Updated: Gun Bros Review

The first update for Gun Bros has just hit, and it’s a big one. This update includes a new level, Haven, which offers new bad guys and a central time-slowing device. This update also adds Retina support and Game Center leaderboards.

This update also fixes a few crash bugs, but unfortunately we’re still having problems staying connected to the online server, which is essential for playing with other players’ characters and producing more gold in the unlockable refineries. Gun Bros is clearly still a work in progress, but we’re extremely happy with this first big update, and hope it continues to get better over time.

Another big update for Gun Bros is now live, and in addition to making Gun Bros a universal app, it expands the store section considerably. To help you pay for all that new gear, you can now earn War Bucks by downloading other free and paid apps.

The expanded store section is similar to the premium currency stores in World Series of Poker and Trade Nations. Just pick a free app to download, or buy one of the featured apps, to earn your bonus War Bucks. Even better, if you already own any of the featured apps, you can download it again for free and still get the War Bucks.

With native iPad support and a lot more options in the store, Gun Bros keep getting better and better. This is quickly turning into one of our favorite shooters of the year.

Since launch, Gun Bros never let up its constant barrage of updates. This week Glu introduced online, two-player deathmatch to the popular freemium shooter. Along with previous updates that added a zombie horde mode and online co-op, Gun Bros has expanded more than we could have imagined.

As much as we appreciate the new mode, two-player deathmatch doesn’t seem to work too well with Gun Bros’s mechanics. We often found ourselves circle-strafing our opponent, standing just a few feet from each other as we unloaded our machine guns. Adding more players or enemies might make deathmatch in Gun Bros a bit more fun.

Still, it’s hard to argue with the amount of new features constantly being added to this freemium game. Even though we’ve never spent a dime on it, all the new modes and levels are easily accessible. You only have to pay real money (and a lot of it) if you want to unlock some absurdly powerful weapons.

If you still haven’t tried Gun Bros, now’s a great time. Since the update is just a few days old, we had no trouble finding players for online deathmatch or co-op play. You can also find some active players in our comments section below, so add a few new bros and have fun!

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.

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