or mechs it is easy to blunder around like a headless chicken until you get used to the control scheme. The pace is a bit slower than a typical twin-stick shooter though and being able to control the direction as well as declination of your guns allows for much more strategy.

Brigador is set for a full release in 2016, but the version available on Early Access already offers plenty of fun. It feels like the best bits from classics like the Strike series by Electronic Arts and Syndicate by Bullfrog, but with the focus firmly on fun. It is also not afraid to challenge players and your giant, stomping mech can be taken down with just a few well-placed shots if you get cocky. One minute you could be leveling half a city block along with your enemies and the next covering behind a building while waiting for your secondary weapon to recharge as the opposition bear down on you. Don’t let the price fool you, Brigador offers plenty of value for money and will only continue to get better.

*Preview based on Brigador V-35667d-re (Early Access)

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