On the surface this is just a flashy stand alone demo for the game Broforce that offers around 30 minutes of play. The bottom line is that the Expendabros is a fresh, dynamic, fun, 2D platforming pixelated, FREE shooter that is a sheer joy to play.
This game of course parodies the Expendables 3 movie and features parodies of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes, Dolf Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and of course Sylvester Stallone. There was some painstaking amount of detail in the artwork for the game and a lot of brief, yet hilarious cut scenes, especially for a free game. It is a beautiful game with a lot of vibrant, bright colors while still having an aura of grittiness. There is always a lot happening on screen and blood spattering all around.
Aside from the obvious, there’s the actual game itself, this is a cleverly designed 2D shooter that lets you shoot through terrain, make your own paths. Not just that, but you can wall climb just in case you ever shoot yourself a hole. The controls are easy, movement, shoot, melee, jump and special. You can only shoot left and right thankfully and that works for this sort of game. The controls are so simple, but its the destruction that makes the game so complex. Blowing up barrels will destroy walls, shooting gas tanks will send them flying and murdering enemies, burning bridges, shooting down towers. Shooting down power supplies, making them explode on enemies beneath. Saw blades you can dislodge and send them rolling into foes. Its so much silly fun that feels more cartoony than violent.
At the start of each level, you have one Expendabro. This bro is randomly selected out of bros you’ve already unlocked. You then play through the level, and you’ll find other bros to rescue from cages. To unlock bros you need to rescue a certain amount of bros. So if you have only Arnold and Stallone unlocked, you’ll only rescue Arnold or Stallone until you rescue them enough times to unlock someone new. Each Expendabrohas different guns and specials. Stallone has a standard two pistols and a triple grenade. Couture has a flame thrower and napalm. Statham has knives that shoot like a gun and a knife shower special with a high arc. Dolph has a sticky grenade launcher and a RC bomb car. Terry has a chaingun that will push him backward for how powerful the gun is and a special that will make him leap across the screen. Wesley has melee only that can destroy projectiles and some kind of flying melee special making him the Wolverine of the group (Wesleyrine).
Since the cages have random bros that you’ve unlocked in them, this allows for a lot of play diversity and replayability. You can’t switch bros unless your current bro dies, then you respawn back to the last checkpoint and you play as a random bro remaining that you’ve rescued on that level. The level doesn’t reset itself, the terrain still stays ruined as you destroyed it. In a way, it makes a new level. If you lose all of your bros you restart the level and the terrain resets. These levels are short, but again its legitimately so much fun to play even if a speed runner can get through each level in under a minute. Each level has multiple paths, but with the destruction you can make your own paths. Wall in your way? No problem when everything is destructible. At the end of each level, you’ll ‘get to ze chopper,’ and jump on to have it carry you away. It all adds to the creativity and cleverness this game and its devs have to offer.
There is a wide array of enemies and they add a lot of personality to the game even if they get out shined by famous parodies. There are attack dogs that will eat enemies as well as you, fat attack dogs, standard soldiers, suicide bombers that don’t attack, but explode when dead, bro seeking missile launchers, giant chaingun soldiers, big fat bosses, rocket trucks, and many more types of enemies. There are pigs too, but they don’t attack, they’re there to be adorable. They react to your bullets, they’ll hear you and come running. Sometimes they run away. You can use your melee for stealth kills. When you destroy ledges they’re standing on, they can fall to their death. They can burn, be beheaded by gunfire and run around without their head until they drop dead. Seeing attack dogs eat corpses. Throwing a grenade, having it cling onto an enemy who then panics and runs away straight into a saw blade completely unplanned or unscripted. Again, there’s a lot of charm than it is horrible violence. There’s always a lot going on screen.
Expendabros did what every great demo does and it made me want to play Broforce even if I didn’t want to see Expendables 3. Oh and did I mention it can be played with 4 players on screen at the same time? Chaos ensues. FREE. FREE. FREE. FREE. FREE. FREE. FREE. FREE.