Brigador Is Syndicate Crossed With Walker, And Very Cool

Brigador is cool. I’ve had a build for the isometric mech combat game for a week now, and I’ve spent that time playing it and considering it and this is the core of my thinking. Its hyper-detailed pixel art nightscapes are cool. Its electronic music by Makeup & Vanity Set is cool. Its mixture of all-out combat and tactical semi-stealth is cool. Its evocation of late-’80s/early-’90s scifi films and Amiga games is cool.

A fuller account of my thoughts and feelings will follow at a later date, but for now I thought you might like to watch the most recent trailer for the game. It’s cool.

Wasn’t that cool?

Brigador begins with the selection of which mech you’re going to pilot: something tall, stompy, traditional, or something small, hovering, nippy. How you then approach the challenge that follows changes accordingly. Tall mechs make a lot of noise and are easily spotted over buildings, but they’re also powerful, able to carry more weapons and can shoot from range. Your smaller vehicles meanwhile can hide behind obstacles and speed quickly across open terrain, allowing for stealthier approaches towards whatever it is you’re ultimately trying to destroy.

The game isn’t finished yet. At the time of writing, pre-ordering costs $15 and nets you a Steam key for the finished release. I’ll have more thoughts hopefully later this week, but in the meantime I’m going to continue listening to more music by the people doing the soundtrack.

Also I’m going to think about what it would be like if this was Syndicate crossed with our John Walker rather than this Walker. If you’re not familiar with the latter, Eurogamer helpfully posted this retrospective yesterday.

32 Comments

  1. Riaktion says:

    Ah Walker, I remember that, enjoyed that game a lot in fact.

    This looks interesting, not one I’m going to pre-order, but keep an eye on it methinks.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      I had never heard of it til yesterday and now a retrospective on Eurogamer and a mention in a headline on RPS in the space of 24 hours. Weird.

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      phuzz says:

      I’d completely forgotten about Walker until today, but that EG article is bringing back memories of pouring over a preview article and trying to work out who I could afford to buy it.
      I never did buy or play it, but I loved that little blue headed mech so much.

    • Syra says:

      Oh dear lord I have been trying to remember the name of that game for about 5 years now, loved it on Amiga so much!! Thanks RPS!! I’m also very much looking forward to this game, which I thought was called matador last time you posted about it?

      • wake says:

        @Syra – It was call Matador before, though I should have known better. We changed the name soon after the first trailer launched when I’d talked with a TM lawyer who advised us to change it. We didn’t receive any notices or anything, but there were some people who *could* have, and while we probably would have won all that stuff costs money and time so better to just avoid it entirely.

  2. thekeats1999 says:

    After watching that and listening to the music I now have the urge to watch Escape from New York again. I think I shall be grabbing some of there music.

    Oh and the game looks great as well.

    • wake says:

      yesssssss, and you should watch it again. Great movie, and played no small part in our stylings for Brigador. Make sure you guys give Matt Pusti of Makeup & Vanity Set some love, that guy’s been killing it for us with the music. And we’ll be releasing the full soundtrack along with the game, for your listening pleasure.

      • thekeats1999 says:

        Just grabbed everything from Bandcamp of theirs. Will probably do the same for the game as well. Looks promising.

  3. Eight Rooks says:

    Makeup & Vanity Set are indeed awesome (had that EP a while, and it is stellar), and it’s great to see them (him?) doing soundtrack work. They’re certainly eminently suited to it. (You might also want to try Vogel’s EP, Graham, if you haven’t found it on Bandcamp already – similarly excellent synthwave and there’s a Makeup & Vanity Set remix on there.) Game looks great too! Looking forward to further impressions.

    • Jackablade says:

      Yeah, I’m rather liking the Makeup & Vanity Set.

      Anyone got any other indi recommendations in this 80s Electronic Krautrocky typed style? I seem to have pulled out my Tangerine Dream records.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        Sferro, Le Matos and Pilotpriest are all worth looking into IMO. People would probably suggest Perturbator, too (he was on the Hotline Miami soundtrack), though I don’t like his stuff much myself. Still, YMMV and all.

      • wake says:

        If you like Tangerine Dream then you should check out Jean Michel Jarre — some of it is pretty out there, but it’s great early electronic.

  4. Hypnotron says:

    “Its evocation of late-’80s/early-’90s scifi films…”

    Like the style, unfortunately the gameplay just doesn’t look very interesting.

  5. killias2 says:

    Makeup and Vanity Set… mhmmm.. yesssss

  6. subedii says:

    Is the game normally that fuzzy when in motion, or is that just youtube? It was starting to make my eyes water.

