‘Broforce’ brings explosions and fun

Play as Chuck Norris, Rambo and many others in a game that brings back a classic video game staple.

Steele Giles, Staff Writer

Have you ever felt a burning need to watch Chuck Norris roundhouse kick a terrorist into a barrel and watch half the building explode around him?

If you haven’t, consider it.

If you have, track down the game “Broforce.”

“Broforce” is an exercise in bizarre machismo and exaggerated patriotism in the form of 8-bit visuals, blazing guitar riffs, and over-the-top violence. From a guy who’s played “Hotline Miami” with passing competence, that’s saying something.

Part of what makes the game unique is the character select system, mostly in how there are over 30 characters and no way to actually pick one.

Each character is known as a bro, regardless of gender, and is homage to an action hero of the 80s or 90s.

Listing the entire cast would take too long, but choices range from the ever-reliable machine gun-wielding Rambro to dynamite-chucking MacBrover (MacGuyver) to the Brode (The Bride, of “Kill Bill” fame).

Each level begins the player with one life and a randomly-selected bro from the ones available. As the level progresses, they can rescue trapped bros for additional lives and a new, random bro to play.

The plot of the game doesn’t exist. You’re handed the controls and told “See those terrorists? Kill them so hard their ancestors feel it.”

As the game unfolds, the focus shifts from killing terrorists to killing xenomorphs (the aliens from “Alien”) and, in the third act, demons or what might be zombies. It isn’t really clear.

One thing that does make the game vexing is the physics engine, as things will interact oddly and those interactions can end with player being blasted into salsa for a minor mistake beyond their control to correct. Most of these involve explosives.

Each faction has a suicide minion, an enemy whose only job is to blitz the player and explode. These minions are endlessly amusing in most cases as they will forget about things like fall damage, sprint off a building and die, then blast a harmless crater into the ground.

Sometimes, though, they’ll start a chain reaction that ends with you dying from an off screen hazard halfway up the level.

This brings up the fully destructible environments. With a few exceptions, it is possible for players and enemies to destroy nearly the entire map of a given level.

While enjoyable and a source of unconventional tactics, it is a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, it allows patient players to completely bypass all enemies by tunneling through the unused spaces. On the other hand, it is entirely possible to render levels unwinnable through the reckless use of explosives.

“Broforce” brings back a classic video game staple – the one hit protagonist. If you get hit by an enemy, you’re dead.

Most of the time, this isn’t a problem, as you can either ambush enemies or hit them from further away than they can shoot, but if you alert nearby enemies to your presence or get spotted by a lookout unit, the difficulty spikes even higher than it already is.

This is a game that trades heavily on the novelty/silliness of the concept and the surprisingly challenging gameplay to keep players invested, since the plot is paper-thin even when you’re looking for it.

As such, it raises the question of whether or not these are enough.

I’ve always been a sucker for the bizarrely awesome, so I’d say yes.