“ Manufacturer: Ubisoft / Genre: Action & Adventure „
Army of Two is a third person shooter action game developed by EA Montreal and published by Electronic Arts. The game focuses on two mercenaries namely Elliot Salem and Tyson Rios. It shows the two mercenaries fighting through a war, political turmoil and a conspiracy. The game takes place in the course of 16 years. The game's main feature is co-operative gameplay. The game requires the players to use coordinated strategies to succeed in accomplishing the required goals and objectives. For example, when you are flying a hovercraft your partner will man the turret for shooting down incoming enemies. The game has a lot of objectives scattered throughout the map and also has many secondary objectives. These secondary missions will often involve finding specific items. Primary missions often include eliminating specific targets of interest.
The story begins in Somalia and features a variety of regions including Afghanistan and Iraq. The game also allows the players to upgrade their armour and make it more strong and protective. However, improved versions of the armour can only be unlocked by completing campaigns. They cannot be purchased. Players can also drive vehicles like a jeep, a main battle tank and a hovercraft. Multi-player allows upto 4 players to play against each other. This is a big disadvantage of the game. On the plus side, the visuals and textures in the game are sharp and wonderful. IGN has given this game a 7.9/10.
Army of Two (AOT) is a very good third person shooter that is definitely best played with a friend. It has two characters who work together as Rios (the scar faced one) and Salem (the handsome one, looks a bit like me lol!) taking on "contracts" in different trouble spots around the world in the present day. The main strength and originality of the game is the two player co-operation and teamwork which makes it more enjoyable and a cut above a lot of the games out there.
Your completed contracts and side missions pay ( though not that well ), money that you can put towards bigger and better weapons to help you on your way.
This is where AOT shines. Once you get used to the concept of working together (helped by a training level) rather than going in solo all guns blazing, thinking on the hoof and co-operating with your partner reaps rewards e.g. you take cover and "blind fire" with your machine gun from behind a wall thus drawing the enemy fire. Your partner can then flank the enemy and take them out with his sniper rifle or even a melee attack. The game has a unique "Aggro Meter" (yep, we loved that too) so if you're attracting a lot of heat from the enemy you will glow a strange red colour, like you've had too much Ready Brek. This is the prompt for your partner to break cover and get himself on the offensive.
If you take too much damage you can call on your partner to give you aid. Hopefully, he'll come across and drag you to safety whilst you can give covering fire, sat on your backside. Sounds strange but this teamwork helps to build the bond between your characters and it feels good to help. Overall, AOT has a decent learning curve as far as the tactics are concerned.
At other times you are forced to work together such as skydiving tandem when one controls the 'chute the other snipes the bad guys who are out to speed up your descent with RPGs. Ditto the hovercraft, one driving and one on the big gun. Often you have to go back to back when you're surrounded or you may find something to pick up to use as a shield for the pair of you as you advance.
Press "select" to activate GPS mode and your route is shown as well as your mission which helps matters greatly if you get stuck. Three difficulty levels let you tailor it to your skills, having said that the easiest level "recruit" is hard enough!
Of course if your partner gets it wrong a quick press of the R2 button will give him a "friendly" head butt and a few choice words (it's rated 18 for a reason). Press "X" and it's high-fives all round. This game can laugh at itself which is refreshing.
Unusually for a shooter these days, you can carry three weapons - a primary, secondary and extra (usually a sniper rifle). These can be bought (there are no pickups) and upgraded from unsavoury characters during the game at certain checkpoints. There is a choice of about a ten of each type with detailed stats including damage and accuracy to help you make an informed decision. You can add a grenade launcher or shotgun to your primary weapon, which makes for an interesting and versatile piece of heat to pack. You're encouraged to diversify your weapons choice i.e. one of you go for an "aggro attracting" machine gun whilst the other buys a top-notch sniper rifle to pick of the bad guys from afar. Of course, you could always blow your ill-gotten gains on a different scary mask or go Puff Diddly and bling up your piece with gold plate and diamante, as you do.
Pretty generic to be honest, "contractors" sorting out issues, finding hostages, killing warlords in various theatres including Somalia, Iraq, China, Afghanistan, Miami and onboard an aircraft carrier. You grow into your scary masked and armoured characters and your "team" as you progress though so it's far from a sterile affair.
There are two extra maps (Kiev and alternative Miami ending) now available as DLC for free from the Playstation Store. The file size is 591Mb, which took about an hour to download but my connection is not that fast so it may be quicker for others.
GRAPHICS & SOUND
Top notch. I'm lucky enough to have a Sony Bravia 40" and was really impressed with both, far better than I was expecting. The textures are very good, especially your dented metal armour and the guns though very little of the landscape is destructible. The cut-scenes are fantastic in parts, almost film quality and obviously made with a lot of care and attention to detail.
