PAX East 2014: Hands-On With Broforce

There is no problem that cannot be solved with explosions.

There is something immediately appealing about Broforce.

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Maybe it’s the explosions. There is no shortage of them in BroForce. They mesh and combine into a cacophony of fire and pixellated death. Maybe it’s the loving allusions to classic ’80s action films, the buff men with rocket launchers clearing out a camp of enemy combatants.

There is nothing more ‘Murica than BroForce; a loving homage to a moment in American pop culture, to explosive male testosterone. It’s as serious about classic action as Rodriquez’s Machete is about grindhouse exploitation films (in fact, “Brochete” makes an appearance).

The two developers I spoke with, a pair of South African men who spoke about Tango and Cash (an ’80s Kurt Russell flick) like they were underappreciated classics, had clear love for the medium. I am a devoted fan of destructive bro action, and they were dropping action references that I never knew existed.

That’s the soul of the game: affection and explosions. As one of the developers put it, “There is no problem that can’t be solved with explosions.” BroForce’s mechanics play into that understanding. The demo version I played at PAX was a frantically paced cooperative shooter, where four heroes charged across the landscape, killing all opponents, rescuing the prisoners, and getting to da choppa.

The controls are simple to understand and easy  to learn and master, and there are a variety of action stars to play. From rocket launcher wielding tough guys, to a man who’s only weapon seems to be a cache of dynamite, they each bring their own dynamic personality into play.

Levels only take about 2 minutes to finish, but that time doesn’t feel cheated. The couch co-op feels like the perfect atmosphere for a party with your friends, and the retro aesthetic (down to limited lives) fits perfectly into that feel.

The website for Free Lives (the makers of BroForce) is a must see if you are a fan of classic action. Or America. The game has been Greenlit and is currently available for pre-orders.

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Amanda Wallace
Former rugby player, social media person, and occasional writer.