If there’s anything I like about video games, it’s when there’s video game tie-ins to movies or TV shows. Most of the time, they get a small developer to make a crappy $60 game on a shoestring budget that’s usually long forgotten. Other times, they’re just dinky games made in Flash as a brief tie-in to an upcoming movie, such as the “Hollywood Hellfire” tie-in for This is The End. Then there’s the times where they go all out and make full-fledged free games, like that multiplayer Half-Life mod made as a tie-in to Underworld. (made by the guys who did They Hunger, no less!) Thus, when I heard about this, I got legitimately excited:
The Expendabros is a genius idea: Take the goofy machoness of Devolver Digital and Free Lives’ Broforce and combine it with upcoming The Expendables 3 and you got this amazing movie tie-in. Expendabros is freely available on Steam, and doesn’t require a powerful PC to run.
Since I had yet to play Broforce, I was skeptical with this game. I’m not one for games with pixel art styles since they’re very overdone, but if it compliments the gameplay like in Hotline Miami, I can let it slide. Broforce is a mash of action platformers like Bionic Commando, with the violent action of Metal Slug and Contra. You have one life and three special items by default, with each “bro” having its own signature weapon and special. You get more lives by saving your bros in cages, and rescuing enough bros unlocks an additional bro character to play as.
The plot is a loose recreation of The Expendables 3: Broney Ross and his crew of Expendables has to stop Conrad Stonebanks from destroying the Expendables, who will destroy them by any means necessary. In the case of Broforce, Ross must shoot and explode his way through enemies while saving his bros, eventually finding the commander or boss of the level before making a dramatic explosive escape. As you go through the game’s ten levels, you fight more powerful enemies, and even ridiculous areas like rooms with saw blades and rocket turrets everywhere. Then there’s this guy:
All the Bros in this game are based off the respective Expendables character, but with a “Bro” pun in it. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Trench Mauser character becomes “Trent Broser,” Terry Crews’ Hale Caesar is “Bro Caesar,” you get the idea. Not all the Expendables in The Expendables 3 are in Expendabros, but there’s exaggerated versions of Schwarzenegger, Crews, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, and Wesley Snipes; and that covers all the 1980s-2000s action heroes that matter.
If there’s anything negative I could say about Expendabros is that this game is clearly built for a gamepad, the default keyboard controls use the arrow keys, which are not at all comfortable for any sort of platforming game. At times I couldn’t see what killed me amidst the chaos, and at some point my heads-up display disappeared from gameplay outright. However, these are minor complaints, these shouldn’t make or break your decision to play it.
However, the art style perfectly compliments the game, the game itself is easy to get into, and it even has four-player co-op, which makes this game even more awesome. (Brosome?) If you haven’t bought Broforce yet, Expendabros is a great extended demo. Though act fast, Expendabros is only gonna be around ’til the end of the year, after which it will explode in a blaze of glory. And by that I mean it’ll be gone, so act fast so you can get your bro on. After playing Expendabros, it makes me want Broforce so bad. Alas, I don’t quite have enough money for it, so I’ll wait for the inevitable Steam sale…