The Expendabros is a free, playable version of Broforce. It’s still developed by Free Lives and published by Devolver Digital, but includes a crossover deal with the upcoming movie, The Expendables 3. If you’ve watched and of the previous Expendables movies before, than you know how over the top the action and violence can get in those movies. Basically those movies feature almost every action star you’ve ever watched as a kid, all in one movie. I can’t really say much about the story, but the action can be pretty fun. It’s no wonder that they partnered up with the team that brought us Broforce because the game itself is filled with over the top action and violence. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Broforce was in some way inspired by the The Expendables in some way. These two franchises seem like a match made in action hero heaven and their love child is that of The Expendabros.
The Expendabros is best described as a retro, side scrolling action game. By action, I mean tons of 8-bit explosions and violence. As you can see from the screenshots, the game has that 8-bit look to it that is very popular these days with indie developers. Still, these 8-bit graphics seem a bit more detailed than some of the other games I’ve seen lately and despite the block graphics, it all looks really good.
There are several different levels in the game, but they all are rather similar looking, just the layouts are different. These are all pre-made levels so it’s not randomly generated here.
As for the audio, it’s loud, explosive, and manly! Honestly, everything about the audio here is cranked up to 11. The explosions are loud, the sound effects are loud, and even the manly yelling and screaming is loud. I mean, it’s everything you’d come to expect from a game that is an extension of Broforce and with the Expendables license, it’s even more of a “bro” fest. It really works for an action packed game like this and really fits the whole look and feel of the game.
As awesome as this game looks and sounds, there was one issue I had with the game where some levels seemed to drop in framerate. This made the game run very slowly, but after beating that level, the game went back to full speed. Most likely it’s just a bug that will get ironed out in an update. That was the only real issue I had with the game.
You can either play the game with a keyboard or controller. The keyboard layout is pretty simple and only uses the directional keys, Z,X, and C. Mainly you just get your main attack, grenades, and a melee button. The game does seem to be a bit easier to play using a controller, though it’s not necessary.
There are 7 different characters you can play as, though these are all randomly chosen for you each time you start a new round. Each character has their own unique attack style and weapons so it’s best to know what each of them are good at before venturing too far. These are mainly all characters from the Expendables universe so they will look quite familiar to those who have watched the movies.
What’s neat about the game is that most of the environment seems destructible. That means you aren’t really locked into taking set paths. For instance, you can choose to open a door to a room, or just shoot it down. You can even shoot out the floor and come in from underneath. Not only that, there are explosive objects scattered around some levels that you can shoot and cause even more environmental damage, creating huge creators. These of course can also be used to take out a large number of enemies at once. It’s pretty cool how much destruction you can create in this game.
You get one life per round, unless you happen to rescue on of your fellow Expendables. Rescuing them is like gaining a 1-up so if you die, you get an extra life. I believe to you get up to 4 lives at a time. I suggest being on the lookout for them so that you don’t have to restart from the beginning each time and can just restart at the last checkpoint. And again, each time you die, you will respawn as a random character to use. Some are better than others so sometimes it would be beneficial just to die so that you end up with a better character.
The Expendabros is a very fun game. Death and destruction is at every turn so for those who love action games, this is one of the more outrageous ones. The game isn’t that long though so I wouldn’t really call this a full game. It’s more of an extended demo for Broforce, which is fine because if you ever wanted to try out Broforce to see how it was, this is the perfect game to showcase the gameplay. The Expendabros is literally jam packed with action and it certainly lives up to the Expendables name.
As a warning to those with kids, if you couldn’t tell by all the screenshots and even the video, The Expendabros is filled with tons and tons of violence. Yes, it’s 8-bit violence so it’s hard to see all the gory bits and it’s not quite as graphic and detailed, but it’s still violence nonetheless. It’s up to you whether you think this would be appropriate for them to play or not.
You can grab The Expendabros for free right now on STEAM. Don’t wait too long to get it though as it will no longer be available after December 31st, 2014.
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