Riddle me this- when was the last time you and your friend sat down and delved into a journey together, let alone shared a screen? When was the last time you’ve been pushed against all odds, depended upon to bring liberty and law back to the world? When was the last time you’ve felt triumphant after just 5 minutes of gameplay? Created by Free Lives Games and developed by Devolver Digital, Broforce is an out of proportion, 2D-side-scrolling, over-the-top patriotic justice to local gaming. Equipped with online play and versus, Free Lives gives everything you wanted out of a retro redeemer.
When it comes to the battlefield, Broforce tramples its foes with over many of what they call Bros- over-masculine, righteous heroes based off an array of “manly” action idols from 80s and 90s TV shows and movies. Enemy forces, corrupted by larger evils, look to bring chaos to the table such as terrorism and an overarching force of eradication. Only the Bros strong enough to push back the wave of evil and defeat the coming of anarchy and destruction are able to bring LIBERATION and JUSTICE back to the world.
As a run-and-gun side scroller, one can safely say Broforce brings more to the game than ever imagined. Mirroring many retros, it calls back to one series in particular, the Metal Slug Franchise. Similar in concept, Bros are put on a intriguingly thin line when health is concerned. You start the game with 1 HP and the only packs of health you can scavenge in the trenches of war are your Bros, kept hostage by the enemy. But rescuing your allies might just worsen the odds as saving Bros also changes your character as a whole, sacrificing his/her abilities.
Maybe being a Bro is never the right decision. Don’t worry, your Bros are safely put aside until the other is killed in action. Keep in mind, the adversaries of war are unlikely the cause of death when compared to environmental hazards. If anything, you’ll come out squashed, impaled or even obliterated before making your sweet victory dance.
Dissimilar to the “brotality" of war, Broforce’s over world mapping is beautifully constructed and presents a visual success of the war on terror safely from the Broforce Chopper. Bright in colors and vibrant in personality, mapping across the world is joy and a nice break from the action.
Beset by a category of main and side missions, which fully evolve one's experience, the game brings more flavors than expected. Never have I wanted to complete each and every side mission given to me as much as I wanted to in this game. Side missions pit you with a single Bro on one of many unique “covert op” infiltrations on enemy soil, forced to master his/her skills, rewarding you with extra specials to aid you later on. For example, after completion of a Covert Operation grants you access to ammo crates for your Bros abilities when depleted.
Throughout the game, Broforce is littered with wisecracks and wacky humor but the most can be found in the Bros names themselves. Characters such as, “Bro Max,” based off of the Mad Max franchise and “Brominator,” from the famous Terminator franchise. Alongside are various abilities, signatures from their source material. “Bro in Black,” from the Men In Black series has a unique stun power that cripples foes for a short duration of time. He's mainly equipped with the “Noisy Cricket,” which left Mr. J unconscious due to its extreme recoil as seen in the movie. Though powerful, it can fly you off the screen or even get a friend accidentally killed. Not every Bro is made for the job. With greater Bros comes great chance for death. Mastering your characters are the key to success beyond many… many… times of dying.
When it boils down to competitive play, Broforce delivers with a simplistic versus mode. Up to 4 players can delve into a high stakes survival mode where the last Bro standing is victorious. You have the power to pick from any Bro you’ve unlocked in the story mode which beckons you to focus on the main objective of the game, liberation. Nevertheless, the main highlight of the game is cooperative play through the narrative.
I couldn’t help not putting down this title once I experienced it with a friend. The true magic and inspiration is found through the struggles and conquest you or your party ventures through. Finding yourselves stuck on a outrageous level for dozens of minutes is where the excitement boils. Working as a team, learning the environments and enemies pitted against you along with being one with the Bro is the joy of the game. Everything is appreciated, from the homage to retro games and stories of our youth, down to the wonderfully constructed soundtrack which just drives me to pick up the album for myself. A outstanding bliss of Epicness and badass. Broforce proves it deserves to be amongst the best standing as the pinnacle of great Co-op gaming and nostalgia.