I’ve been getting a little sick of the pixel mania phase we’ve been going through. Yes, I remember the old days. Yes, it’s cute that some games decided to pay homage to those times. But like any fad, you reach saturation point, where you just want to scream “Enough already! Jesus, I get it!”
I thought I’d reached that point.
And then Broforce turned up, and proves to me that if something’s done well, it doesn’t matter how burnt out you are. This is the pixel game I’ve been waiting for.
It’s insane. It’s explosive, manic platform action that pays its respects to every 80s action movie Hollywood ever made. As with all good platform games, you’re required to travel from the start of the level to the end. As you travel, you come across POWs who are waiting for you to free them. Over the course of the game, freeing enough POWs gives you access to a new bro – and this is where things get interesting.
Each time you spawn, you spawn as a random bro – be it Rambro, Bro Hard, B. A. Broracus, Bro Dredd, Brobocop, Mr. Anderbro, The Brodator – the list goes on. Each character has a unique attack, and a unique special attack. Some of them also have special moves – Snake Broskin has a hang glider during jumps, that allows him to glide, for example.
As you’re moving around the level at break-neck speed, trying to avoid being blown up, or shot, or mauled, or crushed, or any other number of possible deaths, you’re on the look-out for POWs to free. On freeing them, you become one of the unlocked bros, at random. It keeps each level fresh and fun – if you’ve struggled as one bro, perhaps the abilities of another will give you a different way to get past the level. Another helpful feature is that the levels tend to be fully destructible. Is that big dude with the minigun proving difficult to get past? Shoot the floor from under him and let him drop to his grisly death. Or blow up the explosive barrels next to him. Or lob a grenade at him, if you’ve got one. Or go slow-mo and kick his ass. There are so many ways of completing any one problem in this game.
As well as the normal A to B kind of level, there are covert op missions, boss fights, time-restricted “the level is blowing up around you, as you run” levels… variety is the spice that this game is marinated in.
If you do get frustrated with a level, you are able to pick another level to try – by way of a helicopter level select screen. On this screen, you’re free to move the helicopter around the map – and you can even chase the background flying birds down. It gets messy if they hit the rotors…
It’s this kind of attention to detail and fun that are visible in every aspect of the game. And in-keeping with the theme, the voiceovers and music are suitably cheesy as hell. Deep, growling voices scream “Broforce! Kicking ass for justice and for liberty!” to Saturday morning cartoon-style metal riffs.
And if you want more fun, friends can drop in to join you – via either sofa split-screen fun or internet co-op.
It’s a wonderful game to dip in and out of, or to lose yourself in for hours. It is simple, mindless fun, and provides a delightful satirical tribute to the cheesiest of action heroes.
Pros: You can finally live the over-the-top 80s style actions flicks
- Crazy action and platform fun. Think Mario, but with guns, and blades, and explosives, and…
- So much variety and cheesy goodness.
- Gibs are raining down from the skies. Pixelated blood all around.
Cons: The levels get a little samey.
- For all the character variety, levels can get a little… I’ve done this kinda thing for the last 5 levels…
- Sometimes it’s almost “too” crazy. Death-by-random-floor-block-deciding-to-fall-on-explosive-barrel can get a little frustrating.
If you grew up on 80s Saturday morning cartoons and action films, this is the game you’ve always wanted to play. You get to fulfil every childhood desire to kick ass for liberty and justice. It can get a little samey after a while, and I did have some technical problems with the multiplayer – specifically, connecting to friends. But a little time and fiddling, and it eventually connected.
All in all, some good, bloody fun.