After a year of tearing up the Steam charts, BROFORCE finally arrives on consoles after winning last month’s PS+ Voter’s Choice poll. BROFORCE is available to all PS+ subscribers as the featured free game for March, which is BROMAZING…BRO!
There’s been a running trend within the past several years of modern arcade-style games adopting a retro 8-bit style to appeal to the nostalgia points of older Millennial Gamers. While most of these games are fun and bring fresh ideas to decades old genre formulas, due to market saturation they tend to become lost in the release calendar or briefly played and soon abandoned by the next shiny piece of software. BROFORCE is aware of this problem and smartly uses it to its advantage. BROFORCE is best played in bite-sized increments: fire it up, pick a level, start shooting everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING. The basic premise of BROFORCE reads like an action movie fan’s wet dream. Take any major action movie hero character you can think of, put them in a game together, and have them freedomize the world from terrorists, aliens, and demonic corporate bigwigs with guns, swords, explosions, mechs, muscles, and attitude.
The caricatures for all of these BROS are more than just pallet swaps too. Each one has a unique shooting style and special ability based on their movie abilities: RAMBRO has an AK and lobs grenades; the BROMINATOR has a mini-gun and can turn into an impervious T-1000 exoskeleton; Indiana BRONES has a whip that can latch onto most surfaces, with a pistol as a special side arm; Mr. AnderBRO (Neo from The Matrix) punches, deflects incoming projectiles, and dashes through the air; Ellen RipBRO shoots a pulse rifle primary and flame thrower secondary; and so on. As you play the game you unlock each new BRO by saving BRO prisoners located throughout the level. Each time you save a BRO you become that BRO, which also adds a life to your stash and encourages replay-ability. Checkpoints exist throughout each level, and are essential to survival if playing solo, as nearly anything can kill you with one hit. Enemies hilariously react to your BRO, sometimes fleeing in terror or running straight at you with suicide bombs. Boss encounters are massive, and require old school trial-and-error-find-the-weak-point strategy. Self referential humor reigns supreme in BROFORCE. If you’re not laughing while playing this game you need to re-evaluate your life.
BROFORCE is a ton of fun to play either solo or in a group of up to 4 total players. Multiplayer is sheer chaos, as the destructible environments often result in hilariously unexpected deaths of your teammates. Your BROS can only be revived if you reach a checkpoint and they have an extra life in their stock, or by saving one of the limited BRO prisoners located in the level. The end goal is to reach the end of the level as a group, but only one BRO needs to be extracted via helicopter to succeed. This often results in a mad scramble of whomever is still alive to reach the extraction ladder first, effectively screwing the other BROS from leaving. This is only a cosmetic feature, mind you, but amazing fun to do nevertheless. There’s a standard co-op based mode, but also a versus mode where it’s every BRO for themselves. Either mode is an absolute BLAST. (See what I did there?)
Unfortunately, the only downside to BROFORCE currently is the unpolished nature of the Steam port. In the last few sessions our game was plagued with random glitches, mostly related to network errors and disconnects. A major glitch involves your controller arbitrarily not responding to your inputs, resulting in a lot of unexpected deaths. BROFORCE also is a bit too simple and unwieldy with how manages its menus. Coordinating who hosts a game, sending invites, and application restarts just to get the game working was entirely too much effort and after a while resulted in our party just giving up and moving on to other games in frustration. A shame to be sure, but these problems can be fixed / improved with inevitable patch updates. Suffering through all of those issues, however, is a testament to how purely fun BROFORCE really is. Any old school gamer / action movie fan should download this as soon as possible, especially while it’s a featured free game on PS+. 4/5 BRO STARS — Geno Olvera — @Nerd_Incognito