‘Broforce’ Review: 90s-Style Action Hero Smash ‘Em Up

‘Broforce’ Review: 90s-Style Action Hero Smash ‘Em Up


Publisher: Devolver Digital
Designer: Evan Greenwood
Developer: Free Lives Games
Modes: Single-player video game, Multiplayer video game
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS


Are you a fan of 80s and 90s retro-action heroes? You know you are! Get your game gear on ‘cuz Broforce is here and it’s serving up a hot ton of fun (with a tasty slice of nostalgia).

Featured as a free game in March on Playstation Plus subscriptions, Free Lives GamesBroforce is a side-scrolling old-school destruction game. In the single-player campaign, the player unlocks one bro after the next in different 4-part stages to conquer mock cities in our reality. Does that sound like it’s already got enough to win you over? Well hold on. The best part is that you are unlocking bros that pay tribute to the best 80s and 90s action heroes. They have their fun little morphed names in their pixelated characters each with their own weapons and special attacks dedicated to who they are. You’ll start with the amazing Rambo (now Rambro) and as with further rescues to unlock others like Bro Hard (John McClane), Robrocop, Brodator (Predator), Boondock Bros, etc. That is only skimming the surface.  

Broforce’s gameplay is rather simple. You are dropped down at the beginning of the stage in one territory. In this territory, you need to destroy the enemies toting their assorted weapons and rescue the hostages. Everything is destructible from the ground to the blocks. You can deal more blows to decimate the enemy if you feel particularly violent. A devil awaits you at the end of each part of the stage so that a victorious music will roll with the death toll you have amounts, gameplay time after a helicopter swoops in to take you to the next location. At the end of 4 stages, a new boss shows up to tackle and defeat. On the Playstation 4 DualShock Controller, a stage win starts flashing the lights in red, blue and white making it as patriotic as it can be. The rescues will unlock the characters.

Broforce has an initial excitement factor. The passion and love for the characters are immensely what makes this game. As a full disclosure, my access of the game was after it had been completed once and all the characters were already unlocked therefore the playthrough at each point of saving a character would morph into another character of the bro team. I would expect that the anticipation of who the player gets next as they moved through the levels would be a rewarding aspect. The witty takes on how the developers name their characters is among one of the many discoveries.

One aspect that can’t be doubted though is the repetitive gameplay. Even with the introduction of increasingly challenging enemies and boss battles, it still has a hard time of being more than a shoot and run and destroy sort of game. There are delays at the start of the level and in the reaction time of the special attacks or the shots make it sometimes become too much of a game of luck. At a certain point, it becomes a frustrating task to even move through a simple level.  

With the old school characters, it seems perfect that the texture of the game is pixelated. The levels and the character design from names to the special attacks are absolutely great. The gameplay however suffers from being slightly repetitive and rather based on luck and perfect timing that it can get frustrating. It also limits replay value. However, if you are looking for a simple game and a dose of nostalgia, this is a good choice! Head over to the Playstation Store or Steam to give it a try.