Game Review: Broforce (PS4)

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Release Date: March 1, 2016

ESRB Rating: M for Mature (Violence, Blood and Gore)

Broforce is that special kind of game that combines one’s love for classic 8-bit run & gun adventures with 80’s action films then adds a small dose of all things ‘Merican. Having grown from a Greenlight project to become a major hit on the PC, Broforce is now available to spread freedom and Americanize the PlayStation 4.

Following the downer known as the 70’s, the 1980’s were a great time for Americans, as our sense of patriotism was renewed under the charm of President Ronald Reagan. It was an era defined by the rivalry with the Soviet Union and a pop-culture dedicated to “sticking-it” to the Commies.

Broforce allows gamers to go back and relive that glorious freedom-loving era on steroids.

While titles like Kung Fury and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon pay homage to the cheesy Sci-Fi B-movies of the 80’s, Broforce pays its respect to the action films that defined the early blockbuster era of cinema. This was an era of film defined by actions stars like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger who reminded audiences that America is a force for good and it never negotiates with the bad guys.

The story is simple; evil terrorists, aliens along with demons are threatening the peace of the free world. In response, America dispatches Broforce (an elite but underfunded special forces unit) to protect liberty by using extreme violence. Operatives like Rambro, Bro Hard or Bro Dredd are deployed to an occupied country and tasked with freeing its people from evil.

Its simple plot is a nod to classic films of the 80’s, such as Rambo: First Blood Pt. II and Commando, along with Die Hard (to some degree) and Aliens in later parts.

bro2The game features a list of playable characters based on films of the era with the word Bro added into the name. Players start as Rambro (based on Rambo) followed by Brommando (based on John Matrix from Commando) along with Bro Hard (based on John McClane) and Snake Broskin (based on Snake Plissken).

Broforce doesn’t limit itself to pop-culture references of the 80’s, as action heroes from the 90’s and early 2000’s also join the roster of playable characters. Characters from this era include Bro in Black (based on Agent K from Men in Black) and Broheart (based on William Wallace from Braveheart).

Besides the references to beloved movies, the game also has a great sense of humor, thanks to its hyper-masculine tone and the many times it tries to shoehorn the word “bro” into something.

The gameplay is simple; a Bro is dispatched to a country and tasked with liberating it. This is achieved by killing all terrorists in sight, bringing down an evil boss, then raising the American flag. Players must also rescue a Bro who has been captured by the enemy — this unlocks new playable characters while also adding an extra life.

To overcome the challenges of each stage, players have to use the Bro’s special ability and destructive levels to their advantage. It may be a run & gun game but Broforce requires a lot more thinking that is often overlooked by its bro concept.

All of this not only makes Broforce a must-play title, but it’s an example of why indie games have become so popular in the last few years. With an old school style that blends a love of the 1980’s with 8-bit gaming and a sense of humor makes Broforce a unique experience for the PlayStation 4. It’s a reminder that all it takes to make a good game is a unique imagination and some nostalgia.

 

Rating: 9/10

 

Words by Stan Rezaee

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