Imagine a game that channeled everything we loved about the action movies of the 80s and 90s. Imagine a game that took the concept behind The Expendables and ramped it up to 11. Now imagine that this mythical game was a pixel art platformer that harnessed all the goodness already mentioned.
Now stop imagining, grab a PS4 controller, and download Broforce this very instant!
I will admit, I did not jump on the Broforce wagon when the game made its debut on the PC and Mac last year. I have no excuse; I was remiss. But when Sony offered this game via PlayStation Plus, I had to jump in. The result has been mad fun for me. I almost severed my ties with Digital Crack because of all the multiplayer aggro, but we were having too much fun to stay mad!
The premise behind Broforce is simple: you are a bro, an über-masculine character modeled after the action movie stalwarts of the 80s and 90s. The names are parodies of those well-known action heroes: Rambro, Brommando, B.A. Broracus, and the not-masculine-but-still-badass Ellen Ripbro. You fight terrorists, rescue bro teammates, and destroy everything in sight in pursuit of your goal: liberating the world of baddies!
The game is a pixel art-themed platform shooter that can be described as Contra on steroids. You guide your bro through the levels, blowing up baddies and rescuing comrades. The controls are tight and every movement is fluid. Interactions with the environment may seem unforgiving, but they are fair. If you fall of an edge or get crushed by a block, you were almost certainly at fault.
Along the way, you reach checkpoints where you raise the American flag (FUCK YEA!) and take on bosses. Every time you rescue a bro or POW, you assume the role of a different bro. Each bro has different abilities; Brominator carries a minigun, while Bronan the Barbarian wields swords. The variety in bros and weapon sets is awesome.
Playing alone is a great experience, but it’s in multiplayer where the game becomes a truly visceral experience. There’s nothing like the “fun” of progressing through a level, only to have one of your fellow bros throw a grenade and break the floor under you, or light a flamethrower and immolate everything in front of you – including those explosive barrels you happen to be standing next to. Friendships will be tested with this game!
Are there any drawbacks? Well, very few. People who don’t like platformers will definitely be turned off by this game. Also, certain areas will feel cheap with its kill areas if playing solo. Multiplayer on the PS4 is also pretty laggy, slowing the game down to a crawl at the most inopportune moments.
Despite these niggles, Broforce is a wonderfully chaotic experience. Devolver Digital is a publisher that knows how to deliver a high-octane experience, and this game is no exception. If the prospect of controlling Bro Dredd or Brobocop in a platform shooter is your dream, this game is a foregone conclusion. If you just like to play a great game, or if you revel in playing chaotic games with friends, the bros are waiting to scratch that itch.
Good: Tight, responsive controls; great platform shooting; huge nostalgia factor
Bad: The amount of action on screen may overwhelm; cheap multiplayer deaths because friends can’t back off their grenades!
Rating: 9 out of 10
Developer: Free Lives
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platform Reviewed: Playstation 4
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Acquired via: Playstation Plus