Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Broforce (Sort of) Review

Well, I've finished the built in campaign of the still early-access Broforce.  I have a few notes, some were briefly touched upon in an earlier post.   The biggest caveat to keep in mind while reading this is that I haven't played it co-op, so there's a big gap between it's desired play mode and the way I'm experiencing it.

First of all, it's fun.  I could see it being really fun with friends.  I think it was Keiron Gillen who said Diablo 3 kind of turned into something to do during a voice chat with friends, and I'd bet after a frantic hour or two with Broforce, that's the kind of game it would become.  It's incredibly simple.  Incredibly simple, and fun, but certain characters (like the corollaries for Indiana Jones and Neo from The Matrix) require a little more consideration of your play style.

One of my favorite characters so far is probably the MacGuyver corollary, who runs around chucking dynamite.  He doesn't seem to be that popular with other fans, but I suspect that's because people haven't learned his value, that he can stick bombs to anything if he's close enough, even enemies, and once a bomb is stuck on an enemy they won't shoot you, nor will their friends.  They'll run around screaming their heads off while you back up.  There's no friendly fire, you can't be hurt by your own bombs, but a bomb can easily set off a chain reaction with some barrels you didn't notice, and that second blast can kill you very easily.

Mr. Anderbro (the Neo corollary) is a hand-to-hand bro.  Hit his dash button and he flies off in whatever direction you're pressing.  Jump up and press down+dash mid air, and he crashes back to the ground, taking out a few blocks in the process.  That gives a few procedural advantages, for instance when you're clearing out a building, you can crash through the floor right on top of the enemies, punch them out, and keep going.  It's very satisfying.

I suppose that last paragraph implies what I haven't yet said (but people who know the game will be aware), all the levels are destructible.  Every bullet, every punch, every bomb can take out ground tiles, and it's hard enough to keep ground underneath my feet sometimes with just me that I can't imagine what it's like with other people.

So it's fun.  A little one-note at this point, but adding other players I'm sure helps alleviate that.  Watch the trailers.  It's as fun as it looks, so if it looks fun to you, you should buy it.  Those were the pros.  Time for the cons.

As I said in that earlier post, it's kind of frustrating to always change players.  I suppose it adds an extra level of strategy.  You start with zero lives.  You get more lives by rescuing other bros in caves, which you then start playing as.  You switch bros every time you gain an extra life, and when you die you come back as a different bro too.  So sometimes I pause and ask myself,  do I want an extra life at the cost of potentially switching to Indiana Jones and getting hammered?  Or do I keep playing as Snake Broskin?

A lot of people have made this request on Broforce's forums, with a lot of backlash.  The detractors say that the game would lose it's challenge if you could only play it as Rambro, for instance.  Which is funny, because that's the opposite reason I'd like the feature.  I'd like to be forced to use NeBro until I was really good with him.  I'm not trying to avoid any challenges, I'm trying to learn the nuances of the characters.  And I'm fine with making it an option unlocked once you beat the main campaign.

I'd like for the differences in players to mean a little more, for instance Snake Broskin and BA Broracus both seem to have similar Molotov cocktails.  Bro Hard seems the most generic, his machine gun is nothing special (though on further thought it's two guns, but its use is pretty much the same as any other rapid-firing weapon in the game).  His grenade is a stun grenade, which is unique, but it's not as cool or as helpful as many of the other ones.  May of the characters have play styles that stand out though. Brade is a fast swordsman with a running dash that's pretty awesome, Ash Brolliams runs around with his chainsaw like a maniac, Brochete seems to have the most powerful special move of all, which incredibly amounts to throwing a barrage of knives in rapid succession.

I know they're working on new game modes.  As I said, I'd like a game mode that locks me down to one character.  I might also like a mode with three hits before you die instead of just one, just because it's so chaotic.  You finally spawn as your favorite character, and a barrel explodes behind you and you're already playing as some other character.  It's fun 90% of the time, but it would be cool to really sink my teeth into a character.  Especially because when they have different play styles, they're really different, ranging from a whip and a flare gun to just a sword to a rocket launcher.

Oh,and there should be a double jump.  I know that might be hard to implement, it might ruin their balancing, it might not make sense, but it needs a a double jump.  It just doesn't feel right not having one.  I can't explain it any more than that.  Double jump, please?  Oh, and jetpacks.  Why didn't I think about that?  Jetpacks, jetpacks. Jetpacks!  JETPACKS!

Final note, $15 might be asking too much for it.  Right now there are a lot of campaigns (many user submitted), some of which are more difficult than others, but they're all very much the same substance, just arranged differently.  I'm curious what the new modes will be.  Different player rules (health, choosing characters, etc)? Or will there be more game types?  The problem is I think they may be limited on what they can do game mode wise.  I hope they prove me wrong.  Can't really do capture the flag with four players stuck on the same screen, unless you're all on the same team vs AI.   It could be cool to see some destruction-based missions, like Rampage or those bonus Street Fighter levels in-between fights.

Anyway, that's my two cents.  I don't regret buying it, and I can't wait to see what other bros and mission types they'll come with.

Til then,


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