Dude? Dude. Duude? Duuuude? DUUUUUUDE!

That’s probably what you would think about when hearing about a game titled Broforce (at least, that’s what I thought, and I feel we’re kinda close at this point). As someone recommending the game, I can tell you it’s way more than that. But wait, don’t leave yet! The game is definitely a shot of masculinity in it’s most 80’s form, where players control 40+ 80’s and 90’s action stars as they battle just about every enemy-type from those eras. With a sidescrolling shooter, super destructible environments, and extreme gore, the pixel artstyle can just barely contain what would otherwise be one of the most violent modern games. I don’t believe my description of the game is the most persuasive, but then again the game really isn’t as well. While I don’t believe this last point will may people who wouldn’t play Broforce change their minds, I think the last point is worth some respect.

Looking back at my experience, I now feel the best part of Broforce is its self-understanding. From the *Bleh!* sounds of a dead enemy to the announcer’s use of the word “Bro” in every part of speech, the game makes it clear that it knows what its doing. The macho-ness is so excessive that it’s evident the game wants you to laugh at how odd and out-dated it is, reflecting the weirdness of masculinity by embodying the it. This “leaning of the sword” let’s the player understand that it’s not supposed to come away from the game as a more macho person. Instead, it uses problematic tropes to emphasize that the game is meant to be played for the fun alone, with no greater takeaway needed. So if you ever want to relax with an outrageously goofy and quality sidescroller, give Broforce a shot.

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