Broforce review

Broforce is a side-scrolling shooter, made by a small indie development team based in South Africa. It was released on Steam early access about two weeks ago. Usually I’m not that into arcade style action games, but this one actually has a surprising amount of depth to it. There is no complex narrative or story to speak of, but then there doesn’t have to be, because what this game lacks in story, it makes up for in fluid game mechanics and sheer fun. Also, I don’t think an in depth story would work to well with the amusing but not-so-subtle approach to comedy. This is the plot: You are America, and you play with a series of 80s and 90s action movie heroes to kill loads of terrorists. There are several Bros to play with, including Rambo (Rambro), John McClane (Bro Hard), the Terminator (Brominator), RoboCop (Brobocop), and more, each with their own attacks and special abilities.

When I first saw the promotional videos on Youtube I thought that the game would just be complete chaos, with all the bullets, blood, and explosions flying everywhere. In some ways it is,  but then there is actually a lot of skill involved, and you quickly learn to keep your character alive among all the chaos. Virtually everything can be destroyed, and you can set off awesome chain reactions by blowing up exploding barrels, support structured for bridges, and other parts of the levels. The game really allows you to use the environment to your advantage. It only takes one bullet, explosion, or falling object to kill your character, and this system is implemented really well. A checkpoint style auto-save system means that you never lose too much progress. At no point did I feel frustrated from getting killed by an unexpected piece of falling concrete.

Instead of writing this review, I considered simply comparing Broforce to Call of Duty, because (please bear with me) if you ignore the fact that it is not a first person shooter, there are some surprising similarities. Both games focus on action, both games involve killing loads of terrorists, and both games are completely unrealistic. Okay, to be fair, a single bullet can kill you Broforce, so it is still more realistic than Call of Duty. In all seriousness though, I love a good story grounded in reality. However, when games are this over the top, sometimes it is better for a game to not take itself to seriously. Call of Duty forgets this by trying to sell us a overly serious plot and narrative, which doesn’t really fit with the rest of the game. Broforce embraces this over-the-top madness, and it is so much better for it.

I try to avoid buying early access games on Steam, because too often early access means loads of bugs and a serious lack of content. This was definitely not the case with Broforce. I played through the game twice and never experienced any bugs. Also, there is a good deal of content. The game will probably only last a few hours, but chances are you’ll probably want to play through it again. Also, if you get tired of single player you can play local or online multiplayer. There are a few game modes, I’ve only tried cooperative (or Bro-op), and it was at least as much fun as regular single player. If you like fast paced action games, Broforce is a must have, and quite reasonable at 15 USD on Steam.

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