Lately, Glu has become the leader in action freemium games. Gun Bros, Contract Killer, and now Frontline Commando are all shooters that you can download and play for free, each with a heavy-weapon recoil that puts Farmville to shame.
Forget raising crops– this game is all about tearing things down. Specifically, the waves of enemy combatants that have you surrounded on every street corner in the game.
Sniper’s got you in his sights.
In Frontline Commando, you play as a lone soldier who must hide behind cover and strategically pop out to take down enemies one by one. You’ll have access to two weapons at a time, and an unlimited amount of ammo in a box behind your position, but your health can’t be replenished without a little help from in-app purchases.
We’re happy that Glu gives you your character’s inventory and ammo for free– both of those virtual items have to be purchased in Gameloft’s recent freemium shooter Six-Guns. More powerful guns can slowly be unlocked just by playing through the game. But the lack of health power-ups outside of the game’s virtual store means that Frontline Commando can become extremely difficult if you don’t pay more money.
Frontline Commando can be an overly tough game, and we suspect that’s because of the freemium pricing model. As you’re dodging fire and shooting enemies, your health will constantly take hits, but it can’t be replenished without buying more medkits. Your only options are to play very carefully, pay real money, or die.
Fighting fire with fire.
Dying before you’ve complete a round will result in a lot less “war cash”, which is required to unlock new weapons. Also, we experienced a few crashes to the home screen as we played, which can cancel out any progress you’ve made in a lengthy firefight.
To its credit, Frontline Commando has a good variety of missions to choose from, including sniper levels and survival levels. The controls work very well, and your commando moves quickly in combat, like the spry robot from Epoch. As you can tell from the screenshots and video, the graphics are excellent, setting a new standard for freemium shooters.
If Frontline Commando’s difficulty curve were bent a little more towards the player, and not towards the in-game store, this game could have real staying power. We’d also like to see online multiplayer added in the future, like in Gun Bros. Frontline Commando is a freemium action game done right, and with a few changes, it could be a Must Have.