By Simon Moore on June 30, 2014 at 5:00pm
E3 didn't just give us the latest and greatest in next-gen gaming. E3 also unveiled a couple of retro-styled, 8-bit winners on display from one of the developers, one that has mastered the art of being a bro so well. Meet "Broforce," which is also coming to the PS4.
"Broforce" from Devolver Digital is a game which requires, dare I say demands, your full commitment to being a bro. A flashback, homage, and in your face run-and-gun title that throws you into the role of a classic 80’s/90’s action hero in an explosive mission to bring democracy to... Well, you don’t really know who, but what matters is that you brought it. At least that’s what you’ll tell yourself as you escape via helicopter while the world around you explodes in a fireball of freedom. You'll be playing the world's savior with up to three other friends.
Life in the Broforce isn’t all guns and glamor, though. You have to contend with various terrorist factions and the ultimate red-skinned, horned boss at the end of each level. They are out to get you and your fellow Bros and will stop at nothing to prevent you from achieving your goal. It’s up to you using the power of FRIENDSHIP and POWER UPS to get through the level, rescuing your fellow Bros as you go along. With each man recovered, you unlock them as playable characters with their own unique weapons and attacks.
There is something beautiful about Rambro recusing the Brominator, who in turns shows those dastardly terrorists that he was indeed going to "be back." A lot the classic stars of the 80’s and 90’s action flicks have been lovingly recreated here in their Bro form, and that gives this game its charm. The game doesn't take itself seriously, and it benefits from not doing so. The power ups can be equally as ridiculous as the Broforce fires homing missiles, flame throwers, and lasers to destroy enemies and structures all in the name of the big red, white, and blue flag, and I didn't even mention the roast chicken bomb.
The world is almost entirely destructible. When you need get at the bad guys above you, and they’ve got the stairs covered, a well-timed grenade or rifle burst brings them down to you. Be warned though, as you will often find yourself on the receiving end of the same treatment as stray bullets tear through support beams and walls, leaving you either stranded or falling deeper into to the earth’s core (which is a bad thing, by the way).
If you want to run through the level hell bent on as much destruction as possible, you can. You have that option, but it’s going to come with a ton of explosions as roofs, walls, and people collapse from all angles in one giant effort to kill you. So keep your wits about you and your trigger finger loaded.
This game is addictive; don’t forget that when you pick up the keyboard or controller and give it a go. Time will pass, bodies will fly, and before you know it, SkyNet will have taken over ... not that it’ll cause you problems, because you have the right Bro for that. Controlling your Bro can be a challenge at times, as they can be erratic in their movements due to the sensitivity of the controls. This game is certainly served by playing it with a controller, but don’t be frustrated if you "accidentally" step off a ledge or run into a collapsing ceiling. It happens to all of us.
There is no bullet drop either, so be prepared for that classic straight line shooting as a stream of lead flies towards you seconds before you fire your own burst back. That doesn’t detract from the game, and in fact, it gives it a much more humorous edge, showering the area in front of you. Power Ups provide you with the joyous moment of watching the world explode off your screen. Enemies fall into the blasts and collapse from areas above as the floors give way.
Not to be forgotten, the multiplayer part of this game has its own blessings and curses. On one side, you have the opportunity to repeatedly shout "BRO!" at your partner as you frantically climb a wall in an effort to blast the bad guys. On the other, you have the problem of them bringing a building or dropping a floor on you, because of the frantic blasting of the aforementioned bad guys. Coordination is your friend here, but with so much going on and so much destruction taking place, it's easy to get lost at times.
"Broforce" ticks a lot of boxes. Its simple yet effective style, it’s "Contra"-like shooting, the over-the-top action and its "Terraria"-esque landscape. They all fit together into an entertaining experience, one you and some buddies can pick up and play any time. Don't be mistaken, this game does have its issues, but for what they are, you can play past them. The developers have lovingly recreated the movie heroes and action of the past and tuned the body count up to overkill. So if you’re looking for a carefree, adrenaline-fueled battle of bullets and bombs, then the "BROFORCE" is waiting for you.