What can I say about Broforce? It’s violent, it’s gory, it’s American. Broforce is a fantastic side-scrolling shooter developed by Free Lives, lovers of action movies. If you’re an action movie junkie, this is the game for you. It pays homage to all the great action stars over the past several decades. Even if you’re not a fan of action movies, which you should be, fans of classic shooters like Contra or Turrican can find a lot to love here. Broforce a fast-paced, action-packed romp that shouldn’t be missed.
You play as a multitude of characters, or “Bros”, throughout the entire game. There’s no shortage of Bros and I don’t even think I unlocked all of them by the end of the campaign. You blast your way through a shit-ton of levels, all of which can be completed in under five minutes if you’re skilled enough. Each level starts you out as a random Bro with one life and rescuing other Bros gives you an extra life. Rescue a certain amount of Bros to permanently unlock a new Bro to add to your roster. At first I was mixed on the fact that each level randomly assigns you a Bro to start with but I eventually grew to understand the decision as the game forces you to play as each Bro rather than only using a select few. Each Bro has different weapons so you must adapt your play style on the fly. It’s actually a nice touch. Each Bro has a standard weapon with infinite ammunition as well as a special weapon with limited ammunition. Last but not least, each Bro has a melee attack and it can be humorous watching your Bros slice, kick, and throw the enemies. You’ll travel the globe fighting off enemy soldiers, aliens, demons, and some awesome, creative bosses. There’s no real story here other than to save the world and the explosions will never stop. The difficulty gradually ramps up as you play but it never feels impossible, at least on the normal difficulty. You can even pilot mechs in certain levels which can be great to help get you out of jam. They have limited fuel but can jump long distances and destroy anything in their path. In no way does Broforce take itself seriously. It’s a humorous over-the-top action game that pays the utmost respect to action movies and their heroes.
All of the environments are destructible and you will probably decimate everything on your journey. Enemies can explode, fire guns, throw bombs, and that’s just the humanoid enemies. As you progress the levels become harder and harder. Eventually you’ll have to avoid environmental traps like saw blades and spikes. It’s a one-hit kill kind of game but unlike Contra, if you lose all of your lives you’ll just restart the level. One explosion can set off a chain reaction of other explosions that will sometimes cause your death if you’re not careful. You run, jump, and climb around the environment carving your own path if you wish. The pixelated look of the game works well and the environments are detailed beautifully with lush jungle environments to alien infested caverns, it’s a sight to behold. The game ran smooth on PC and I ran into no significant technical issues. The soundtrack is another highlight of this game. Heavy metal galore, Broforce has some great metal riffs that accompany the gunfire, enemy screams, and booming explosions. Chances are you’re going to die a lot so thankfully load times are non-existent. My only complaint would have to be that sometimes the game becomes too hectic and you’ll die because you lose track of your Bro in all the mayhem. Many times I would set off a chain reaction of explosions and I couldn’t even find myself only to realize I was alive but now standing in the wrong spot but it was too late to move and I die. But it’s a small price to pay when a game is this awesome.
Broforce is just an incredible game and you can tell the developers poured their hearts into it. Even with the short levels, Broforce is a surprisingly lengthy game for side-scrollers by today’s standards. I think I completed the campaign in about five hours. You have the campaign mode which contains a level select but there’s also an arcade mode which has you just going from level to level. There’s a level editor, co-op, deathmatch, and multiple difficulty modes so there is a ton of replay value in Broforce which is glorious.