|System: PS3, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Montreal||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Q4 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Devin Finley
August 3, 2007 - "We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." Dwight Eisenhower's farewell speech 1961 opens the sequence followed by Salem and Rios gearing up for battle, and locking and loading weapons. The next few sequences show the Private Military Company (PMC) in various situations to prove the reality of this game. From tossing your partner a new clip when they run dry to the unexpected test runs on their body armor. E3 gave us a glimpse of what Army of Two would hold in store for us. From Afghanistan to Hong Kong, Rios and Salem are non stop, co-op action.
The beauty of this game lies in voice recognition when playing with an AI player. Army of Two ensured that if you couldn't find a partner online or at home via split screen, the AI voice recognition would be spot on to get you as close as possible to the real deal. The AI will argue with you, make fun of some of your decisions, and remind you of past mistake you may have made, however embarrassing that may be. At E3, it was shown that not once was a command repeated. Not only that, your AI partner would disagree if he thought your command was a bad idea. During one preview he was angered enough to curse at us, and give us the finger. We can only hope these items make the final cut.
Army of Two is exactly as the title says. Though it may anger some at points, teamwork is essential to this game becoming necessary at many points to progress in the level. This isn't Splinter Cell (though a large part of the team was made up of former Ubisoft employees including part of the Splinter Cell team.) it is not a one man operation. The PCM will have to do lots of lifting, some parachute sharing, ammunition sharing, and many other team efforts to progress through the game. There was one example given where you had to simultaneously take out 2 targets. The co-op leaves plenty of room for player error, it would be quite embarrassing if you threw your partner a clip and missed your target while they sat there with no ammo; and don't think just cause your partner is AI that he'll forgive you, after the demo, I am most certain that he will come to you next time reminding you how poor your last attempt at throwing was.
Though the game is still in it's early stages, the visuals were very impressive. Having so much co-op makes you think about many of the situations you are put into, and the best possible way to go about your objective safely and quickly. EA admit that they've still got some ground to cover, but E3 assured us that they are definitely walking in the right direction. This type of game-play is new to EA and they're looking to hit their mark when they jump in with Army of Two. If you begin to think that the co-op is getting a bit out of hand and having to rely on your teammate is getting a bit too much, remember the game title and understand that this game is geared to be exactly that. Salem and Rios are specialist in a growing field, and they're the best at what they do. Army of Two takes our two-man Private Military Company take us on a wide array of top-secret missions and they rely on one another to make it out alive. Business is booming and they know their business - war.
CCC Freelance Writer