|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Montreal||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 5, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Everyone who plays this game will have loads of fun, but gamers used to tactical squad-based shooters such as GRAW 2 and Rainbow Six Vegas may find gameplay to be a bit sloppy and imprecise. In fact, the blind fire function is too lethal and too prevalent in Army of Two. The game would be even better if there were greater emphasis on precision kills without having one player go Aggro first. That being said, this is a unique shooter that will have you giggling with irreverent delight.
Other than achieving the main mission objectives for which you were contracted, there are a lot of side missions you can uncover along the way that will pay you well. After all, gameplay is centered around mercenaries that expect to be rewarded for putting their life on the line. So what do you need all that cash for anyway? To buy sweet new weapons, custom modifications, gear, and even to pimp out your firearms with garish gold and silver inlays to show your enemy who's the boss. I expect the already extensive weapons collection and modifications to be expanded and enhanced by DLC weapons packs in the future.
If you're looking for a great story, Army of Two doesn't really provide it. The developers have tried to tackle the moral issue surrounding the use of private military organizations in modern warfare. However, it's not as if the game calls upon players to really stop and think. You'll be far more concerned with the quality of head shots you rack up or the golden sheen of your pimped out AK-47. In its defense, the story is engaging enough that you'll be satisfied with the end result. Moreover, stages within the story are broken up in such a way that each one seems self-contained. In other words, the developers aren't really tied to a story and can easily drop Salem and Rios in any location for any number of reasons. This will be great for additional downloadable content in the future. It seems like this game was tailor-made for supplementary DLC. So long as the extra content is reasonably priced, I don't think gamers will mind shelling out a bit more cash. However, I would have liked to have seen another mission or two in the included content.
The visuals, sounds, and controls are all pretty terrific. The environments are highly detailed, and I especially liked the water effects and the way your enemies flail wildly when shot. Its as if they were ragdoll acrobats. The sounds are also really good. The weapons sound powerful, and the voiceover work is hilarious despite its hokey nature. I think the majority of gamers who pick this title up should enjoy the expletive-filled dialogue. Finally, the controls are very easy to use. The use of the D-Pad to change weapons or to bark orders is a bit rough at first, but players will adapt quickly. One thing that drove me nuts was the absence of a separate melee button. If an enemy gets too close for comfort, you will have to depress the standard trigger button and hope you head butt your foe before he kicks you. Typically the enemy will win these hand-to-hand battles and youll end up on the floor while he fills you full of lead. This ends up just slowing down your advance rather than allowing you to quickly pistol-whip your adversary and set up for cool stealth shot.
Army of Two is a unique shooter that will literally get the blood flowing. The two-man control and tactics are really fun. This game probably marks the birth of a franchise assuming that the distinct gameplay doesn't get tiresome. The slick presentation and intensely fun co-op play has made a believer out of me even though gameplay can feel sloppy at times. If you love shooters and are looking to play an interesting campaign mode with a friend, then Army of Two is a must-buy.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director