Down at the local cinema, there’s a brand new movie on show (probably something new from The Expendables franchise). Contra, a veteran of the action genre, is right at the back, ready to watch, but already half asleep because, well, let’s be honest – age will make even the toughest of platform shooters a little drowsy. Also in the cinema, in the very same row in fact, sits the slightly younger, just as difficult, yet better looking Metal Slug. The two turn to each other, lock eyes, the stars align, and before you know it, they’re in love.
An incalculable amount of time passes (ahem – 9 months at a guess), and out of the maternity ward comes a new baby, held in an American flag pulled off the pole situated outside the building. The parents decide to give the child a strong name – one that will strike fear into the hearts of millions of stereotypical bad guys. They call it… Broforce.
Sniff… still a better love story than Twilight!
Sorry, I realise that introduction is a bit nonsensical and very twisted, but hey, so is the child spawn of Contra and Metal Slug. The way I see it, Free Lives, a South African studio, have taken inspiration from both those old school shooters (and of course, every single action movie in existence), rolled them up into one product, and shipped out a new game called Broforce. The result is rather splendid.
You see, the world is in peril from… er… bad guys (and later, a bunch of other enemies that are quite literally out of this world). It’s up to the Broforce to sort out the crisis, before it’s too late.
Who or what is this Brofoce team? Simple – it’s a collection of just about every action hero you’ve ever seen on the silver screen, edited to fit this new (old-school) pixel style design. They’ve also all had their iconic weapons or abilities rejiggered and retooled to fit the side-scrolling platform action that takes place for the duration of the game.
What will you spend most of your time doing in Broforce? Running and gunning, from point A to B – where the escape chopper awaits, each and every single time (for most stages anyways). At the end of each level also sits a boss with a rather lengthy health bar. It’s quite seriously the stuff of narrative legends!
Truth be told, that’s a complete lie. There isn’t much story in Broforce, but that’s kind of the point. Like the action movies it so lovingly mirrors, there is no time for proper exposition or anything like that. The whole game is about destroying anything and everything in sight. Shoot first, ask questions… bah who am I kidding? Shoot everything, ask no questions!
And that’s where the real fun factor of Broforce comes in. Besides the fact that it can be tough as hell (seriously, that final boss can get in the sea), there is a whole lot of enjoyment to be had, thanks in large part, to all the bros you’ll be playing as throughout the five or so hour campaign.
There’s Rambro, equipped with his trusty machine gun and grenades. There’s Indiana Brones, who is ready to whip the life out of enemies, or if they’re just out of reach, shoot them with his trusty pistol – though it has limited ammo. If you’re more the up close and personal type, Broheart is your go to guy – he will slice anything in two… anything, including that giant tank, or that enemy helicopter, or that giant worm that burrowed out of the ground and is now spitting acid at you.
Point is, there’s a lot going on at any given moment. With over two dozen bros to play as, and probably just as many enemies to shoot (or avoid being killed by more like it), it’s a fun, surprising action romp that can be picked up and played by anybody. It is quite a feat to finish however.
I wasn’t joking about the difficulty. It’s certainly there, and unforgiving to those who don’t at the very least add some sort of strategy to their crazy rampage across each stage.
“Strategy?” I hear you ask, all young and naive. Yes my child, strategy! Even the most stereotypical hero has a plan in mind before they rush off to fight the big bad guy, and Broforce is no different in that regard. I don’t mean in-depth, days-of-planning- sort of strategies. No, what I mean is that each stage has destructible environments, and explosives littered throughout for example. This all needs to be taken into account, because blindly running and shooting everything in sight is probably the easiest way to die and get a one way ticket to hell, which could actually save you some time, because that’s where you in up anyway.
You don’t want to be dying, though trust me, you’ll be doing it a lot. Thankfully, each level has a POW or five lying about, and freeing them also grants an additional life. Thing is, saving a bro also changes whoever you are currently playing as into another random bro.
Again, this is where strategy comes in. Do you trade in your one favourite bro (#Brobocop4LIFE) for an extra life, or do you keep him/her, and risk running to the end of the level without backup? It’s a tough choice, but at the end of the day, each bro is fun to play, and personally, I rescued everything regardless, because that random aspect of Broforce is part of the reason I found the game so enjoyable.
Another aspect that makes Broforce fun is the multiplayer. Why fight evil alone, when you can have up to four people total in a party raining down all sorts of bro-justice?
The ride can be fun with friends, though I do find it a tad too chaotic myself. Hopping into a lobby with randoms works quite well, if a little frustrating because some people really do like to just run in and make everything explode. Everything.
I much prefer flying solo. That way, the world showers its thanks and glory on me, and me alone. FOR MURICA!
Last Updated: October 29, 2015