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Game review: Broforce gets Switched

By Darren Price
Wed 12 Sep 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Devolver Digital’s seminal retro-shooter, Broforce, brings its awesomeness to the Nintendo Switch.

I’m not, generally speaking, a fan of “90s-style retro shooters”. As a forty-something gamer, the feeling of nostalgia when playing a pixelated mess of a game dissipates very quickly. I was there the first time around, and even before- when computer graphics were no more than inverse ASCII characters.

My inbox is filled on an almost daily basis with press releases from PR firms charged with the thankless task of promoting the latest sprite-based indie shooter. I really feel for them, but doesn’t stop me sending the email straight to the trash.

It is for this reason that, to my eternal shame, I first overlooked Broforce.

It was only on spying my kids playing one of the many unplayed games sitting in my PC Steam account that I observed just how absolutely @#$%ing awesome Broforce is.

And now Switch owners get to take this awesome game everywhere they go, and so they should.

The game puts players in a pixelated version of an 80s/90s Bro-ified action hero. You have the likes of Rambro, Dirty Brory, Bro in Black, Brobocop and Bro Dredd among others. I’ll leave it for you to figure out who’s who. Each has their own special weapons. A particular favorite is Bro Dredd’s guided bullets and the hyper- OTT weapon of the Bro in Black.  

Commanding your chopper you head out across a globelike campaign map. Here you can fly to one of the available missions.

Scrolling left to right across a highly-destructible bitmapped landscape our heroes must use their ridiculously over-powered arsenal to take out the enemy and free their fellow bros. 

The levels reminded me a little of those in the Worms games, but with a lot more bad guys. If I had one criticism, it would be that the instadeath areas of the levels, the bottomless pits are not always clear, resulting in a bit of trial and error.

Enemy grunts will shoot you, but look out for the ones with the explosive vest that’ll run at you screaming. There’s also brutes that’ll take a bit more to kill and some nice surprises later on. To make things even more exciting (and messy) there are plenty of explosive crates and gas cylinders to really light things up. The end of the mission is marked by a heroic evac via chopper.

Each Bro you rescue adds another live, allowing you to respawn at the last flag/checkpoint as the next rescued Bro. Lose all your lives and is back to the beginning of the level. There’s an element of luck as some of the characters are more powerful than others. 

For a retro- game, the gore level is very high, with gibs splashing all over the place as you mow down the enemy in a blaze of gunfight and they do the same to your hapless Bros. 

You can play solo or with up to four players locally or online. As well as the campaign mode, arcade mode offers the same gameplay without the messing about with the plot or selecting missions.

The 80s/90s homage suits the retro graphics style right down to the ground, setting it apart from those numerous pixelated affairs that seem to be the usual output from millennial hipster indie devs. 

Although it’s been out for a while across other formats, Broforce is a game made for the Switch. The 80s action-movie references demand the game to be showed off to work colleagues, family, friends and anyone you know that holds a fondness for the likes of Rambo, Die Hard, Terminator and other films that defined the eighties and nineties. Don’t let the retro graphics fool you, this is the shooter that you need to have.

Verdict: 9/10.

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