Frontline Commando 2 game review: intense third-person shooter with a rotten in-app purchase model
Frontline Commando 2 is a third-person shooter available for free on iOS and Android that puts you in the middle of a war zone. There is not much of a backstory (but do we really need that in a third-person shooter?): you take over the role of a betrayed and left out commando, and you have to do everything you can to survive: build your mercenary team, buy guns and gain experience, and - of course - kill your enemies.
Frontline Commando 2 is also a shooter that is built in the best traditions of arcade games. By this we mean that it is every bit as dynamic and addictive as arcades of old. The adrenaline-pumping shooting action quickly engulfs you as you go on one mission after another. You start off with a simple assault rifle that helps you get through the first couple of levels, but it’s not long after that you get to try out new big-boy toys. In fact, there are three classes of weapons that your soldier uses: snipers, shotguns, machine guns and assault guns. You can upgrade four components for each of your weapons, adding to its speed and damage rating, and those upgrades are absolutely crucial if you want to advance in the game.
Frontline Commando 2, however, is not just about your own character and its weapons - it’s also about building a squad of mercenaries that fight shoulder-to-shoulder with you. You simply can’t make it through many of the missions without a good squad. Why? Simple - most of the enemy fire is aimed at you, and while you run away and stay in cover, your squad-mates can shoot the enemies down. Each of the fight buddies comes with unique abilities - some can throw grenades, others shoot RPGs, and yet others can heal you. Actually, there’s a total of a whopping 65 possible squad mates, so you have plentiful options to customize your squad.
It is the actual gameplay, however (not guns or other options), that makes or breaks a game. In Frontline Commando 2, we are happy to say, that the gameplay is extremely addictive, diverse and fast-paced. Enemies keep on appearing from all sides, snipers shoot your from building rooftops, while rockets and grenades fly your way, and you have to be quick and sharp-shooting to progress.
You can play in either campaign mode or PVP (player vs player) multiplayer. Both modes are fun, and both give you XP points and cash money, so you’d have to play both smartly if you want to proceed without shelling out tons of money for in-app purchases. We say this because the game is actually extremely challenging. You’d be able to easily pass the first few levels, but not more. Around the fifth or so mission, most players will find it hard to succeed without paying money for in-app purchases, and we’ve been struggling for a few hours to crack the first boss fight (we still haven’t!). The only way to advance is a painfully slow one - you have to replay missions you have already completed to accumulate cash, and after you do so multiple times, your squad will eventually reach maturity for the more challenging levels.
The game looks is if it was created with the sole purpose of forcing you into spending money on in-app purchasesIn-app purchases are exactly the thing that makes Frontline Commando 2 so ridiculously hard at times. Glu, the game developer, seems to have created the game with the sole purpose of forcing you into spending money on it. It took the worse out of the in-app purchase model - the game forces you to wait for minutes on end for simple upgrades, and it makes it virtually impossible to advance without paying.
All in all, Frontline Commando 2 is a game that has all the depth and nearly perfect polish that a third-person shooter needs, but it is spoiled by its rotten in-app purchase model. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the game is ‘free’ to download - it’s not free to play (especially, if you want to advance in it). Quite the contrary, it will cost you a lot to buy guns and speed up your progress. For all else, the game is excellent, though, so it still gets our cautious recommendation.
- Extremely well polished gameplay with intense, arcade feel
- Engaging character, squad and gun building scheme
- Controls are well tailored to touch
- Impressive graphics
- Terrible, rotten in-app purchase model
- No support for immersive mode in Android