Gun Bros

from Glu Games Inc., originally released 28th October, 2010

MAJOR UPDATE! NOW WITH MULTIPLAYER DEATHMATCH!!!

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Recent posts about Gun Bros

Gun Bros Review

Glu Mobile, no longer content to charge a few bucks for a self-contained gaming experience, are moving into the freemium market at full speed. While we had some problems with their recent kid-friendly platformer Toyshop Adventures, we found their white-knuckle action shooter Gun Bros to be intensely fun, even if you never pay a dime for splashy extras.

The biggest issue any developer faces with a freemium game is deciding how much content to give away for free, and where to place the pay-gates. We’re very happy with the amount of free content you can find in Gun Bros– the initial download gives you fifty unique waves of enemies, with ten unlockable levels of difficulty, each giving you a higher amount of rewards.

As for the pay-gates, they are everywhere. Premium currency called War Bucks are currently only available as a paid download, and some items can cost more than $10 in real money. We really wish there was a way to earn War Bucks without paying money, either by referring friends, downloading other free apps, or unlocking gameplay achievements. Maybe in a future update War Bucks will be available for free, because we hate to see amazing weapons like the Shurkannon available only as a paid download.

Meet Daddy War Bucks.

But even if you never pay a dime, any action gamer would be overjoyed with Gun Bros on their device. The graphics feature fantastic animation and a variety of challenging enemies. Kamikaze soldiers who rush at you and explode, hulking tanks that have to be shot from behind, and heavily armored flamethrowers are just a few of the enemies you’ll face. While the fifty waves will repeat on harder difficulty levels, the level of challenge always feels fresh.

Plus, Gun Bros offers surprising depth for a freemium game. In addition to customizing your weapons and armor, you can also buy processing plants that let you earn more gold from Xplodium, which you receive after playing the game. Processing Xplodium lets you earn gold faster, but it’ll cost War Bucks to get a larger bonus. One advantage is that there’s no “rotting” if you forget to check in, something we never liked about games like We Rule.

Gun Bros is filled with amusing backronyms, like T.O.O.L.

Another unique aspect to Gun Bros is the online play, which is not live but can sometimes feel like it. You can pick any Gun Bros player from your Game Center buddy list and have them join you in a match. They’ll fight alongside you, often dying well before you do, but they revive after each wave. Their appearance and weapons are up to your buddies to customize, and choosing them for the fight will give each player a reward.

Gun Bros absolutely nails the intense and gratifying twin-stick shooter action, but we see some room for improvement down the line. Free players should be able to earn a few War Bucks somehow, and currently the game offers only one environment to run around in. Even though we loved blowing up barrels to clear the screen of bad guys, a change in scenery would be nice. Lastly, we hope to see live online multiplayer in a future update.

There’s no doubt that you should download Gun Bros if you love action games, since it has better gameplay than a lot of paid titles. If you avoid paying anything for the extra goodies, Gun Bros will stay free, but if you enjoy this game as much as we do, spending a buck for a virtual cowboy hat may not seem like a waste of money.

New App A Day: Gun Bros

Today’s featured app has a staggering amount of content for a free download. Gun Bros lets you equip your character with outlandish outfits and weapons, wipe out thousands of enemies, and play along with an AI version of your friends’ characters.

As we reported in our initial hands-on preview, Gun Bros is a freemium two-stick shooter with a slight online twist. You can invite your friends to play with you asynchronously, so you can earn XP with them even if they’re not online. True live multiplayer is still missing, but we hope Glu can add it eventually.

Now that we’ve got the final game in our hands, we have a much better idea of what kind of business model is supporting this free-to-download shooter. While much of the game is available for free, you’ll also see some ads on the main menu, and certain items can only be purchased with premium currency, called War Bucks. War Bucks are five for one real-world US dollar, but you’ll need a lot more than that to unlock the game’s best weapons and armor. You can even buy War Bucks to increase the amount of regular currency, gold, that you can earn in each mission.

Pay schemes aside, Gun Bros is one hell of a good shooter. There are fifty waves of enemies for each “revolution”, and there are multiple revolutions on each planet. The weapons you can unlock and purchase are a lot of fun, and each has a unique feel. We especially liked getting up-close and personal with the shotgun.

And throughout the entire experience is a fantastic level of humor and polish. The graphics are Retina-enhanced and your friends list is automatically populated with your Game Center friends. Stylish illustrations class up the loading screens, along with goofy factoids about your enemies. For example, you’ll learn that the kamikaze enemies you fight have actually been driven insane by being forced to watch nonstop romantic comedies with strong female leads.

We’ll have a more definitive review of Gun Bros for you soon, but right now it’s looking like this is the best free shooter for the iPhone since Eliminate Pro. Go download Gun Bros now.

Gun Bros. Hands-On Preview

There are hundreds of dual-stick shooters on the App Store right now, but exactly zero of them have been made by Glu. This is their first entry in the genre, and from what we played, it’s turning out to be a pretty good one.

Gun Bros. will be a free download, and side-purchase pay-gates have not been finalized yet. But the game itself is looking pretty slick, and it stars steroid-enhanced action heroes with the hilarious names of Francis and Percy Gun.

You can outfit the Gun brothers with ridiculous gear, like spiked shoulder pads and neon Tron tights, then load them up with weapons like dual-wield pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, rocket launchers, and more. Some of the more ludicrous weapons include a triple chaingun, pistols that shoot machetes, and a shuriken cannon called the shuricannon.

To play, you choose a planet (the one we play was tentatively titled ‘Lava Planet’) and then a revolution, or series of waves. Each revolution has 50 waves, and they start simple and ramp up. With every enemy robot, soldier, or walking tank you destroy, you’ll get experience points, plus gold for buying new weapons, gear, and powerups.

You’ll also pick up Xplodium, a rare mineral that apparently comes from the same periodic table of fantasy elements as Unobtanium and Kryptonite. Xplodium has to be processed before you can cash it in for gold, and you’ll be able to unlock additional processing chambers that give you a multiplier bonus if you wait a few hours before picking up your gold. And, thank goodness, we’re assured your gold won’t rot if you skip a few days, like in many other freemium games.

Another interesting feature is the “Brotherhood” in-game friends list, which will let you play alongside an A.I. companion who will wear the same gear that your friends have customized for themselves. You’ll both get a bonus if you play with your friend’s character, so it pays to team up with all of your different buddies.

Gun Bros. was one of the more promising titles we saw at Glu’s Gamer Day, probably because we’re hardcore action gamers at heart who pay attention when someone starts throwing around the word ‘shuricannon’. Look for Gun Bros for free on the App Store in late October.