I am a huge fan of 8bit games. I just love the retro feel, and how it reminds me of the days when games were actually good. So when I saw that someone gifted me with the game broforce as a gift, I was happy. Everything was cool, except that the name of the sender looked all corrupted, like it couldn't read the name. It looked almost like the names of some of the glitch the gen 1 Pokemon games on the Gameboy. (I found a lot of these glitch because i love original games like most old games) There were weird symbols coming out of the text, and it made it really hard to read the name. I thought that this was maybe my friend Kyle, who has been my best friend since I was a kid, who sent Broforce to me. It seemed like the kind of thing he would do, making his name look all creepy. I ignored the weird name and descided to intsall my new game. It installed easily enough, with nothing else weird happening. I couldn't get over the creepy red text that made up the name of the sending account though. It just sent shivers up my spin eas I watched the progress bar on the installer slowly crawl forward. (I had a bad internet at the time, so the download was slow and it gave me time to get hyped up and excited for the game even more).
When the game finally finished downloading, I opened it right up. I was excited to play this new game I had seen trailers for. It seemed really fun. So I got right down to playing. It played normal for a while, and I started to forget about the weird red name of the person who sent me this game to me over Steam. I thought the rescue/unlock system in the game was pretty cool, and I liked some of the Bro characters that I was unlocking. My favorite was probably Brodell Walker, since Chuck Norris is probably the coolest guy to ever live. I mean his special grenade summons a airstrike! Who else could ever just call down a rain of exploding fire at will? But then things got weird when I came to unlocking Bro Dredd. Since I am big on comic books, even the ones you really don't see here in America like Judge Dredd, I recognized him right away. But it got weird when I unlocked him. For some reason, his name was spelled Bro Dread, and the lettering that sad "Bro Dread Unlocked" was red, and looked like there was ink running down from it, like it was runoff from a fountain pen or quill that stayed on a page too long. Instead of his usual yellow suit, Dredd (Or Dread, as the game kept spelling it) was wearing a recolor, this one dark red. The laser he shot was a black beam, unlike the yellow one it showed me in the trailer, and his special grenades only turned him towards the screen, looking at me expectantly.
After this, the game started to act really weird. The silly rock music that was playing before (which I thought took away form the experience of an 8bit styled game) slowed down, and then after about 20 seconds, stopped completely, fading out as if it were the end of an actual song, recordded in a studio. I thought maybe it was some sort of gimick that would lead to a cliffhanger, since the game was still in pre-release. I thought it would be a cool way to leave people wanting to see the full game when they finished it. But as I continued to playing to see what would happen, the graphics started to change. The meat gibs when you really kept hitting an enemy with your gun changed from red explosions and heads to severed body parts, and if I used the knife, you could see entrails hanging out of the corpse of the dead enemy. And the blood that was once all pixely and 8 bit turned hyper realistic. I began to feel sick to my stomach, as the game was becoming gross, and it was no longer looking like the 8 bit dream I had been coming to love. I kept playing though, because any good gamer finishes a game no matter what. Even though I didn't like how it was working, I couldn't bring myself to stop playing. I had my fair share of run-ins with hacked games, but this felt different. How could you hack a Steam game like this? It didn't seem possible, so I figured this was just how the game was meant to play.
After about five minutes of continuing on like this, I realized that I wasn't finding any more rescue crates, and that I was always starting with Bro Dread, instead of random bros like before. I was really good with him though, since I played a lot of old run and gun games like this, so it didn't bother me much. Eventually I came to a part where the campaign map seemed to glitch out. Instead of the map screen I usually saw, the Broforce helicopter was smoking, and it seemed to swivel both in place and when I moved it. The seas around Vietnam turned red, like the sea was now made of blood. It wouldn't let me select a new location to play a level, so I kept moving the smoking helicopter around, thinking there must have been a level I missed. And sure enough, after about two minutes of mindless searching, I found a spot that said "Pittsburgh Vietnam: Threat Level Black". I thought it was weird that the location was Pittsburgh, Vietnam. I didn't know there was a city there called Pittsburgh, and I lived in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I got a really creepy feeling as I pressed the shift key (that was my primary fire button) to start the level. Instead of the normal dialogue that said "Godspeed Broforce" while the helicopter set down, the general looked really scared, and said "Get out of here!" before his head just disappeared, replaced with a mess of hyper realistic seas of blood which spurted from his neck like a fountain, and dripped down his shoulders and torso. Suddenly, the helicopter exploded and fell to the ground instead of setting down normally. Then the level loaded. Like before, I got Bro Dread again to start the level. There were noenemies that I could see though, and none of the platforming style byuildings that I had come to expect in this game. Instead, it was just flat ground. After about 15 seconds, I came to a cage with a bro inside of it. The first one I had seen in a bunch of levels. So I opened it, and suddenly, I got a quicktime event with the style of Deadly PRemontion, telling me to press E. I hadn't expected that, so I didn't react in time. The figure seemed to attack Bro Dread, as an animation that looked like punching came from the bro I rescued, and a bunch of blood spewed from Dread.
