Weapons are just as limited. You start off with that aforementioned MP5 SMG, a pistol, and some frag grenades. Every other item in the game--and even stylistic things like special haircuts needed to boost your style value and increase your attraction to the fans--costs you in one or the other of the two featured in-game currencies. You pay for all goodies with either the points that are earned very, very slowly during gameplay or the Station Cash that can be acquired only with real-world money at a rate of $1 for 100.
Sure, you can emerge victorious, but at what cost? AT WHAT COST?!
As you might expect, the game constantly pushes you into spending real money. Everything is insanely expensive, particularly when it comes to the credits earned during play. You start off with a wallet filled with 10,000 credits, but that doesn't last long, and your impulse buys are further limited with level caps on a lot of hardware. Want an M1014 combat shotgun? It can be yours for a measly 899 in Station Cash ($8.99) or a whopping 35,999 credits. This is a pretty nifty weapon, mind you, which explains the high cost. But these rates are seen across the board. A Mohawk haircut to get you noticed on the tube is 179 in cash or 4,700 in credits. Clown face paint is 129 in cash or 3,100 in credits. Cargo pants are 129 in cash or 6,249 in credits.
Seeing as matches generally return no more than a thousand points, and often as little as a few hundred, you will be playing a very long time to make enough to pay for that shotgun noted above. Or anything else. As an additional insult, your weapons degrade quickly with use and cost a lot of credits to fix. So even if you decide to go the cheap route and grind your way to better guns and gear, all the credits that you save can easily wind up going toward keeping your existing equipment working properly and doing full damage. This pushes you to skip over all this nonsense and spend some real bucks...or ditch the game entirely. There are ways to speed up your in-game progress, but they all involve spending real money. Various boosters like PR managers and stock options increase fans and credits, but they can be accessed only through Station Cash purchases. The Platinum membership subscription model that costs $14.99 a month helps a lot. Sign up for the long haul, and you are provided with rewards like boosts to the credits earned in matches, sales on equipment, special taunts, and more.
The maps look good, but you'll wish there were more of them.
In the end, if you want to be fully competitive in Bullet Run you need to invest an incredible amount of time in the game, spend at least $20 to $30 for a range of weapons and gear, or subscribe. You might well need to do all three if you get really into the game, since even subscribing just speeds up the credit-earning process and gives you price breaks. The game is playable with both the default free stuff and the affordable lower-tier weaponry, but just barely. You can compete a fair amount of the time, especially when you're playing with a team that works together and knows the maps. Still, it is beyond frustrating to fill a bad guy full of lead from your entry-level SMG only to see him whip around and kill you with a couple of squeezes of the trigger. You can't help but think you're missing out on something.
Getting murdered so efficiently provides constant temptation to throw down real-world cash for the better hardware. Getting blown away by a level 28 star wearing expensive face paint and wielding a combat shotgun that makes your MP5 look like a peashooter will do that to you. This happens a lot, too, because you are regularly dropped into games with vastly superior foes due to the absence of any rating or tiered system for matches.
Accuracy matters, but not as much as which of you has shelled out for the better weapon.
Bullet Run is more of a brisk Bullet Walk. The core shooting mechanics at the heart of the game are done well enough to appeal to anyone looking for a simple, swift multiplayer shooter. You can get hooked for a good three or four hours on the free part of the game before growing bored with limitations like the lack of maps and modes. But the cash outlay required for this ostensibly free game is simply not justifiable, especially at a time when there are other good options out there that come with low initial price tags and do not hammer your willpower and credit card with the lure of buying success.
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