The first thing you get after buying and loading BroForce is this:
You know exactly what’s coming: the eagle screaming with iron biceps and the american flag in its armpits leaves no questions about it. You’re in for one hell of a ride.
I was born in the eighties, so I lived most of the action movies golden age: from the Schwarzenegger-Stallone’s action movie #1 hero war, the Jean-Claude Van Damme-Steven Seagal’s acrobatic and martial arts #1 hero race, to the rise of Wesley Snipes as the quintessential badass and the consolidation of Bruce Willis as a legend in Die Hard. These just to name a few.
I know it’s a guilty pleassure. I grew up with all those movies and I still love them, even though I know exactly how clichéd they are. Yes, we all know they are filled with american propaganda and stereotypical characters, reflecting the controversial USA’s foreign policy from Vietnam to these days. We all know they’re -mostly- dumb movies. But I love them for what they are: classics. When I found out that Sylvester Stallone was preparing a movie that gathered most of the main action figures of the 80’s and the 90’s I couldn’t believe it. And of course the movie was about removing a latin dictator (Noriega, Castro, anyone?) and rescuing the girl, but hell, seeing all these guys together is a dream come true: delivering one liners and making fun of themselves, turning the whole movie into a parody of the genre is something incredible. I think it was self aware and genius. And this game is, indeed, a parody, and a clever one. And here you can be as many of these legends.
In BroForce, you get to play as different “bros” in a classic side-scrolling platform game, shooting your way through different levels filled with terrorists: masked men with rifles, machine guns and even suicide bombers (what else did you expect?). You unlock different characters along the way, liberating areas by killing all the terrorists and Satan -yes, the prince of darkness, who won’t harm you until the end of the game…-, escaping in a helicopter with an american flag waving and, of course, a big explosion. Freeing captives automatically turns your character into someone else and gives you an extra life. As you progressively unlock the different heroes, you’ll start each level with a random one, and every time you free someone captured, the extra life gives you a random character as well. To unlock them all you have to make a certain ammount of liberations for each. Every new character comes with a brief introduction and a pun name: Stallone’s Rambo is Rambro, Danny Trejo’s Machete is Brochete, Schwarzenneger’s John Matrix is Brommando, Kurt Russell’s Snake Plissken is Snake Broskin… and so on. But there’s more to this game that I won’t spoil for you, there are characters that defy the hypermasculine stereotypical hero (and terrorists foes), but that’s for you to discover…
The design of these characters is pixelated heaven, here’s a sample:
Not only this is a homage to the action movie characters, it’s also a homage to the retro gaming: it takes you back to the NES days, but with the modern look & feel. Also, the pixelated mess when something explodes is extremely enjoyable. Leaving the character design behind, the special abilities of each one of them it’s truly amazing: Bronan the Barbarian charges his sword and unleashes a destructive wave blast, Indiana Brones whips and shoots his way through enemies, Brobocop charges his gun to make a devastating blasting shot, Time Bro makes everything go in slow motion…
But some of this unique features make the whole thing challenging: sometimes a character is specially good at some points but pretty much weak at others. But don’t get me wrong, you may find yourself astonished when defeating a hard boss with the most unexpected character. It isn’t all about the luck of getting the right character randomly, you’ll have to learn their special abilities and how to properly use them while dodging tons of bullets in order to survive. Also, the whole scenario can be blown apart so you have to be really careful or you’ll end up falling through a bottomless pit you created by bombing like a maniac. The simpliness of the game’s goals and the overall good controls makes the experience an easy way to waste hours having lots of fun. Add the multiplayer feature and you’re in for an explosive afternoon with friends.
Finally I have to say this game wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t for the voice actor on the menus and cutscenes. Here’s a short video compilation of what happens when you die:
The delivery of the lines: Mission failed!, Rest in Peace!, and Noooooooooooooooooooo is top notch. The first time I heard it I couldn’t stop laughing. And after playing it for hours I still can’t get enough. So enough words Bro, what are you waiting for? 3! 2! 1! GO! GO! GOOOO!!!
(BroForce is available for Windows, OS X, Linux and PS4 here)
Update: researching for this review I found out there’s in fact an Expendables, sorry, “Expendabros: Broforce the Expendables Missions” version on steam. I guess it was a no brainer… Here’s the trailer. GO! GO! GOOOO!!!
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