Army of Two Review

Posted: February 18, 2011 in Review
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Army of Two Review

War! What is it good for? Well, if you’re a mercenary, it’s good for getting paid. Which is where this insipid game comes in.

You take on the role of either Salem or Rios, two hateful men who get paid to crash around in other countries and murder everyone who get between them and their end goal, which appears to be money. Along the way, the Twin Towers fall and these two knuckle heads high five each other because it means that they’ll be in business a damn sight longer than usual.

That’s the entire plot. Sure, there’s some sort of story which involves the most painfully obvious double-cross since John Travolta was cast in Broken Arrow. The characters are totally unsympathetic throughout, preferring to bitch and moan amongst each other about petty things like music while people die by their hands. Worst of the two is Salem, a man so incompetent that he would probably smooth wooden furniture with his face without realising. Despite the obvious plot ‘twist’ being obvious from the moment the disc is inserted, Salem refuses to believe in any kind of conspiracy, always preferring to blame coincidence for the two’s misfortunes. He’s the digital equivalent of Fox News.

Even worse than the characters is the gameplay, which only makes a few attempts at anything new. Firstly, the stuff that doesn’t work. There’s no set button for a melee attack – instead, you have to get close enough to an enemy and pull the trigger, resulting in a frustrating hit-and-miss affair where you might shoot someone who’s too close to you, or swing wildly at an enemy on the other side of the room.

Secondly, the button to get into cover is the same one as simply crouching, and the two can’t be done simultaneously. You have to press the button while you’re a few feet away from cover. If you do it while you’re next to cover (y’know, the moment you would want to do such a thing) then you’ll simply crouch and the cover will become an obstacle.

On top of this, you have bland, boring, ugly levels that don’t even try to disguise how unoriginal they are, enemies with the same intelligence as a child and even a character who communicates only in text, forcing you to look at the subtitle while being shot at in order to keep up with the story.

It’s not al complete rubbish. Some parts of the game are done rather well. For instance, the co-op parachute sections work quite well, as one player steers and the other takes out the enemies below. The Agro system is also quite well implemented, seeing enemies focus more on the player who attacks them more, leaving the other practically invisible. This is useful for sneaking around groups of enemies, or for simply filling the Agro bar to max and going into a bullet-shitting frenzy of destruction while your partner dashes past all the obstacles, unseen.

There’s also a multiplayer but, bizarrely, gamers from different regions cannot play together, which sees the Versus mode kneecapped from birth as all games require at least four players. It’s a nice thought, but good luck finding anyone to play with.

Army of Two isn’t a good game. It’s not even a decent example of the co-op genre. It’s the most offensive game of all time, starring two frat boys who air guitar and five high their way through people who run at them wearing bombs on their chests while discussing how great it was that 9/11 happened. There are other games out there. Better games. Ignore this one.

40%

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