Crossbrover: The Expendabros Out Now For Free

This... makes sense. Huh.

Look, I don’t know how to say this: someone has made an advergame for a movie and it feels… not awful? Not something made to fund other games its developers actually care about? Perhaps its creators’ wildest dreams come true? I don’t know what to make of this topsy-turvy world any more.

See, Broforce is a game all about nostalgia for action movie heroes of the ’80s and ’90s, and The Expendables is a movie series all about nostalgia for action movie heroes of the ’80s and ’90s. And now they’re combined. Developers Free Lives yesterday released The Expendabros, a free short standalone version of Broforce starring The Expendables 3 characters. They must be dead chuffed.

The Expendabros is, y’know, like Broforce and like The Expendables–nostalgic idealised versions of creaky old action stars run, jump, and shoot through destructible levels filled with explosives. Men die and you remember The Good Old Days. The fact that Expendabros characters are licensed makes no real difference–Broforce already offered several takes on Expendables stars Sly Stallone (Rambro and Bro Dredd) and Arnie (Brominator, Brommando, and Bronan the Brobarian).

Free Lives founder Evan Greenwood explained the crossover (crossbrover? I don’t know):

“We weren’t paid to make the Expendabros. Lionsgate approached us and asked if we’d like to make a Broforce tie in for Expendables 3, with actual licensed Expendables characters, and we couldn’t say ‘no’. It is a bit of a cross promotional thing, and I have no idea of whether it’ll lead to more people playing Broforce, but mostly it was just a really cool thing for us to try do.”

The Expendabros has ten missions with seven “bros” from the movie (which arrives in cinemas in a week or two). It’s got local co-op for up to four players, though I’m sure that’s a typo and they actually mean “bro-op”. You could also consider it a newer demo for Broforce, as its own is a relatively old prototype (“brototype”).

It’s a free download on Steam but will only be available until December 31, presumably because licensing. Here, look at these bros:


  1. Syra says:

    Awww Local only coop? Dang! Looks lols though, I just saw that movie.

  2. Monchberter says:

    Best movie tie in since Arkham Asylum. And freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    • Lim-Dul says:

      Since when is Arkham Asylum a movie tie-in? It had nothing to do with Nolan’s Batman films that were running in parallel at that time.

  3. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    The best thing about this is that it is equally an advert for the movie and for Broforce, the mindless indie explodathon I’ve had the most fun with in years. And seriously, that Dolph Lundgren character is so much fun, it should make it to the original game!

  4. Guvornator says:

    The Expendables is quietly getting a good rep for good gaming. They released a free Facebook Contra clone for Expendables, which was also decent. Not sure the world needs the movies, but more 80s style shmups can only be a good thing.

    • Asherie says:

      World needs both. I hope ‘bro’ movies never stop being made. They need fresh Bro’s though. They’re getting old n I don’t mean I’m getting tired of them, I mean they’re quickly becoming grandbros.

    • Lim-Dul says:

      While the movie franchise might be “quietly” doing well on the gaming side, they are failing spectacularly on the “loud” titles:

      link to

  5. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I hope they didn’t rush out a broken product just to cash-in.

    • SuddenSight says:

      No need to brobeat them for it. I tip my hat to whomever brokered the deal for trying.

  6. Turkey says:

    It’s weird watching a list of bro-ified Expendables when you don’t remember the original names of the characters.

    • vlonk says:

      Weird to see the characters with EVEN MORE beef on their bones.

      Also I feel at the bottom of the RPS Page it should say “Bromoted Stories”.

  7. unit 3000-21 says:

    Too bad it isn’t Steam-free.

    • Gertjan says:

      Well, it works without Steam, you only need Steam to download it. So if you really want it, you could install Steam, download Expendabros, move the folder and then remove Steam.

  8. derbefrier says:

    Downloaded it last night and its a pretty fun game. Whish it had online coop though.

  9. zeep says:

    Local co-op? Who has friends coming over to play in 1/4 monitor sized windows nowadays?

    • Emeraude says:

      People with taste obviously.


    • DrollRemark says:

      Gosh, it isn’t split screen.

    • says:

      So long as you aren’t playing first-person shooters, “controller” is not a dirty word!

      I’ve moved my PC into the living room and it has been the best thing I could have done. It also helps that my wife is a sucker for local co-op. I really don’t miss slumping at my desk to stare at a monitor after a hard day’s work of slumping at a desk, staring at my monitor. A comfortable seat and TV hookup is a welcome addition, and I’ve actually found it easier on the eyes. Give it a try!

      And for anyone questioning my PC loyalty, I use this setup to play Dota 2, so … yeah.

