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Gun Bros 2

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Second sibling syndrome

Product: Gun Bros 2 | Developer: In-house | Publisher: Glu Mobile | Format: iPad | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Gun Bros 2 iPad, thumbnail 1
Brothers, eh? No matter how old you both get, how much you grow and develop as individual members of the human race, you'll still act like complete berks with each other.

There'll be the same childish digs, the same points of friction, the same private jokes and silly customs. Each meeting between the two of you is like stepping back in time.

It's a fitting example to apply to Gun Bros 2, for while it's bigger, better looking, and more confident than the original Gun Bros, it still has exactly the same flaws.

Lock and reload

Gun Bros 2 is a sequel to Glu's freemium twin-stick shooter of a couple of years ago. It still involves taking control of a lunk-headed gun fiend and his equally buff 'bro'.

The action is the same arena-based blast-a-thon, whereby you must take on waves of enemy grunts with improbably sized guns.

You still move around with the left virtual joystick and shoot in 360 degrees with the right. There are barrels to detonate and screen-filling boss characters to fight. As you level-up you get stronger and earn more virtual currency to help you buy new weapons.

The generous multiplayer modes return, and you can still embark on a blasting adventure with friends online or bring their own levelled-up characters into the fray as your back-up - which is a good idea, as your default AI partner is soon outclassed.

Stuff and nonsense

Of course, this being a sequel there's loads more STUFF. More weapons, more levels, and more attacking options (check out the empowering temporary-use vehicles).

IAPs explained
Gun Bros 2 prods you to purchase more of its two currencies repeatedly.

You'll need Xplodium to buy new guns and War Bucks to enhance them.

£2.99 is the minimum amount you can pay for 100 War Bucks or 5000 Xplodium. The latter will buy you a weapon or two in the early stages.

The charges then ramps up alarmingly to £6.99 for double the amount of each. You get some bonus items for each, but we're still not sure on the maths for that one.
There are also new elements like weapon mods, which give your guns new secondary abilities - heat seeking bombs, temporary speed-ups, and so on.

You can also give your weapons the ability to punch through shields of a certain colour, although when you first encounter two different shield colours within the same level you'll curse the person who came up with that particular idea.

There's also an armour system, whereby you can find or purchase new helmets, protective jackets, and trousers.

Can't choose your family

All of this extra stuff is great, but you soon realise that it's all just a flashy way of pimping out your character while you trudge through an otherwise repetitive game.

Essentially, the fundamental flaws of the original remain unaddressed.

For all its 3D flashiness and pretty fireworks, Gun Bros 2 remains a sluggish, uninspiring shooter. You and your brother waddle around the levels like your trousers are several sizes too small and made out of some lycra-lead amalgam. You speed up as you purchase new armour, but not quickly enough.

Then there's the fact that at the heart of Gun Bros 2 is the same cynical, money-siphoning IAP system. One that charges you £2.99 for the smallest possible amount of War Bucks or Xplodium, the game's two currencies.

Needless to say, you won't be seeing much of the game's coveted X-grade armour without putting some coins in the virtual meter - not without an insane amount of grinding, anyway.

And that's just it. Gun Bros 2 simply isn't quite fun, nuanced, or rewarding enough to merit any kind of extended investment in it - whether that's time or money.
Gun Bros 2
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 27 February 2013
Gun Bros 2 packs in lots of new bells and whistles, but essentially suffers from the same grind-heavy gunplay and cynical IAP-driven progression system as the first game
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