Broforce is what happens when you get a development team that clearly has a soft spot for the '80s and early '90s. The game is a side-scroller done in a retro style, with gameplay that can only be described as explosive madness. Whether you are playing in deathmatch or in the game's cooperative "bro-op" mode, Broforce involves a lot of leaping and blasting massive holes into enemies and the landscape.
The style is reminiscent of the 8-bit side-scrollers but has the fine control of a more modern game. Leaping around from tiny chunks of remaining buildings is no problem, and for the most part, controlling your Bro is an easy matter. The game is incredibly fast paced, and enemy gunfire drops you in a single hit, so you need to really dodge their bullets. The worlds are also filled to the brim with explosive containers and barrel, so a single burst of gunfire can accidentally blow a new crater where a building once was. The world is heavily destructible, and essentially any form of gunfire is capable of ripping up walls or tunneling through the dirt.
No likenesses have been used in the game, but all Bros are based on an existing cinematic badass: Brobocop, Bro Hard, Bromando, the Brominator and Rambro. Each Bro has a weapon, special weapon, and abilities. Brobocop can charge up and fire his pistol as a massive burst of firepower, while Agent Broderson can use his powers as a Matrix agent to fly through the air and control time. It's great fun seeing all the Bros that are clearly based on some choice '80s action movie stars, and learning each one is certainly enjoyable.
This is important, as in the Bro-op mode, you don't get to choose who you play as and are randomly assigned a Bro. You start with two lives, and if you lose both of them, you cannot play until another player finds and rescues a hostage. The game can be played with up to four players, which generally amounts to barely controlled chaos as the four of you giggle while blowing the crap out of everything. At the end of a level, you all leap onto a ladder attached to a hovering helicopter to escape, and the next level loads up.
Players can also play in a deathmatch mode, where up to four players do their best to kill each other while the level slowly collapses. Each player has a certain amount of lives and aims to be the last one standing, and the first player to win three rounds is the victor. It's an incredibly competitive mode that's also a lot of fun. I spent a good amount of time playing deathmatch with two of the Broforce developers, and we spent most of the time laughing like idiots.
The game will also have a level editor, which is said to be the same one that the developers use to make the levels. This allows players to make their own levels to share with others, but the feature wasn't shown. The idea seems to be to give players the chance to generate new content in the game and design the levels they want to play through.
Broforce is available via Steam's Early Access, and I can honestly say it was one of the most entertaining games I played at E3 2014. The game couldn't take itself any less seriously, but it delivers tight controls for a side-scroller that's filled to the brim with explosive mayhem. There are more updates planned as the game continues development, and we'll definitely check it out as it progresses.
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