      • Chuckleluck says:

        I’d couch game a lot more if I could find a good way to use a mouse and keyboard, or something similar. I’m not against controllers, but games like Civilization V or Company of Heroes 2 require a more precise instrument.

        • Phasma Felis says:

          Just get a wireless mouse and keyboard. Modern laser mice work just fine on fabric.

        • says:

          I simply “borrowed” my wife’s laptop platform. :)

          All you need is something to lay across your lap and support the [comfortable] use of kb&m. I didn’t even go wireless — I just have some usb extensions plugged in for longer reach. #nobatteries4lyfe

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Not me! I have friends coming over to play in glorious 42″ fullscreen with the PC connected to my TV. Quarter-screen splitscreen would still be awkward, but fortunately Broforce adeptly keeps everyone on one screen. Which you knew, of course, because you watched the trailer before shooting your mouth off. Right?

      • says:

        Quarter-split seems to work okay in Dungeon Defenders, but I agree it appears unnecessary for Broforce. Splitting may not be optimal when we aren’t used to sharing screen space (master race and all that), but I can deal with it for the ease of having four friends playing on one machine.

    • Siimon says:

      Not split-screen. Same screen.

      It is absolutely hilarious, this game is exponentially (literally) more fun the more players you add. Plus, a lot of people will have their PC hooked to a TV so you don’t have to crowd around a small monitor (I should note that the average monitor nowadays is still larger than the TV’s I played splitscreen games on as a kid).

      You’re shooting yourself in the foot by being ignorant of the fun that is local co-op.

  10. SomeDuder says:

    Enjoyed it for a bit, but even I could not stand the bro-ness of it all, and had to alt-F4 after the 5th stage. I haven’t played Broforce and I don’t think I will (I’ve gotten too old for the instant death stuff), but it does play like a charm. I’m very partial to the minigun-bro – you can just look to the left and hold the trigger to just fly across the map (if you time your jumps right), all the while cutting the bad guys in half.

    • Baines says:

      The minigun itself is in the regular Broforce as the Terminator’s weapon, at least in the demo. (For some reason I’ve yet to actually buy Broforce, even though I loved the demo). Terminator had a different grenade, though, turning into a damage-proof robot form for a while.

      Instant death isn’t that bad due to the way the life system works. Each bro you rescue in a stage acts as an extra life, with an immediate respawn at the previous checkpoint. That doesn’t necessarily come through as quickly in Expendabros because the first stages don’t have bros to rescue.

      My one complaint at Broforce is that the bosses and other big vehicles/machinery are annoying rather than fun.
      Some bros just aren’t designed to handle some miniboss/boss battles, which can lead to quick deaths and a lot of cowering/running as the boss tears apart the terrain trying to hit you. The final boss in the demo was completely frustrating, causing a bunch of deaths until I managed to get it stuck in a situation where I could just whittle away its life without it hurting me. The recurring miniboss in Expendabros wasn’t quite as bad, but it again felt unbalanced for the characters, and the first time I beat it was again because I got it stuck in a pattern where I could slowly chip away at it.

      • Gnoupi says:

        Actually, the instant death is annoying at the beginning of this spin-off, since you have only one life/bro for the first levels. So it gets a bit punishing.

    • Siimon says:

      At first I was afraid it would be too bro-ish for my taste (I usually don’t like when things are too over the top), or that it would be too full of fratboy jokes and what not.. But once I played it, I loved it – mainly because it doesn’t take itself too seriously, knowing that its based off 80’s action movies that were totally bro/america-style, and knowing that the developer is a South African team, makes me love it.

      • dskzero says:

        Pretty much why I loved the movies. This is a literal for fun game, and games like these are always a welcome addition!

  11. Rizlar says:

    Finding out you can play as Bro Dredd is the first thing to make me want to play Broforce.

  12. Shadow says:

    Question: just how short is Expendabros?

    Ten missions could be anything from five to thirty minutes each.

    • Siimon says:

      I palyed Broforce before it was released, and it had maybe 6-8 levels. Because of local co-op and the incredible replayability form the hilarity and chaos that ensues I’ve put probably 20hrs into it – and then another 20hrs into it after the full game released. Its my go-to multiplayer game alongside Mario Kart 64, SSB, Jamestown, Towerfall:A, etc.

    • Bugamn says:

      Each mission takes less than five minutes, often less than three. It’s quite short, but I found it fun apart from the last mission, which isn’t good for some characters, and a mysterious lag that afflicted my computer.

      However, I was quite happy winning the last mission with the minigun bro. If only I could not start with the grenade launcher bro, there isn’t enough time to wait for the grenade to go off.

  13. Phasma Felis says:

    The best part of this is that the first RPS review of Broforce noted that it was what the Expendables game should have been. Apparently the studio agreed!