This was the first time I'd been hit in a long time.
Again, the quicktime event hud came up, and I was prepared this time. I pressed E, and Bro Dread appeared to pull out this mysterious bro's intestine and wrap it around his neck, before hanging him up to a tree in the background by the intestine now acting as a noose. Blood poured from the bro I'd just killed, and the text appeared on screen saying "KILLED BROBERT". It struck me as odd that there was a character with that name, as looking closely at him, I realized that the bro I'd just killed looked a lot like my dad Robert. The text that said "KILLED BROBERT" was in the same eerie red font with the dripping pattern off the letters, which I now thought to be dripping blood instead of ink. I started to feel really disturbed now, as Dread turned to look at me again, like he had when I tried pressing my Special Grenade button. He just sat there for a few seconds and smirked. I looked down as I noticed something move, and I saw the "FREE LIFE" text and animation from when you rescue a bro from the cage. However, it now said I have 666 lives. I tried to shake off the creepy feeling but I couldn't. So I went downstairs and got myself a quick bottle of Monster to try to help calm my nerves down., I came back and sat back down to paly, and continued moving across the still flat level. I came across another cage. This time I tried to just avoid it, since the last won was so gruesome. But the screen stopped panning when I jumped past the cage, not letting me go past it. I guessed that this was meant to force me to open the cage and slaughter another bro. I guessed correctly, because when I turned around and opened the cage, I got another quicktime event hud. This time it wanted me to press my main fire button. I was prepared, and this time I got an animation where Dread put his gun inside the mouth of the female bro that had emerged from the cage, and fired the weapon into her. yielding an explosion that left her headless, and soon falling to the ground, blood sprayed everywhere around her and on the ground. Dread once again turned to face me, and grinned even wider, staying locked in that position for about 20 seconds. After that, the text popped up that said "KILLED BROTTY" in the same disturbing, blood drip text. Now I was really scared, because the female bro looked a lot like my mother, whose name was Betty. I almost wanted to throw up. It was maddening that this was happening, that somehow the game knew who my family was, and was forcing me to kill them in the most gruesome ways. The realism of the blood contrasted with the still 8 bit graphics of the characters and background.
I steeled myself and continued forward, until eventually about a minute later, I came across yet another cage, which I could not continue without opening. So I opened this one. This scared me most of all, because I recognized the bro I was releasing as soon as I saw him. It was my friend Kyle, the one I was sure sent me this horrible game. This time, there was no quicktime event, and it simply let me continue, with the pixel version of Kyle simply trailing behind me. It dawned on me that the further I walked, the more text began to fade on to the screen, saying "UNLOCKED" and then a bunch of glitchy text, looking exactly like the name of the person who sent me the game over Steam. As I continued further along, the glitchy text began to fade away, until as I came upon one last cage, a lone box standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking a red sea that met the blue sky off on the horizon, and the text clearly now said Kyle, only confirming my fear that the bro I rescued was my friend Kyle in 8 bit format.This time, when I came to the cage, Kyle took over, and Dread only turned to face me again, that grin on his face, like he knew something I didn't. Kyle moved on his own now, walking to the cage and using an animation I had not seen before, simply unlocks it instead of breaking it open with a gun or knife. I could feel the blood drain from my face as I read the text that now appeared on the screen. "Unlocked Tom." My name. As my computer screen started to fade to black, I started slamming ALT F4 on my keyboard, wanting to end the nightmare that was this horrifying game. I wanted nothing to do with it. Nothing happened though. My screen just stayed black, and eventually music faded in. Or at least it sounded like it was supposed to be music. It sounded almost like a chaotic glitch song from the Gen 1 pokemon games, when the gameboy read garbage data as sound and made weird noises. I finally just unplugged my computer and threw the cord aside, sick of what this game was doing. I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I looked up to see which of my parents was coming in to check on me. All I heard was a long, quiet whisper of "God speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed, brofooooooooorce" before I saw that knowing Grin of Bro Dread, no longer pixelated on my screen, but all too real standing beside me, his hand gripping my shoulder tightly. I felt something painful in my stomach, then something wrap around my neck before I passed out.