Friday, 14 September 2018 12:16

REVIEW: Broforce (Nintendo Switch)

Written by RiotArms
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It took too GOD damn long for a game like this to come out. Think if you will “Team America” which was released in 2004. Now it took until 2015 for this masterpiece from South Africa’s very own Free Lives development studio and published by the notoriously naughty Devolver Digital. But you might be asking “Oi Riot Mate, why are you referring to Team America in this day and age?”. Well buckle up, grab your whiskey whilst I put on my red, white and blue Murica shorts on and grab my 12-gauge shotty because were going shootin’!

So, what is Broforce? Remember Metal Slug? Ok think further back; Contra. Now meld those two together, add a bit of 2000’s political climate and a then accidently spill a beaker of testosterone in and you’ll get Broforce. It is a potential 4 player side scrolling run and gun platformer where you goal is to carve up as many enemies as you can, cause as much destruction as possible, and make it to the end for your exfiltration. Sounds pretty boring and linear right? I thought so to until I really started to smash this addictive as F#$K title out.

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AMERICA! F#$K YEAH!

Let’s get stuck into it; you start off as Bro; a jacked-up personification of masculinity itself, who slays swathes of enemies, rescue his Prisoner of War Bros from the evil hands of the terrorists and at the end of the level literally GET TO THE CHOPPA! Sounds pretty straight forward right? The game does throw a few curve balls in that spices the meatball up.

As you free your captive Bros you’ll realise that they aren’t your average bro; I’m talking about rescuing such bad asses like John “RamBro” and The Brominator. More on this later.

What also kept me on my toes and coming back is the enemies, as moronic as they are dumb, when they see your character burst in guns blazing, their weapons still only need to nick you once for you to die instantly; adding a necessity of preciseness that still needs to be respected; even as the blood flies and the bombs explode.

During your travel through the levels first battling your average dim witted human enemies but they oddly shift to aliens and then ethereal beings from the pits of hell, which kind of sets the undertone of what this title intends; utter hilarity, absurdness mixed in with relatable undertones.

I had you at RamBro didn’t I? Let’s talk more.

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Do you feel lucky punk?!

New game; Hard mode, I cruise around in the chopper you start off in, finding trouble around the world. I notice a number 1 and think to myself “Yeah there’s my mission”. I as I fly over it I burst into the biggest fit of laughter as the mission location was VeetMan. PERFECT! I knew I was going to enjoy this game. For those who don’t get it; VeetMan = Vietnam. As the general mumbles something incoherently about the mission with a few words like FREEDOM and LIBERATE were off.

As we enter the level and the memories reminisce about control I set off to slay and free people from tyranny. Everything in the game is destructible, meaning that you can tunnel your way through the level or do sneaky Pete tactics such as loosen soil beneath to make the enemy fall to their deaths etc. For such a simple game I was impressed at the level of tactical freedom that it allowed the player to have. Then it hit me: TERRARIA! The tunnelling, the graphics, even the movement was reminiscent of Terraria.

Littered around the areas are cages where your fellow Bros are being held captive. Every time you rescue a Bro by breaking them out of their cell your character changes to either a random character or if you have rescued a certain amount; a new character. I’ll never forget my first unlock; The Brommando, a rocket launcher slinging beast who just carves up enemies and the terrain around. If you blow up crucial parts you have the ability to knife the wall indefinitely over and over to get to those hard to reach places.

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After reducing the level to basically rubble; I proceed to the exit point where a chopper is there to lift me out to the next part of the mission.

Now this is the general format for most of the game; swoop in, destroy, chopper out but let’s go into a few details that really make this game pop. When you traverse the levels, you will encounter flag poles. Once claimed by flying the ol’ star spangled banner, the player will return there if they should die. Another cool addition is the randomness of the Bros that you get to control. Each one has a specific primary and special ability however it is totally randomised. When you spawn you get a different Bro. When you rescue one, it grants you an additional life but also it changes your Bro randomly. Now this does get tiresome at times, especially if you need ones with a specific ability for challenges such as boss battles but again the game forces you play differently each time. It does create in itself another layer of difficulty or ease, so failures aren’t that bad and forcing players to make decisions such as “Do I keep this Bro or get another life and risk getting one that isn’t equipped for the mission?” There are over 35 Bros to collect so the pressure is on to rescue or ignore the captive.

What I love about games is their attention to the smaller things; and Broforce hits those marks. I’m talking about Brodell Walker’s (Chuck Norris Texas Ranger) melee is a roundhouse kick to the aptly named Bro in Back (Will Smith MIB) who has the noisy cricket that punts you backwards just like in the movies. Subtle additions such as muzzle flashes illuminating the Bro’s portraits when they fire and the commander’s intense narrations when you start the mission and die that just gives you a sense of purpose.

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Refit to fight!

Let’s break this right down

Soundtrack and SFX were orchestrated to gee you up; MURICA STYLE! I felt pumped and ready to go every time I mounted the helicopter to the mission area. The sound of the rounds and enemies yelping as they came under fire were music to my ears as I gunned them down with extreme prejudice.

Graphics are your run of the mill 16-bit platformer of yesteryear but again as mentioned with the added bonus details which really make it come alive such as the muzzle flashes and fluid motion of the characters

Gameplay was straight forward enough and easy to get a grip on. Difficulty gradually increases however the player must ensure that they are a 1 hit kill target. Easy in the first few levels but gets hairy when multiple mobs fall from the sky as a tank attempts to splatter your brain matter via a 120mm cannon. Unfortunately, I cannot comment on versus or online gameplay as there were no lobbies open however give it a week or 2 I’m sure it will be thumpin’.

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Riots Remarks

I’ve been blessed with the last few reviews with how awesome these games are but don’t be fooled I’m not an easy marker. Broforce pleased me greatly; no only because it is an amazing satiric piece but the hilarity and how it’s all constructed really made it an enjoyable play. Play this at a party with the bourbon flowing and the snacks comin’ and I’m sure it will be a hoot. Speaking which I might just go do that tonight! MURICA!

Pros:

* Easy to play
* Recognisable characters with different abilities
* Chuck Norris; need I say more
* Online and offline co op
* Hilarious!

Cons:

* One hit kills to yourself takes getting used to
* Sometimes controls are a bit too sensitive which will get you killed
* Needs more MURICA! (I kid there’s plenty)

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, Mac, PS4, Linux, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Free Lives
  • Genre: Action