Wednesday, August 28, 2013

PC Spotlight #4: Broforce

Title: Broforce
Developer: Free Lives
Platforms: PC (Mac, Linux at full release)
Price: free public alpha, $10 (lowest pre-order tier)
Broforce is not the most sophisticated game. A story is non-existent and there's not much motivation beyond rescue the hostages and kill the bad guys. But that's not much of a negative at all, because the gameplay blows away any wishes for a story or deeper motives. Broforce set out to be an ode to 80's and 90's action movies, the Expendables in video game form, and it succeeds on every possible level.
The biggest selling point is the characters, all pixel-art parodies of 80's and 90's action movie heroes. Rambo, Commando, Walker Texas Ranger, Snake Plissken, John McClane, The Terminator, Judge Dredd, and more are available to play as and each with their own unique weapon and secondary explosive. You start each level off as a random hero and can switch to another by rescuing hostages, similar to the weapon swapping mechanic in IOS/PC game Super Crate Box.
Concept art
Each level is a fully destructible playground filled with explosive barrels, propane canisters, and many many enemies ranging from simple goons to suicide bombers to guard dogs and mini-gun wielding mini-bosses. The stylized graphics are nicely detailed, with blood, dirt, smoke, and fire flying with every explosion. The destructible environments adds an layer of depth, allowing you to tunnel beneath enemies to flank them or collapse the ground under their feet or crush them beneath trucks and heavy debris. All those tricks and fast reflexes will be needed because the game is not easy. You die in one hit.
Broforce supports four player local co-op, allowing for quadruple the chaos onscreen. Right now, only a free "Brototype" is available here, playable in a browser or as a download; this isn't a short demo but a fully featured version of the game with the latest updates. The lowest pre-order tier is $10. With even more characters (Hell Boy, Conan, Indiana Jones), more environments (space, steampunk, city), a level editor, a fort creator mode, online multiplayer, and more coming in later updates, Broforce is shaping up to be an action arcade shooter to be remembered.