|System: X360, PS3, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Montreal||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 12, 2010||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|
Where the combat completely falls apart is when the tactics and strategy were seemingly shoved into what was supposed to be a run and gun three-quarters shooter. Instead of just letting you outmaneuver your enemies' fire while blasting them back, the use of cover, team tactics, and even a broken version of the aggro system were thrown in to muddle with the gameplay. To begin with, cover doesn't work at all. Crouching behind objects will at best slightly lessen the amount of damage you take, and that is your only potential benefit for making yourself unable to return fire.
Many parts of the game also force you to rely on your partner, which makes sense given the co-op-focused nature of its predecessor and current console versions. Unfortunately, you're A.I. teammate is so incredibly stupid that it makes getting through the game an infuriating chore. You can give your teammate some basic commands such as to follow you or to stay put and how defensive or aggressive they should be. This might have been interesting and/or useful had it worked in the slightest, but as with everything that deals with your partner, it is completely broken.
Telling your teammate to hold their position is an essential part of the game, since you will wind up facing many large enemies that have to be shot in the back in order to be defeated. However, issuing the command to hold their position in order to flank these foes usually results in your teammate ducking behind something, completely removing themselves from combat. Either that or they will frequently teleport to wherever you are, making issuing the command in the first place completely pointless. Sadly, the follow command is just as unsuccessful, since your teammate is even ill-equipped to simply follow you, getting stuck on nearly everything in the level as well as stepping on mines, into spotlights, and standing underneath falling bombs.
Aggro is also a complete mess in this PSP version. Firing at enemies will eventually net yourself an orange glow and your partner a bluish hue. When orange, foes are supposed to focus their efforts on taking you out, allowing your partner to maneuver and flank enemies without being heavily attacked. In theory this sounds great, in this game it doesn't really seem to matter which color you are. You can be blue and still get targeted by nearly every enemy on the screen. Even if it did happen to work, it would still be a completely useless mechanic given the absolute worthlessness of your A.I. teammate, who often won't even bother to fire at enemies while you are trying to distract them. This gets absolutely frustrating and leads to just trying to run and gun through levels, which in turn doesn't work because the game is designed to require teamwork in order to make it through.
If you can somehow sucker a friend into picking this title up, the multiplayer co-op (sadly ad hoc only) does help to relieve some of this game's issues. With a human in control of your teammate, you won't have to worry about them getting stuck, ignoring your commands, and refusing to fire at enemies. Instead, you'll be free to realize just how repetitive and joyless playing through the game is when it actually works. This game boils down to walking forward and killing a room full of reused enemies, then repeating this process until the credits roll. Every once in a while you'll be faced with a large enemy or boss to fight, both of which requiring the same reused tactics throughout. Add to this the fact that whoever joins this co-op match doesn't even get to keep any of their upgraded or unlocked weapons and cash they've earned, and you've got a recipe for always playing single-player, which is nearly unbearable. In other words, if you are interested in Army of Two: The 40th Day, then you should check it out on the consoles. If you only have a PSP and are looking for a good third-person shooter, ignore this game and get one of the ones I listed earlier, you'll be much happier in the long run.
CCC Staff Contributor