With March rolling in, Playstation Plus has a few more free games for its paying members, and one of these is perhaps one of the silliest games I’ve ever played; Broforce. Broforce is a side-scrolling 4-player co-op shooter, and harks back to the classic games you’d find in an arcade or on an old gaming console.
The gameplay is smooth and works very well, albeit a minor bug or two. The movement and controls are simple and easy to get into, and can be picked up by even the newest gamer. The player is able to climb, sprint and jump through the level, and all of these work very well. The enemy AI is pretty intelligent (though their stupidity in some cases is due to the design of the game); they’ll happily gun you down, but will panic and run if grenades or explosives are set off. Similarly, if there is a bottomless hole between you and a suicide bomber, they’ll keep running towards you and fall down the pit of death. This isn’t a bad thing though; it’s merely a clever design by the developers.
The destruction in the game works really well with no kinks. The game areas can be shot and destroyed, clearing paths and opening up new ones. Are there a ton of enemies on the place above you that you don’t want to fight? No problem, just shoot or slash your way through the wall in front of you and open up your own path. Are there rockets raining from the sky or a boss shooting acid? No problem, just make a little alcove in the wall and hide until it’s safe to leave.
The gameplay does have one single bug (that I’ve found at least), and that’s when starting a level, your character will suddenly stop and be unable to move or fight. Luckily this only lasts a second, but when there are enemies surrounding you and you suddenly freeze, it’s game over.
The graphics take after your classic arcade-style game, similar to Terraria and a few others. However, they are essentially an upgraded version of the graphics, and look very good. The characters and enemies in-game are block-designed, as is the blood, world and pretty much everything else. This game, though, shows that next-gen, real life-rivalling graphics aren’t needed to make a game great.
The playable characters and enemies take inspiration from a variety of sources. The characters all hail from various movies, though had their names changed to “fit” into the world. In an Expendables-style lineup, we have characters such as Mr Anderbro (Mr Anderson/Neo from Matrix), Bronan the Brobarian (Conan the Barbarian), Broracus (Baracus from A-Team), Rambro (Rambo) and even Brodator (Predator) filling up the special ops team. Each character comes with their own unique weapon (Brade comes with a sword, Broracus with a flamethrower), and a limited-use grenade or special ability (Indiana Brones has a powerful pistol, while the Brominator becomes a robot with more damage resistance). The characters are funny, well-designed and work well, and truly make this feel like an Expendables movie.
Meanwhile, the enemies have various sources for their inspiration. Three main groups of enemies make up the list; the terrorists, the Aliens (inspired by the movie saga Alien) and the Demons, led by Satan himself. Each group have similar enemy types, but the different designs and attacks mean it isn’t just copy and paste with a new lick of paint. The terrorists have minigun-wielding Bruisers and mobile mortar launching trucks, while the Demons have Executioners with powerful exploding flamethrowers and Mages that shoot…suicidal exploding zombies at you. Like I said, it’s very silly and dumb in its humour, but that’s welcome. The Aliens have giant worms that shoot acid and suicidal rolling aliens, and little headgrabbers that impregnate you with an alien, which bursts from your chest as it kills you.
What makes this game stand out from others is that it takes the piss out of a variety of areas, be it movies, games or even the whole “freedom and liberty” ideology behind America. Players travel the world, “liberating” countries as they blow up everything in their way. Broforce is very open and clear on its message; it’s meant for humour and will blatantly mock real-life ideas and media to achieve this, and it really pulls it off well. As the helicopter comes and carries you out at the end of most levels, you can just imagine the Team America music blaring out as everything explodes around you, after tossing Satan off a cliff (literally).
The multiplayer and online components, however, are where there is an issue with the game. The online side comes in two options; co-op and versus. The co-op allows you and three other players to play through the campaign from start to finish. Or at least it would, if it could ever connect you to a game. The game selection screen doesn’t always let you select a game, and when it does it takes what feels like a lifetime to actually join the game. Once you’re in, you then have to hope that the host is playing, because the camera can’t advance unless you’re all together, similar to how the old Lego games were. Though if you get a few friends together, it brings a lot of fun and enjoyment, as explosions are doubled and the screen becomes a raving mess of blood and bodies. The co-op servers definitely need fixing, but it’s better to play with friends than join a random game.
Versus, on the other hand, puts you and a splitscreen partner(s) against each other in a game of Deathmatch. Each player selects a character from five each time (randomised), and then they are dropped onto a small map with 5 lives each, and you get more by killing the other players. The last one left standing at the end wins. It becomes (if you’re anything like me and my siblings) a high octane match as we drastically jump around, trying to dodge bullets and rockets as we fire our own back. The Versus is a lot of fun, but it’s a shame that it’s limited to just splitscreen.
Overall, Broforce is a fun retro game designed to be played with friends and just enjoy the silliness about it. The servers need fixing if you want to play with randoms, and the splitscreen-only Versus mode is a missed opportunity, but if you’re looking for a game to play with friends on a Friday night, with a few beers, this is the one to get, scoring a 78%. Get it while it’s free on the table PS Store.
Gamer’s Pantheon Score – 78%
– Smooth gameplay
– Funny AI
– Retro graphics
– Co-op and Versus with friends
– Silly and doesn’t take itself seriously
– Easy to pick up combat
– Broken server selection and servers when joining random games
– Versus is splitscreen-only
– Few glitches
– Free for the month