Brotherhood United Review

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The “bro code” is a thing that you either know about, or you don’t. Those in the know can’t talk about their fellow bro’s, and those who don’t know, will never be aware of the camaraderie. The Brotherhood will never leave a man behind, fighting to keep one another safe, and risking it all to watch their back. Brotherhood United follows the story of one skin headed man. He must overcome danger and enemies to save his bro’s and bring everyone back home. Developed by Greedy Hollow and published by Eastasiasoft this pixel formed, action platform title comprises short levels of shooting, fighting, and of course bro saving.

Harking back to the simple 80s action platform titles, this game really has focused on a straightforward approach. The action plays out in front of a side-scrolling landscape where you must observe not only the platform in front of you but also those above and below you. Your foes can appear from anywhere at any time, and they love nothing more than attacking you, and taking all your health. Talking of health, if you have all yours sucked away from you, then it’s stage over, and you must begin at the last checkpoint. 3 lives are all you have for each mission that you undertake, and if you are unfortunate enough to blast through these, then it is game over, and you must begin the whole mission again.

The developers haven’t been mean enough to provide you with just your basic pistol, and the health you start out with, no, they allowed for upgraded weapons, and health packs to be dotted around each level. These timely pick me ups can be the difference between success and failure, so watching out for them is paramount. So what weapons do you get? A variety of pistols, machine gun, knife, a Robocop style Mechanoid, and plenty of grenades. Each has a limited supply, and apart from your original pistol, which is unlimited, you must be careful how trigger happy you are. I don’t think I’ve mentioned them, but rescuing the bro’s is also key to your survival. As they are unlocked, they hand you a beer, ammo, or bombs. So, it’s a win-win. Help the Brotherhood, and help yourself.

Each of the missions is graded from 1 to 3 stars, and if you are anything like me, you will not understand how you get the perfect score. I stumbled across it, and wouldn’t want to ruin your enjoyment in finding it. Needless to say, just be careful and take your time, 3 stars will surely be yours at the end of each run through.

The gameplay had a feel of Streets of Rage about it. You are free to take out your enemies how you wish, and when you finally make it to the end boss, they rarely relate to what has been happening during that level. It was glorious madness and reminded me of many a Mega Drive game from my youth. Once you overcome the boss (which you will with ease), you are flung into another random scenario, where you must follow the basic instructions and make it to the end. The concept was lacking in finesse, but I loved every bullet fired, and slash of my knife. Though victory wasn’t challenging, it still was rewarding, especially when those elusive 3 stars were awarded.

If you want a game that will remind you of all things 80s, then look no further than Brotherhood United. The pixelated graphics, the grey backdrop of the cities you walk through, and the loud and in your face music were all perfectly simple. I was pleasantly surprised when I first switched the game on, it’s never going to win any awards for beauty, but it works well, and runs smoothly. The level setup is basic, and easy to navigate. At times this adds some extra layers of challenge, but will never really push you too hard. All the action has a fantastic aggressive synthesised track playing alongside it, it was gloriously over the top, but I loved every second. If you then add in the earth shuddering sounds of the weapons being fired and the explosions from the grenades, then you have a wonderful earsplitting audio that matches the theme.

You begin the game with an easy to follow tutorial, the simplicity of the controls, and the gameplay mechanics make this a title that is straightforward to play. With only the analogue stick, and a few other buttons to focus on, you are going to get to grips with this pretty quickly. This basic button mapping was a definitive nod to early console games and makes this a casual title to pick up.

The ease of which you can run through this game leaves me with concerns over its replay value. A limited achievement list can be unlocked in around 2 hours. If you want to work your way through every mission, then you will need to put aside around 5 hours. The desire to achieve 3 stars will be the element that draws you back in, and this had me playing over several levels repeatedly.

I absolutely loved this game. The Americanised love of the Brotherhood, the over the top music, simple stage design, and casual gameplay nature makes this a title that should have been on a Mega Drive, but works just as well on a modern day console. Would I recommend that you try this title? Yes! The draw of the bro’s is strong, can you complete each level, and save everyone? I hope so. After all, you never leave a bro behind.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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Brotherhood United Review
  • Gameplay - 7/10
    7/10
  • Graphics - 6/10
    6/10
  • Sound - 7/10
    7/10
  • Replay Value - 5/10
    5/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)
Overall
6/10

Summary

An old school action platform title. Destroy your foes, overcome the bosses, and above all else, save the bro’s. The Brotherhood is life, and life is the Bro’s.

Pros

  • Fantastic old school graphics.
  • Over the top audio.
  • A simple gaming concept.
  • Easy achievement list.

Cons

  • It could have been longer.
  • A variation in obtaining stars would have increased the replay value.

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