    • wake says:

      @subedii – the game itself is much more crisp in motion. Unfortunately shooting and cutting these trailers has been a learn-as-we-go kinda thing. I’m sure we could be doing a better job on the recording of footage and compression of finished trailer, but there’s only so much time we can devote to it as we’re doing all this stuff in-house (for example, that’s an actual contract that zooms by in the trailer, but unfortunately it’s much less legible than it should have been).

      @Hypnotron – ( ‘._.) give it a chance down the road — the environments are completely destructible, we’ve got a big selection of vehicles and weapons in the pipe, and are doing our best to enable a broad range of play style (run & gun, sneaky, etc)

      • scannerbarkly says:

        Nice, the game looks interesting and if you can manage what you plan here will offer me a lot. I’m gonna show some faith and pre-order a copy right now. When it launches I’ll be all about it.

        • wake says:

          @scannerbarkly – cheers mate, hope we can do right by you. This thing has been gestating for several years, end goal is to have something with replayability on a similar level as Binding of Isaac. The maps are all hand authored, but we’ll have a lot of them, and we’re working on giving enemy spawns and composition interesting randomized/procedural elements.

  7. DrollRemark says:

    And there was me hoping that the Eurogamer retrospective was on John Walker.

  8. Assaf says:

    Cool.

  9. Heliocentric says:

    The best game in the Walker genres is probably Roaming Fortress.

  10. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    Looks like it could be fun – reminds me of ‘Bedlam’ (seen here running at abnormally low FPS for some reason) from some time in the ’90s. I think I’d have to have a play about with a demo first, but I’ll keep an eye on it.

  11. Grayman says:

    Looks very awesome. I can’t wait to try out the fast hoverbike type vehicle.

    It doesn’t have multiplayer but the game still reminds me of the old return fire game. Smashing up buildings to steal a flag was great fun in that.

    • wake says:

      The existing tester base is pretty divisive about which vehicle class is their favorite (mech, tank, anti-grav), so we hope to have a good range available there. Also holy jeeze, another game that’s got some similarities which we’d never heard of before. Bedlam, Desert Strike, and some others I can’t remember the names of… closest we knew of a game that had similar mechanics when we started building Brigador was Crusader: No Remorse. Really interested to see how our game compares with the rest :)

  12. AshRolls says:

    Looking good, love the art style and music. I’m an absolute sucker for synths and dark cyber futures.

  13. Neutrino says:

    If the game has little more to it than blowing stuff up then the explosions need to be really really good. These need a lot of work. People will expect to see bits flying off and whizzing through the air, munitions exploding and pools of burning fluid spreading across the floor, not just a couple of seconds of fire and smoke sprites.

    Also for a game about big stompy war machines it all seems a tad too fast and frantic. Personally I prefer a more leisurely approach to warfare that gives me time to savor the destruction.

    • wake says:

      @Neutrino – we’re working on the pyrotechnics. The game is still a ways out, so a lot of that detail pass hasn’t been done yet. Gibs currently shoot out of only a couple of game world objects; we’re working to get it so that everything sheds context specific gibs (bricks, concrete, wood etc.), and that little fires burn on blasted rubble. Gameplay comes first though, so it’ll be some time yet before we can get all that stuff in.

      And there’s bigger and slower vehicles than what you see; the trailer’s only a tiny cross section of vehicles and weapons. If you want to rock heavy cannons or artillery and nuke the enemy from a distance as you slowly make your way through the map, that’s going to be an option. Cheers mate, hope future updates show something interesting for you.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        +1 to the comment about how twitchy it looks.

        I know you’re not explicitly trying to remake Syndicate, but one of the joys of isometric games from a nice zoomed out perspective is being able to play in a fairly calculated way rather than being rushed constantly. I look forward to seeing some more moderately paced action.

        Otherwise looking very cool!

      • Neutrino says:

        That’s nice to hear, I look forward to seeing this develop.

        • wake says:

          Fair points. The trouble with cutting a trailer is that by necessity you have to cram the most ‘interesting’ looking parts of the game into a brief 1-2 minute window. The cutting is very aggressive, and as such you’re only seeing the peaks of combat and none of the lulls. We won’t have Blood Money levels of thought and planning (then again what else does), but we are trying to allow for more methodical approaches to combat. At the game’s most hectic I think it could get as crazy as the Atlantic Accelerator mission, but generally I think the regular Syndicate missions aren’t a bad comparison in terms of pacing.

          Doing our best to make a good game guys, hopefully you’ll like it.