14
Aug
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While developer Glu Mobile has had a lot of success with its gun-wielding, bravado-toting title, Gun Bros, it seems to be unsatisfied with the mark left on the genre. I mean, why else would they release Eternity Warriors this week?

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The Disappointment

In a sentence, Eternity Warriors is Gun Bros with swords. I wish I was kidding.

Usually, I might give this a pass, but Glu Mobile just released a game called Star Blitz which is essentially Gun Bros in space. I'm all for getting more mileage out of work (I am a freelancer, after all) but at this point, it's become a bit insulting. Everything is the same, from the "defeat the waves" gameplay to the "reactors/converters/forges" you use to convert enemy drops to currency. It is a new coat of paint on an old house.

To continue the metaphor, however, the house still stands: the game isn't exactly worse for its new look, but the whole design really just reeks of laziness. While the aesthetic is a little bit darker than Gun Bros, the characters, enemies, levels and menus all look similar. It's like Glu decided to have one of each era: "medieval fantasy", "near future" and "sci-fi."

So if you've played Gun Bros, you've played this game. The same complaints I have about that game (the micro-transactions, the tendency to not be able to progress without spending money, the inability to outfit your partner) are all perpetuated faithfully with seemingly no effort to correct them. The only addition is the inclusion of a Facebook element, where your friends' characters can be imported as your AI partner. If you're like me and don't have any friends who play the game, this is just left to gather dust.

All the "cool" weapons that you see in the below gameplay video are bought with micropayments, or require you to download sponsored apps to get freebies; in order to avoid grinding through what is really mind-numbing gameplay, you'll either cough up cash or end up loading down your phone with useless (and I mean useless) apps.

ew3 ew1 ew2

The Problems

So we have to wonder: why? Why would Glu make it so painfully obvious that they're milking the dual-joystick "kill waves of enemies!" gameplay until it keels over and dies? Hell, even the "_______ Story" simulation games add something in between installments, and don't go straight from "Oven Salesman Story" to "Refrigerator Salesman Story." There's some variety between "Game Dev" and "Grand Prix" that makes you think "Wow, this is a completely different way of playing!"

All it ends up doing is creating confusion between the different products, and without a central login to tie them all together, you can be sure you're going to spend money on multiple copies of the same feature. It's tiring, and makes me annoyed at the company's products altogether.

So I can only really give this a recommendation if you haven't played any of Glu Mobile's other games, but really, what's the point? Since they're all free, you don't really have anything to lose by picking them up.

ew6 ew4 ew5

However, if you support the developer with micro-transactions, you're sending a message that this type of recycling works, and that it's something they can continue with safely. Really, I don't want to come back in a few weeks to a 40's-themed Mob shooter that requires you to download yet another half-gig in resources.

Which is another thing. They still haven't managed to fix the "your download stops if your screen times out" bug yet. After how many games?

Come on, guys. You can do better than this.

Matt Demers
Matt Demers is a Toronto writer that deals primarily in the area of Android, comics and other nerdy pursuits. You can find his work on Twitter and sites across the Internet.

  • Dan

    I agree, the game would be so much better even if you could just upgrade the kit on your ai partner - I dont have any friends that play the games either.

    I gave star blitz ago after waiting for months for the 'brotherhood update' on gun bros.

    I think they have upgraded all three now to use facebook to let your 'friends' be your AI partners...

  • Jon Garrett

    a lot of complaints for a game that's free of charge, lol.

    • Matt Demers

      That's a horrible way of thinking. A game that's free is just as open to criticism as one that's paid.

      Having lax standards for the things that get put on our OS is the reason that we have so much shovelware on our marketplace.

    • http://www.pretentiousname.com Leo Davidson

      Assuming it's anything like the insane pricing for character upgrades in Gun Bros, 'free' is the last word I would use to describe any of these Glu games.

      As I remember, you could easily spend more than the cost of a full-price Xbox 360 game just to buy a few guns.

      It's a shame as they've obviously got talented artists and developers working on these things, but seem to have decided on a cynical business model that depends on people not realising how much real money they are paying for the add-ons. (Or which forces you to install dubious crapware. It's bad either way.)

      If you don't want to pay you'll soon be bored to death by the base game. Still, it might give you a bit of enjoyment for free so that's okay, but the free portion should be viewed as a game *demo* without a time limit, not the full game.

      Glu are free to do whatever they want with their creations but I personally find it a shame that they don't offer versions of these games where you can pay a reasonable one-off price to get a game where progression is structured around maximizing your enjoyment from playing the game you bought, rather than sucking money out of you. Personally, I won't pay for that model, so the games are wasted on me and a total bore after a short time, but it really is a waste as they do have great potential.

  • Lou

    Check the wifi sleep policy settings. Its set to disconnect during a screen timeout.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com Cole Le

    What's wrong with you? "Killing waves of enemies over and over again". That was what Gun Bros was like! Glu not only made a sequel with a new theme,but manages to keep the gameplay and flow of combat that we Glu fans loved,and you're criticizing it because of that? What's there to complain about? You liked Gun Bros,and this game is exactly like Gun Bros. It's easily one of the best out there. This also has a Facebook interface and multiplayer,something that Gun bros lacked. Criticizing such a great game shows people that you have a serious problem with great games and no taste in great games whatsoever. Despite all this,however,I still have to agree with you on the "annoying apps payment" issue. This great game is stained with a mark that could impact its popularity,and that is the gems payment. I am so sick and tired of having to see the message that tells me that I have pay $100+ just to buy weapons that definitely make my life easier in this game. And that's not the only thing that could scratch its performance:during gameplay, players may notice that it occasionally freezes for a few seconds. This is very annoying,especially when you've just hit 500+ combo,and is on an extremely high streak. These two problems aren't much of an issue,however,as monthly payments can be made if one has the time,money,and patience,and the bugs can be fixed. My final score: 9.8.

    P.S. I apologize for insulting your opinion,Matt. It's just that I was surprised that you would criticize one of my favorite iPAD games of all time.

  • Alex

    How do I Change the spells for the mage?