Frontline Commando: D-Day iPad Review
Video game companies became obsessed with World War II after Saving Private Ryan hit theaters in 1998, and proceeded to flood stores with titles covering both the European and Pacific campaigns. Consumers eventually pushed WWII aside in favor of modern day conflicts, and this necessary break caused us to miss battling the Nazi war machine, which is the number-one reason why you should welcome Glu Mobile's free-to-play iOS and Android title, Frontline Commando: D-Day with open arms. This visually intense free-to-play third-person shooter includes 145 levels based on actual missions, delivering a visually intense, action packed blast-a-thon both casual and hardcore fans will enjoy.
Similar to the original Frontline Commando, this game is all about sticking behind cover and then popping out to waste enemy soldiers in bite-sized missions. As such, easily accessible buttons let you switch weapons, chuck grenades and duck as a plethora of evildoers open fire. Moving between cover is key, since destructible sandbags and wooden crates leave you exposed to gun and even tank fire.
Thankfully, this also extends to the opposition, and it's in your best interest to give these computer-controlled bad guys no place to hide. In addition, the developers brought much-needed variety to the experience with levels that drop players into anti-aircraft guns, charged with taking down bombers and fighter planes.
Where the game differs from its predecessor is the on-rails running segments that ratchet up the drama while giving players a welcome change of scenery. Kill enemies in a particular section, and the game takes partial control of the character as he moves to the next checkpoint. We use the word partial because during these brief periods of time, you're able to press left/right buttons to narrowly avoid mines, run around objects or tap the screen to jump over these things outright.
This all ties into a system that tasks players with completing bonus objectives to earn gold stars, whereupon which they can unlock new areas like Omaha, Juno and Utah, to name a few; you'll want to replay missions several times to improve your score. There's also a virtual currency system that ties into wielding superior weapons, grenades and utilizing health packs. As expected, it'll take much grinding to afford the best equipment, and there's the ever-present option to make an in-app purchase. We'd like to say you don't need to buy anything, but running out of health packs in the face of increasing difficulty puts you at a clear disadvantage. Considering the game awards stars for completing levels in two minutes or less, playing conservatively isn't necessarily the best option. That, and our opinion that a lot of the missions feel the same. Despite the unique environments, you still shoot the same Nazis behind the same boxes most of the time.
That said, Frontline Commando: D-Day still manages to stand out amongst the mobile game clutter because of its impressive visuals, overly dramatic music and non-stop action. Most importantly, it captures the spirit of World War II. This is one title we hope receives a flood of updates in the months ahead, but for now, it has a well-deserved place in our mobile game rotation.
Review code provided by Glu Mobile.
What's Hot:145 missions based on historical events, accessible virtual buttons and controls, addictive three-star system, plenty of headshots and explosions to go around, cool anti-aircraft levels, plenty of real-world weapons to buy.
What's Not:Tough to unlock new levels without making in-app purchases.