AOT is a bit short, but there is some replay value in going back to complete the side-missions and trying out different strategies. New (and free) DLC as mentioned above adds approx 2 hours gameplay.
Controls can be a bit fiddly, I'd prefer to be able to toggle weapons with the D-pad. Aiming and throwing a grenade takes 3 buttons which isn't great if you're under heavy fire but it's not too bad. Sometimes in the chaos I lose sight of the sight as it a very small white dot. Could have been a it bigger for me.
Single player is a bit clumsy, having to rely on the AI and basic controls for your partner. Not highly recommended for solo shooters. There is the online option but I've yet to try this.
I paid £12.99 for a spotless pre-owned version in Game and you can probably pick it up for £10-£15 second-hand on ebay, or around £16.99 new at various stores online.
Check http://www.find-games.co.uk/ for the best current price
A very good TWO PLAYER game ( there's a clue in the title ), AOT is definitely at it's best when played with a friend, preferably in the same room. COD4 veterans will clock it pretty quickly but enjoy it all the same. Nothing highly original but it looks good and the co-op game-play makes it a decent and satisfying experience. Definitely a keeper for me.
Army of Two: The 40th Day (PS3) is due out in January 2010
Army of Two is a third person shooting game on the Playstation 3. The premise is fairly simple, you are one (or two if playing coop) member of a Private Military Company and you are considered the elite of the elite. You come equipped with the best armour and weaponry that money can buy. You start off on a fairly routine mission which ultimately becomes less than routine...but the story is for you to play and find out yourself, not for me to spoil.
The gameplay mechanics are rather interesting. Your weapon choices aren't massively exciting, there's certainly nothing revolutionary about the weapons available to you, they're pretty standard fare, pistols, machine guns, snipers and the like, but it is clear that each weapon has specific specialities which means you need to pick your fights carefully.
What makes combat particularly interesting is the aggro system. The bigger, louder, and more aggressive you are the more firepower you attract, this in turn makes your partner character near invisible to the enemy allowing them to sneak around and pick off enemy at their leisure. It sounds so simple but it does make the game quite tactical to play. As a bonus if you have the wrong weapon for the job you can hand off weapons to your partner in exchange for theirs so if you want to sneak around you can steal your partners silenced weapon for that particular moment.
There are some clever uses of sixaxis control, such as the parachute scene where you use the motion controls to guide yourself in towards the enemy which is one of the few times that you see this in PS3 games.
This games is amazing! But the single player is short, but alot of fun. and the replayablity is very good. The gameplay is bases on taking cover and return fire! The melee attacks are unbelivble not the same old hit the guy with the butt of your gun. there is pretty much a different melee attack every time. If you like games when your shooting all alone this NOT the game for you. your always with a partner. The online multi player is alittle bit laggy, but alot of fun. I would rent it before buying it.
Army of Two is by no means a perfect game; it's short and there are some issues with the weapon system and some of the co-op tactics. At the same time, when compared to similar games, such as Kane & Lynch or Conflict: Denied Ops, it is a stand out game. If you're a fan of tactical shooters or want a great co-op game, Army of Two is worth a look; however if you're not the type the works well with others, you might want to give it a rent first.
Overall I would recommend this game but like mentioned it is very short and there are better games out there.
Rent the game before you buy!!
= Introduction =
Bought this game on the first day it was out. I still remember vividly all the hype the game was generating, all the overwhelmingly positive previews gamesites were reporting on the game.
= The Good =
To begin with, I thought the game had a tonne of potential to be a really good one. The basic idea behind the game is an interesting one - two characters teaming up, co-op all the way through the campaign and beyond.
The aggro feature was very fun - basically, the more a character fires at the enemy, the more aggro he would attain, with his partner becoming invisible and able to sneak past and around the enemy line. This is especially fun when I was playing offline co-op with my mate - lots of chat and teamwork involved, good fun.
Another thing that's good about the game is the fact that you get cash to spend with the completion of each mission. The money can be spent on custom face masks, add-ons to existing weapons, new weapons etc - something interesting to look forward to, as reward for each mission.
= Bad =
Okay, for starters, the basic gameplay is quite bad to be honest. I found the game to be too slow, too unresponsive, and it has been noted quite frequently that it can be frustratingly difficult to shoot on the move, making the game more difficult than it should be.
When playing the campaign mode by myself, I often found my AI partner to be unbelievably useless, which was really annoying especially in times of intense, heavy fire from the enemies. The campaign itself isn't very long either.
= Overall thoughts =
Personally, I would say the game definitely did not live up to the pre-launch hype, and is mediocre at best - the slow gameplay pretty much ruined my experience on the game. Better off sticking to class shooter game series like Call of Duty.
This game had a great prospect, a game with an AI buddy who would work or you friend could join in at any time. However, this game doesn't live up to the hype and disappoints. The game has a weak a story and the AI buddy doesn't help at all.
