Welcome to our regular gameplay impressions and video post where we record our first 10-30 minutes with a new game, and provide some general impressions on that early playthrough. Today’s game is: Broforce from developer Free Lives Games.

At its most basic, Broforce is a pseudo 8-bit homage to the side-scrolling shooters of yesteryear, the Contras and the Metal Slugs of the arcade and early console generation. However, while many games take homage to a level of reverence, Broforce tips the scales more towards parody. And as a result it’s pretty fantastic.

See, as players venture through the various levels of Broforce‘s campaign, turning baddies into piles of pixelated blood with bombastic explosions and gunfire, they will come across a series of prisoners in need of a little assistance. In an average title, rescuing these prisoners would net the player some form of power-up or a new weapon, but in Broforce rescuing prisoners is an essential part of the game.

By rescuing these prisoners the player unlocks new bro characters, all of which draw from the “brotastic” movies and TV shows of the ’80s and ’90s. For obvious copyright reasons these characters aren’t direct adaptations, but they come pretty close. The only key difference being that their names feature some riff on bro within them. We don’t want to spoil all of them since unlocking these new characters is part of Broforce‘s main appeal but some favorites include Rambro, Brommando, and Bro in Black.

Broforce Gameplay Video - Bro Hard Character

What’s more, each of these Broforce characters has a different skill set. Some are useful at range, some deal more damage to enemies, and others are just plain badass. However, what makes Broforce unique is that players never know what character they are unlocking; it’s all a mystery.

On the one hand, the randomness of the character unlocks ensures that players learn the strengths of every bro character, but it also forces them into some unfortunate situations. For example, MacBrover (Broforce‘s version of MacGyver) is useful for clearing out enemies but his attacks are fairly limited in terms of their range and accuracy.

All in all, though, it’s hard to be too critical of a game that really goes for it. From the destructible environments to the exaggerated enemies, bosses, and iconography, this is a game that, like many of Devolver Digital‘s releases, fully embraces its silly concept. And while the mechanics of Broforce might be simple and its gameplay does get repetitive, the need to see each new bro character will always push the player forward. Add in online multiplayer and this game could get a lot of action.

Broforce Gameplay Video and Impressions

There’s also a lot of potential in the game’s campaign creation tools, which have already revealed some really clever ideas. For that matter, Free Lives promises that Broforce will only get better as time wears on and they continue to refine many of the game’s features.

Based on our early time with the game it seems like Broforce hits some high notes with its comedy, its character selection, and its destructible environments, enough to prop up the rest of the game’s somewhat generic mechanics. Like Goat Simulator, this is a game that many will fail to see the appeal of, but those who do will likely come away smiling and satisfied.

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What do you think of Broforce? Does it look like a game for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Broforce is available now for $14.99 on Steam

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