Glu Mobile welcomes you to the grind in its free to play yet potentially expensive third person shooter.
Frontline Commando is a third person shooter that puts you in the combat boots of a soldier out for revenge against the ruthless dictator that killed his buddies. This means visiting a handful of locations and making various evildoers dead. It's fun, free to play and attractive, making this title irresistible to players on a budget. Well, until the game asks for money, lots of it.
Glu Mobile's impressive action title reminds us of another iPhone and iPad release, Epoch. Similar to that game, you cannot freely move within the 3D environment. Instead, you rely on cover, tapping arrows on the left and right sides of the screen to instruct the hero to move to various locations. It's both smartly designed and useful, as you'll eventually dodge incoming missiles and grenades.
To that end, Frontline Commando is more like a shooting gallery. Terrorists appear throughout the map, both on the ground and on top of/inside buildings, and you pop up from cover and take them out, aiming an onscreen cursor with one thumb while using the other to fire.
Survive, and you earn War Cash that goes towards the purchase of different weapons, broken into four classes: Assault, Sniper, Shotgun and Launcher. It's quite the collection, with a few toys that tow the line between reality and science fiction.
Unfortunately, the best equipment costs quite a bit of scratch, and the game doesn't pay out as much as we'd like. As a result, you grind through multiple levels just to afford a base model machine gun.
You can buy War Cash and Gold (you need this to pick up health packs, air strikes and armor), but you should think twice before breaking out the credit card. Five-thousand War Cash and 100 Gold both cost $4.99 each, and it only gets worse from there. Want 100,000 War Cash? Get ready to spend $49.99.
The fact that the game lacks a $0.99 option partially ruins the fun. We have nothing against in-app purchases if implemented correctly. In this case, Glu comes off a bit money hungry. At least the company provides different ways to net some Gold on the side, through "liking" the publisher on Facebook. Other examples, such as signing up for Netflix for 325 Gold, seem less appealing.
Of course, Glu doesn't force you to do anything. You can play Frontline Commando without coughing up a penny, and we think you'll enjoy the game's arcade style action. If anything, it's a great way to relieve stress.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
What's Hot: Arcade style action, satisfying number of weapons, user-friendly touch controls make killing enemies a breeze, free to play, universal.
What's Not: Expensive in-app purchases, too much grinding to afford the best equipment.