Broforce sounds like it’s going to be a shallow, bro-fueled platformer where you just hold down shoot and jump around until you reach the end of every level. The whole concept of the game is based around bro-culture, which really doesn’t have much depth to it.
But, Broforce is far from a mindless platform shooter. Well, it can be if that’s all you’re after. But, it’s also got loads of humor layered into all aspects of the game, ranging from ridiculously over-the-top to surprisingly intelligent. The concept itself is a joke, satirizing America’s high opinion of itself and the view that it must deliver freedom to the world. And from there the jokes just keep on coming.
It’s bro time!
The reasons your commander gives you for liberating countries, the color designations of the threat level (“Salmon”), the descriptions of bosses, the fact that your bros start flexing their muscles and scaring the enemy when you take an adrenaline booster — they’re all opportunities for humor in Broforce. Even the names of the various characters are funny takes on existing action heroes. Rambro, Bro Hard, Brobocop, and Double Bro Seven — to name just a few (there are 35 playable characters in the game).
Variety is another strong point in favor of Broforce. Having 35 characters, each with their own unique main and secondary attack, means there are a range of ways for you to approach each level. Some bros are incredibly mobile, allowing you to quickly maneuver past danger; others are hardy and allow you to get up close and personal with enemies; while others have powerful weapons that excel when you keep your enemies at a distance.
You don’t get to choose which bro you get, and you change many times throughout each level, so the gameplay is constantly changing. You will find you come to favor some bros over others, whether from your attachment to the original character or because their playstyle suits you.
Do you even lift, bro?
The difficulty level of platformers varies wildly. You never know how challenging a game like Broforce is going to be until you get your hands on it. Sometimes, they’re too easy and the gameplay quickly becomes boring. Other times, they’re so challenging that casual players get put off.
Broforce sits nicely in the middle of the range — maybe a bit more to the challenging side. One bullet, or explosion, or bite from an alien and most of the bros go down. The characters are not very tough for a bunch of macho-muscle-men (and very unlike their original film characters). This means you’ve got to be aware of every little thing going on around you. To counter your fragile body, you’ve got giant guns (your arms and weapons) and plenty of lives. So, like a real bro, you can shoot first and think later.
Prefer to have a plan before you pull the trigger? Broforce’s completely destructible stages provide you with plenty of opportunities to get tactical. You can dig under your enemies and pop up in places they don’t expect. Or you can use the explosive barrels and gas canisters littered around to blow up your enemies from a safe distance. Broforce loves a big explosion. They’re everywhere, and it’s wonderfully over-the-top.
Boss fights each present their own unique challenge. You can get through them by bashing your head against their machine, alien, or demonic bodies over and over (and over and over) again. Or you can watch closely, work out their weak points and attack patterns, then give them a dose of liberty that will send them back to whatever hell they came from.
Thanks to the launch campaign for the film The Expendables 3, which saw the creation of a game-advert hybrid in the form of The Expendabros, there is more. You can play a whole bunch of new missions as the bros from the movie — for free.
But that’s just the campaign mode. What’s amazing about Broforce is that it becomes even more fun, and social, when you play co-op with friends — or random people online if you like. With two sets of weapons to think about, there are even more explosions, heroic moments where you avenge your fallen bro, plenty of laughs as you get each other killed, and immense satisfaction when you work together to take down a challenging area or boss. Co-op will give you hours more gameplay, because it’s less about the story and more about socializing with friends.
Plus, you can still play versus mode against other people to “bro off” your skills (that’s “show off” in bro talk). Versus mode can be played as a 1v1 deathmatch or as a race against another player to see who can finish a level fastest.
If you’re into movies, then think of Broforce as Tropic Thunder meets Team America: World Police. If you enjoyed those films, you’ll love this game. The story is outrageous, the laughs are plenty (as are the deaths), but you’ll feel immense satisfaction when you complete a challenging section. You’ll also say “‘Murica” more than you have in your entire life.
The only major criticism of Broforce is that it’s too short. You can deliver freedom to the entire world — whether they want it or not — in around 10 hours of gameplay. The game retails for $14.99, so you’re paying about $1.50 per hour of gameplay. When you think about it like that, it’s a good deal. The criticism isn’t really that Free Lives made the game too short (it’s plenty long enough for a platformer). It’s that Broforce is so much fun you’ll wish there was more of it.
Broforce is definitely something you should have in your games library, ready to pull out when you’ve got some friends over for some couch co-op, or when you’re tired of playing games that take themselves too seriously. It’s a winner, bro.