Iron Brigade (formerly known as Trenched) is Double Fine's fourth downloadable game as part of their Amnesia Fortnights venture, changing the studio from making one large title every few years to making multiple small games in one year.The year is 1926, and the world is being invaded by monsters made completely out of primitive television sets known as Monovisions or Tubes, which no conventional military has been able to defeat. The only force capable of facing them is the Mobile Trench Brigade, an elite squad of soldiers trained to use Mobile Trenches, which are quite literally World War One trenches slapped on a pair of robot legs, with a human soldier operating the whole thing from inside the trench.It all began during World War One, when American soldier Frank Woodruff survives getting his legs crushed by a tank and is reassigned to a radio listening post in the Pacific to listen in on enemy radio transmissions. While there, he befriends Vladimir Farnsworth, another crippled soldier. While working, they listen in on an unknown signal, later dubbed the "Broadcast", that killed all who heard it except for Woodruff and Vlad. Instead, they gained supernatural genius.Woodruff used his newly found genius to invent mobile robotic legs to help his fellow disabled veterans. Vlad used his gifts to invent the "Monovision", in an attempt to bring the world to the comfort of your home. Unfortunately, the end result was the horrors of the world coming straight to him (along with really crappy programming), which drove him to insanity. Vlad then created a race of mechanical monsters made entirely of television sets, which shared the name of Vlad's invention. Colonel Woodruff equips the mobile robotic legs he developed with weapons, and forms the Mobile Trench Brigade to fight his former friend's creations.The game is a Spiritual Successor to Brutal Legend, with a slant towards Monday Night Combat. Rather than commanding free roaming units like a Real-Time Strategy game, the game combines action with Tower Defense. Each player has the ability to customize their Mobile Trench with over 200 different parts. The Trenches are divided into three types, Standard Trenches balancing weapons and turrets, Engineering Trenches with lighter weapons but more turret emplacements, or Assault Trenches with limited turrets but the greatest weapons capacity.
Awesome, but Impractical: The Trenches, before they were re-purposed as weapons, would appear to have been very ungainly as a prosthetic, being very bulky and adding at least 5 feet to the operator's height.
Gameplay-wise, Artillery Cannons. Single shot, arcing projectile, long reload, big explosion and high damage. Also, the Gungnir Sniper Cannon, which is single shot and takes much longer to reload than other Sniper Cannons, but has some of the highest damage in the game. Both can be made Simple Yet Awesome when combined with the Quickload ability and some aiming skill on the part of the player, or in the case of the "Mr. Pancakes", a MIRV launcher that not only drops a line of grenades along its arc, but a line of MAGNETIC grenades, which can be a bit of a Game Breaker when combined with the Quickload ability.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Blue enemies focus on attacking defense objectives. Teal enemies focus on attacking emplacements. Red enemies focus on attacking the Trench Marines.
Trench weapons also have this treatment, from White (regular), to Green (uncommon, is stronger and/or has a basic ability), to Blue (rare, is even stronger and/or has even better abilities), to Purple (very rare, but is also very powerful and/or has top-grade abilities). Red weapons are also available in the Rise of the Martian Bear campaign, which are even stronger.
Giant Squid: A mechanical one serves as the Pacific campaign's boss battle.
Handicapped Badass: Both Colonel Woodruff and Vlad Farnsworth. Bonus points go to Woodruff, who commands the Mobile Trench Brigade from the comfort of an Iron Lung with robot arms for both typing and holding his cigar. Vlad's handicap? Prolonged exposure to the raw, unfiltered Broadcast has turned him into an infant with an adult's head (somehow without damaging his superhuman intellect).
No Export for You: The European version of the game was taken down within hours of its release due to copyright issues regarding the game's title in Portugal, which prompted an unusually radical solution (see Orwellian Retcon)
Old Media Are Evil: Taken to extremes, and played for laughs. Vlad invented television decades before it was invented in real life. Because of this early development, the horrors of the world coming to him, combined with the resulting programming being so primitive and crappy, drove him insane.
Orwellian Retcon: Due to EU copyright issues with the name Trenched, the game's name was changed in all territories to Iron Brigade.
There is a technical reason for the change affecting all regions: If the EU was the only region going by Iron Brigade and everywhere else was Trenched, EU players would be limited to multiplayer with only other EU players (an issue with games with two different names connecting over Xbox Live).
The "Rise of the Martian Bear" DLC adds all sorts of oddball weapons, including RICOCHET Machine Guns (the "80-UNC 3 Indirect MG"), of which the flavor text says, "One would think that years of technological advances were involved in the creation of this weapon. In actuality, we just filled it with spring-loaded bullets, and somehow it worked."
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Woodruff and Farnsworth's inventions are spiritual opposites of each other. Woodruff's Humongous Mecha are intended to let disabled veterans walk again. Farnsworth's Monovision was intended to being the world to you instead.
Suicide Attack: The Blitzers' and Knobs' only form of attack, consisting of running/rolling to your location and blowing up in your face.
Taunt Button: While on the ship, the fire buttons (LT/RT for Xbox, L2/R2 for PS3) instead let your marine "salute". Depending on what kind of hat you're wearing, it can range from an actual military salute to various silly gestures.