Broforce Forever Review

A couple of weeks ago I walked past what used to be a fab little gaming cafe in Nottingham. Sadly, it is now long gone but my fondest memory was spending an afternoon blasting through Broforce with a friend of mine. It’s taken a long while, but the game has finally made its way over to Xbox with the brand spanking new update, Broforce Forever.

For those who have never had the pleasure, Broforce is a side-scrolling shooter inspired by numerous legendary Hollywood films. It’s presented in that all too familiar retro pixel art style, and is reminiscent of the Metal Slug series in both gameplay and visual aspects. There’s also plenty of guitar riffing goodness to soundtrack your efforts of saving the world. Radical.

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Patriotism is front and centre!

Putting American patriotism front and centre, your aim is to liberate the world from the baddies, whether they like it or not. Think of a cross between The Expendables and Team America: World Police, and you’re in the right ballpark as to the vibe here. Star spangled banners all the way folks.

There are plenty of cheeky nods to moments in American history, as well as the roster of “Bros” themselves all being somewhat familiar. You’ll recognise most, if not all of these, albeit with a slight amendment to their name (Rambro for example). See what they did there?

Anyhow, you can dive straight into the story mode or hit up arcade option instead, which trims away the fluff and allows you to blast through each level one after the other. However, I’d recommend story mode for your first playthrough so you don’t miss out on the ridiculousness of it all. There are some wonderful little segments in there.

Each stage is completed when you hitch a lift on the escape chopper. Standing in your way are waves of enemies, mostly rushing towards you in an effort to take you down. Along the way you’ll need to save other Bros, gaining an extra life when you do. This is also how you unlock new Bros to join your squad.

Each Bro has a standard weapon, many have guns but some specialise in more close quarters combat. The most kick ass way to liberate is through your special ability, which you can use a finite amount of times. These are very appropriate for each Bro (Ellen Ripbro’s flamethrower for example). Each Bro feels different, meaning the randomised nature of who you play as keeps the action varied.

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Chaos quickly ensues

Death comes easily however, as a single bullet will kill you instantly. Or it may be an exploding barrel, or even a falling block. You certainly need to have your wits about you, especially when a chain reaction of explosions starts kicking off. Thankfully you can’t be hurt by your own weapons, it’s just everything else you’ll need to worry about.

The vast majority of your environment is destructible, meaning the stage will change depending on how much blows up around you. Your Bros can climb walls, however they are weighty to control so if you miss a jump, you’ll plunge quickly to your death. Climbing walls can occasionally be a bit iffy, depending on your terrain. Occasionally death in this way feels a little cheap. 

At certain points you’ll be able to commandeer an enemy mech, which opens the door to causing some serious mayhem. It’s a simple fact that blowing stuff up is fun. Broforce Forever allows you to do this in many gratuitously violent ways, such as this. 

During your quest you’ll nip around the world in your chopper looking for the next country to liberate. Most levels are made up of various stages, ending with a boss battle (complete with chunky health bar up at the top of your screen). However, there are also covert missions that are designed for specific Bros.

These are a little more challenging and because they are solo affairs there are no extra lives to be had. In all honesty, I didn’t enjoy these as much as the normal missions, they actually felt more like challenges due to being set under specific conditions. The good thing, however, is that you’ll be rewarded with new items and other goodies upon completion. 

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Who will you save?

All in all there are plenty of missions to fire through in Broforce Forever, which do get gradually more frantic as you progress (this is also signalled by the threat level displayed). However, I did find myself enjoying things a little less when the difficulty increased, but not enough to stop me battling through. It interrupts the rhythm somewhat I guess, with stray bullets or falling blocks catching me off guard more often than I would have liked.

In terms of the Broforce Forever update, it brings new Bros, new baddies and new challenges to the game. This means you’ll be charged at by motorbikes, attacked by blimps and even blocked by barbed wire further increasing the many ways you can meet your grizzly end.

Broforce Forever also brings local and online multiplayer to the party. You can gather your very own Bros to help you with the campaign, or even go toe to toe in the versus mode (although this is only available locally). If you’re feeling brave, you can jump straight into one of the open games in the online lobby. The beauty of the multiplayer is that other players can drop in and out pretty much whenever. 

There’s enough carnage that unfolds when you’re by yourself, so when you’re with friends communication is key to prevent you from failing time after time. Firstly, saving Bros in multiplayer doesn’t give you all an extra life, but instead will bring someone back from the dead or stack for the player who performs the rescue. This keeps things very challenging indeed, especially if you have a loose cannon in the team.

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Literally everything will be destroyed

However, the most noticeable issue is the camera. It struggles to track more than two people at once, with no way of zooming out to keep everyone in shot. This means some of your Bros may disappear completely, most likely ending up dead. Of course, the idea is to communicate and stick together, but we all know that doesn’t work out a lot of the time. 

Broforce Forever is big, brash and utterly bonkers, but more than anything it’s great fun. The game is a blast with friends too, and the numerous multiplayer modes add a healthy degree of replayability too. There’s plenty here to warrant the price tag, which is good news. Saving the world has rarely been so enjoyable.

You can slice, shoot and smash your way through enemies to your heart’s content in Broforce Forever, in an over the top romp that does just about enough to avoid weariness setting in.

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