Army of Two Review – One is the loneliest.

Army of Two

Electronic Arts, EA Montreal

Ps3, Xbox 360

Electronic Arts is mostly known for its sports games, so it’s very unlikely that an action title coming from the powerhouse is looked forward to. Army of Two, a highly anticipated action title from EA Montreal has completely changed that stereotype. But the question is, is Army of Two any good? The only answer to that question is a resounding yes. Army of Two is the best action title to be released so far this year. This is in thanks to its superb cooperative mechanics, brutality, and story.

You play as either Elliot Salem or Tyson Rios, two former army rangers, who have made the switch to mercenaries, as they believe that the pay is much better this way. Salem is much more of a kid, who jokes around, and is really casual in his combat. Rios, on the other hand, is much more mature in his stature, and is very professional. The duo get along great, and are a tough group that stick together through the rough. That, being a good thing, of course, as the two are set up, and end up with their former allies against them. Their journey takes place over 16 years, and takes them to places all over the world, from the middle east, to a hurricane ridden Miami. The camaraderie that the two share is unseen in any other game, and you really begin to root for them, as it seems that it’s two against the world in this one.

ao2.jpg

What is a little unfortunate, is even though the game takes place over 16 years, the actual campaign is only a mediocre 6 hours. This is extremely disappointing, as the entire game is just a non stop roller coaster ride, and you’d wish that it’d be longer. You feel as though the story needed some more open space to expand, and 6 hours just doesn’t give it enough room. That doesn’t make the story any less effective, it just makes it shorter.

There has been some confusion on this, but I can clear things up. Army of Two is 100% a third person shooter. On this current generation, the genre has seen an uprising. Gears of War, Uncharted, and Kane and Lynch have all been ambassadors for the genre, opening it up and letting people know the action that it brings. This is no different in Army of Two. You have an arsenal of weapons spanning all areas. There are assault rifles, snipers, rocket launchers, basically every weapon known to man, you can handle it.

There’s no distinct cover system in Army of Two. You can slide into cover, and duck, and blind fire, but you never become magnetically stuck to a wall, for say, like you can in Gears or Uncharted. This is very smooth, and works unbelievably well, and it is very satisfying to do so, and you also feel very safe when doing so. It’s innovative and simple to use, and is one of the best aspects of the game.

Melee attacking is somewhat confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it can be your best friend. Being a certain distance away from an enemy, and pressing the right trigger, will have you do a melee attack, which may or may not kill them in one hit. This is either a kick to the head, an elbow to the head, or a chokeslam. Sometimes, blood will fly everywhere when you snap his neck, or break his head open, and it is a real breath of fresh air every time you do this. Sometimes the computer can’t tell whether you want to shoot or melee, so it can be a little tricky.

The enemy AI is decent overall, but sometimes they will absolutely destroy you, and other times, will run right in front of you and do nothing. It’s inconsistent, and adds to the variety in gameplay. Your partner AI is actually very good. If you tell him to go on a rampage, he will likely clean house. If you tell him to stay and fire, he will do so without hesitation. He almost never does the wrong thing, although in one instance, the AI just shut off altogether, leaving me alone.

What’s very innovative in Army of Two, is the aggro system. Aggro is how much attention you are receiving from the enemy. If you have all the aggro, you can send your partner around to flank enemies, as they will all be focused on you. If he has all the aggro, (which you can command him to do), you will be left alone. This is really cool, and always works well. It’s very similar to the aggro in World of Warcraft, if you’ve ever played that, you will be familiar with the system. There are a few enemies that are armored on the front, and can only be attacked from behind. Here’s where you’ll need to have one member decoy from the front, while you sneak around the back. this is where the aggro system stands out.

There are a few hovercraft sections, which aren’t actually all that fun, and feel really tacked on. Luckily, these are rare and short. There are some parachute/sniping sections which are actually very fun, and there are back to back sections, in which case you have unlimited ammo, and are surrounded. The time goes in slo mo, and it’s really fun and bloody when these sections come up. Also, if the aggro is fully on one character, you have the ability to go into overkill. Here, you become twice as powerful as before, and have unlited ammo. This last about 15 seconds, and is essential in certain areas.

Some of the AI issues I mentioned before, can be avoided by doing coop with another human being. Here, you two communicate in ways you never have before in a video game, and it just becomes so much fun. If you manage to get along well, Army of Two will be an outstanding addition to your library. It’s so hard to explain just how much better the game is with another human. The partner AI isn’t bad, it’s just 100 times better with someone else. You can also do coop online, with a public player, or a private game you can set up with a friend.

Graphically, Army of Two is a good looking game. The blood looks fantastic, as does the water, and vistas. What stands out are the character models, although they do get repetitive. Some environments could have been smoothed out, and they could’ve been more destructible, but overall, the game looks good.

Even though there are a ton of curse words, the voice actors deliver a great performance. Salem and Rios share normal conversations in the midst of battle, and it becomes such a casual affair. Killing is a chore to these guys. The soundtrack really fits every situation well, as every EA game does have a great soundtrack. It’s no different here.

There are 3 online modes, and 4 maps, which add to the longevity of the game. Without these, the game wouldn’t be worth your money. Luckily, the game modes are fun, and are worth money, to “pimp” your weapons (turn to gold), purchase new ones, and new masks, to add to your collection. Upgrading weapons can become a hobby, and is really addictive.

Army of Two is a great game. It’s not outstanding by any means, but it brings a lot of new things to the table. Hopefully, a sequel will have even better to show for it in the future. If you have a friend, roommate, or sibling, and are looking for a bloody good time, pick up Army of Two. If you are looking for that third person shooter fix, then Army of Two also fits. There are a few great ideas not executed greatly, but still work out well enough for one hell of a game.

Advertisements

~ by smithbubbajones on March 10, 2008.

3 Responses to “Army of Two Review – One is the loneliest.”

  1. EA is one of the better game manufactures.
    I love what they did with Race games.
    “Burnout Paradise” and “the Need For Speed” games are addictive.

    “Army of Two” looked insane! I was hoping for a smashing game with killer graphics and storyline. Sucks to hear that the game is too short.”Black” was that way. Great game, just too short!

    I love shooters and racers. Is the game worth buying or is it just a rent?
    I played “the Club” that was fun. “Lost Planet” on PS3 or XBOX360 is a great game.

    PS: if you’re into shooters. Watch out for this summer! MERCENARIES 2 should be out. EA has put lots of time, money and sounds like the game will be a long-one. check out the site or goto YouTube.com and watch some previews….

  2. Army of Two is a buy, if you have a roommate or sibling, or if you know somebody you can play with online. A rent if you’re looking for a great third person shooter, but don’t really have anybody you can play with regularly. It is a great game, and either way, you do need to play it.

  3. thanks much, brother

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: