After a brief stint with the US military, Army of Two’s main characters, Salem and Rios, head for the private sector to make some extra dough. Playing with a friend or playing with the AI, Army of Two provides a unique cooperative experience. Giving ordinary people licenses to kill is an issue this game looks at. While the game has very little to do with the actual current conflict happening in the Middle East, it provides an interesting take on the US military and private security companies.
But this view isn’t pushed by the game, as Army of Two has a very dull storyline and predictable ending. This makes one wonder why the games developers would take on a potentially controversial subject.
The games visuals are pretty touch and go throughout. The weapons, vehicles and characters all look fantastic, but the environment seems to be lacking. Being able to distinctly tell which weapon from which is something few games can do, and the same goes for the two main characters, who look so alike in one way, yet totally unique upon further examination. The different environments are the main graphical query I have. They certainly do not look bad in away, they just don’t seem up to par with the rest of the game. There are the occasional visual mishaps, and almost all enemy characters look alike, but overall I was impressed with Army of Two’s graphics. It should be noted - and I know I have mentioned this is previous reviews – but this game raises the bar for in game cinematics. I have never seen cut scenes look so beautiful, and even though there may not be a lot of them, they are without doubt top notch.
Maybe the most noticeable sounds in Army of Two are from the weapons. Kudos for having such a variety of weapons, but I’m sure they don’t all sound the same in reality. Even though the games voice acting was done well, the actual talking that went of in-game was too vague and boring to care about. I didn’t care about the conspiracy theories in the 1st mission, Rios; I definitely won’t care about them in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th. Most other audio within the game has a similar attitude: good, but nothing special.
I’ll give credit to the games makers for taking on such an innovative idea. Sure, some games will split players off for a short while and count on both working for their selves and not leaning on each other. But Army of Two takes a whole different path as the game cannot be completed without a partner. Climbing ledges, healing, and driving are just some of the things that can only be done with a partner. Back to Back is another co-op feature which puts players with there backs to each other in order to shoot at all sides.
But perhaps Army of Two’s best gameplay feature is the Aggro meter. Which ever player is shooting the most gets the enemies attention, allowing the other player to become virtually invisible and flank the enemies. It is impossible to always stay off the Aggro, and with full Aggro you won’t last very long, leading to an awesome co operative experience where neither player can carry the other and everyone gets equal opportunity. You can become pretty much invisible to your enemies, as you can sneak up right beside them without notice. At times this is far from realistic, but a very fun feature nonetheless.
Being solely 2v2 matches, I had my doubts about online multiplayer. But surprisingly it actually turned out to be a decent experience. The maps are large for such a small number of players, but the space if filled with vehicles and bots. I am still not a big fan of the multiplayer, but it’s put together unexpectedly well. After my severe disappointment with the achievements in NHL 08, EA has redeemed itself with the goals that are set for you in Army of Two. There difficult, but not completely out of reach which lead me to playing through the campaign again just for specific achievements.
I purchased Army of Two, with the intention of playing for a few weeks and trading it in. But I have now become on the fence on whether or not to trade it in because it was actually very good fun. Like I said before, this game is very touch and go; some reviews have highly praised it while others have trounced it. I am satisfied with my purchase, but you should probably rent it first.