Barrage features five playable scenarios, each of which revolve around finding a new power-up and using it to beat the boss of the level:
- Prairie, in which you acquire the Cannon and Missiles. It is a very open level with lots of stuff to destroy.
- Tunnel, in which you acquire the Laser. It is a race against time, as you start with almost no time and must collect time-increasing hourglasses in order to finish.
- Canyon, in which you acquire the Plasma gun. Like Prairie, it is wide open, but features stronger enemies.
- Chicago, a futuristic metropolis in which you acquire a speed booster. It features a number of powerful police hovercraft which chase you.
- Ocean, in which you acquire the Nuke. The level forces you to hunt for various parts of the nuke before finally assembling and detonating it.
Unlike most shooters, you don't have a health meter. Rather, when you take too much damage, your time remaining drops. If time ever drops to zero, the level ends. Since each level is so short, replayability centers around beating levels as quickly as possible.