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Gun Bros 2 is Glu Mobile’s latest take on the twin-stick shooter formula, which maintains much of the same action-packed approach as the original while adding new elements. Unfortunately, nearly everything added here has sullied the Gun Bros experience, and feels misdirected and actively anti-consumer.
In Gun Bros 2, you'll make your way through arena-style levels filled with oncoming waves of enemies, which you can dispatch using the two virtual sticks that respectively let you move and fire weapons. It's a simple concept, but one that works well at the core. Each round is pretty brief, typically only lasting a minute or two, but it's difficult to squeeze in a quick match in your spare moments as it takes a few minutes just to get into a match. After a long initial loading time, the cumbersome UI will keep you trudging through screens before another bout of loading.
The mission-based gameplay is simple, but strong, and is entertaining enough to tide over casual players until they can work their way up to an impressive score on the endless mode, which has players challenging their Game Center friends for leaderboard rankings. It’s a continually evolving game type that keeps you pumping rounds into foes until you’re overrun and killed.
Sadly, Gun Bros 2 is hampered by an egregious, overpriced, and downright offensive free-to-play model. Throughout the course of gameplay, crates are dropped that give you access to certain items for your character – but to use most of these, your weapon has to be "upgraded," which costs over 1200 War Bucks. After a few hours of play, I had only amassed 23 total War Bucks. As such, you can expect to play for potentially hundreds of hours to use these items, or otherwise shell out upwards of $50 for a large enough pack of War Bucks. High-powered Xplodium weapons can deliver an alternative form of punch, but that constant feeling of grinding never dissipates, and players who wish not to spend real cash will feel disadvantaged as a result.
That's enough to stop the decent fun of the shooting action in its tracks, and it wasn't a single occurrence, but rather a distinct tone set by the game time and again: Pay to continue.
The bottom line. Gun Bros 2 is a serviceable twin-stick shooter hampered by a miserable free-to-play model that punishes the player for not paying.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later
Solid gameplay entertains for a while. Endless mode adds a new level of interactivity.
Free-to-play model is poorly executed. Long load times temper quick-hit nature of game.