Broforce has been out of Early Access for a while now and since the last time we played it things have happened! We’ve got new BRO’s, a better interface and some small tweaks here and there. Free Lives have really followed up on this game since the Early Access days, and made it such a good, polished experience! Playing through the campaign, I expected this game to be like all the other platformer games out now, involving a lot of puzzle mechanics. Instead of just being a run through.
That actually never happens. Sure, a couple of the boss fights demand a fairly specific approach, and is damn nearly impossible with some bro’s, but for the vast majority of its running time, the relatively long campaign plays directly to the game’s many strengths. I can’t stress enough how wonderfully dynamic and destructible the levels are. It’s not just a case of grenades taking out blocks of terrain – there are different materials that react to bullets, explosions, fire and acid appropriately, and then there are those pesky blocks that fall down and crush you. Set fire to a bridge and it might collapse when too much pressure is applied; running across it is fine but if a corpse falls from above, the whole thing falls to pieces. The physics are awesome!
The game focuses on the bro’s. The playable characters in the game. You get more lives/bros by rescuing prisoners in a level. And even that is glorified after the second rescue as you get a totally new Bro to use! And you’ll soon notice these bro’s just keep coming. Which makes the game a lot more fun over time that having just one character the whole game. Instead of power-ups you get power-up bros, or something. Each bro has a unique weapon and special move. And they are all parodies of awesome movies! Like MacBrover(MacGyver) , Brade (Blade) and so on! The gap between new characters increases exponentially after each rescue, which gives a good amount of suspense on when you’ll be getting the next awesome one.
The difficulty behind it all is, many of the Bros have their own unique playstyle. All have a standard attack, a melee attack and a special weapon. They broadly divide into two categories – those whose standard attack is ranged and those who have a second melee attack in that slot. Characters like Indiana Brones can only fire projectiles by using an expendable piece of special ammo (it’s the bullet that he uses to fire through a line of Nazis on top of the tank in The Last Crusade; all of the special powers are either broad or specific references). His whip has been beefed up since the last Early Access build of the game, and it now causes even the largest enemies to wince in pain and run for cover. Even the simplest weapons tend to have fun, silly consequences like that, and all of those consequences can lead to chain reactions – whip a terrorist and watch as he flees into a minefield and then applaud as the ensuing explosion causes a watchtower to topple, crushing an alien queen. We never get tired of that big mini-gun terrorist fleeing when we mount MacBroves bomb to him. The sound, voice and sound effects are so good! Especially the background music and when a new character is introduced!
(A quick word on the aliens: they’re not introduced immediately but when they arrive, they lead to three-way battles, completely new tactical approaches and have the BEST implementation of acid blood that I’ve ever seen in a game. It eats away at the ground in such a satisfying way and reduces your Bros to little gloppy skeletons that, marvelously, you can still control for a second or two.)
The randomized player characters prevent the kind of prescribed ‘one-trick-required’ level design that I fretted about and ensure that Broforce stays true to its original premise – constant, unpredictable action taking place across levels that react to every bullet and explosion. There are entire boss fights that seem to have been designed simply because the developers wanted to see how the player would react to the collapse and disintegration of an entire level, from top to bottom. There are 30+ characters and some of them, like Planet Terror’s Cherry Broling, practically change the entire control scheme.
Broforce rarely puts a foot wrong and when it does, it manages to make the ensuing pratfall entertaining enough that I want to buy it a beer. I didn’t find the theme particularly amusing but it does deliver a brilliant cast of characters and the very brief briefings wisely poke fun at the bullshit machismo of the Bros themselves rather than making specific jokes about the wars they’re caught up in. Other than some daft place names, you could be anywhere in the world and there’s a pleasing lack of the comedy accents and racial stereotypes that are often inserted into spoofs.
Remember when you played Wolfenstein 3D and imagined what first-person games might look like twenty years down the line? Broforce is like that, but for everyone who played Metal Slug or any other side-scrolling shooter. It’s what Worms would look like if it had ever been successfully translated into a real-time singleplayer experience.
There’s so much happening from moment to moment, so many systems at play, that when a stray explosion destroys the struts that are keeping a ceiling in place and the whole thing crashes down on an enemy squad, or a furious mechanized death machine stomps the ground so hard that it digs itself into a sinkhole, you barely even notice. Forget your Just Causes, your Uncharteds, your Battlefields and your Call of Duties – Broforce comes closer to capturing the beautiful chaos and heroic misadventures of a big budget action movie than any of them.
Buy the game here : Buy