The graphics aren't too bad but I have seen better using the Playstation 3 and a HDTV. the game has a bad soundtrack and sometimes crashes. It also has some framerate issues.
The gameplay isn't very good and is boring. The AI doesn't help in battles and will run for cover leaving you to do every bit of the work. The boss fights are weak and the battles are just the same all the time.
However, when you get a mate round the game is fantastic with another guy to help you out. It is great to have some laughs and have a great time playing a game that works great with co-op.
The online isn't very good as it takes ages to find a game and it suffers from lots of lag.
Overall, it is good with a mate but no worth a purchase by itself.
Don't get me wrong, Army of Two has it's moments but it's just not a great game. This was for a while one of PlayStation 3's great hypes and unfortunately, it just didn't deliver. We have a water weak story line about power and corruption seen from the perspective of two guys that we really don't care to much about. Put it this way, if this was a teen slasher, these lads would be the first to get the chop. The system of using the two characters works ok, but i felt that my AI controlled assistant was pretty much there to take the heat off of me whenever i got into hot water. He'd run off at times leaving me with a shower of bullets and nothing but disgruntlement at his shortcomings.
Stick another controller in however and you can have great fun playing this on split screen Co-op as you and your buddies sink some beers and laugh at each others petty playing. It's at this point that the waves of generic troops and poor boss fights don't matter as you're having braindead fun with your friends.
Online, it looses alot. playing a campaign with a friend is dull at best and the multiplayer games for me either wouldn't connect or suffered from lots of lag. This game had great potential but i felt it was thrust out to early and Quality Assurance folk missed so many little, little bits and pieces.
I was really dissapointed with this game, I traded The Orange Box in to get this, and I am not messing, I finished it in about 2-3 hours on NORMAL! Also, there was no new masks came availble to buy once you finished the game and so far, no new paint jobs of the guns as well! The only thing that is SOMEWHAT good about the game is that the game is good crack when you have your mates round playing multiplayer, enough said! However this is what you expect from all shoot em up kind of games and does not take away from how boring this game is. You could fall asleep very easily whilst playing this game, that is how boring it is! The idea in my opinion doesn't work very well and therefore detracts a lot from the game before you even put it in your PS3. Not good enough.
I didn't so much choose this game so much as have it randomly included in a package deal when I bought my PS3 just a few days ago.
Admittedly war games are not generally my first choice; especially those following the story of arrogant and stereotypical American soldiers who believe themselves to be heroes in their own war movie who proceed by killing pretty much anything that moves. However, as this was pretty much the only game that I had for the first few days, I was more-or-less forced to stick with it.
Unfortunately I have been unable, as of yet, to experience the online gameplay, so I can't provide much feedback as of that feature.
-- Graphics --
I will admit that the graphics are exceptionally good. The large environments are well presented and the textures are smooth. Thanks to the advanced hardware, the game is able to present a lot of action on the screen at once without any lagging.
However, as this is a PS3 title, I would expect no less than a game that takes advantage of the powerful graphics potential that the system provides.
-- Story --
The story is stereotypical and unrealistic. It features around two military operatives (that's right...two...and only two) sent in to various situations to be pitted up against armies of gun-weilding enemies in exchange for insultingly low amounts of money ($3000 for shooting a hundred enemies and diffusing a missile, for example).
That's really more-or-less all there is to it. Thankfully the game is not clogged up with lengthy cut-scenes, and those that are there can be skipped, so the story rarely intrudes on the gun totting action.
-- Gameplay --
This is quite an interesting area to say the least. It features all of the things you might expect from a war game including lots of big dangerous guns, and lots of enemies on whom to use them.
One of the main ideas in this game is called 'Aggro', a strategy which involves lighting up your partner like a Christmas tree so that the enemies ignore you as if you weren't there. While this is an interesting idea in theory, in practice it becomes rather unrealistic because while you are the 'invisible' one, you are able to walk in front of your enemies without them noticing you.
Special effects are employed here; if you have aggro, your character will glow bright red. If your partner has all of the aggro, you will turn semi-transparent for some strange reason. I was under the impression that I was playing a war game, not the 'Fantastic 4 go to Iraq'.
This status is generally affected by how often you try to shoot the enemy, and what sort of gun you have. Naturally, carrying a gattling-gun is not the way to go unnoticed.
At the beginning you have the option to choose one of two characters, but this is purely for aesthetic purposes and neither has individual skills or anything with a little more depth to differentiate between them. The soldier you don't pick automatically becomes your AI controlled partner (on single player mode.)
While we're on the topic of AI; the intelligence of your computer controlled partner is often so poor that he becomes an encumbrance rather than a help. You'd think that even the simplest of AI programs could fathom that walking in front of my AK-47 as I am unloading a clip into a Bin Laden look-alike is not a particularly good idea. The AI partner can be instructed with a few basic commands such as 'hold passive/aggressive' and 'follow passive/aggressive'. There are also a few interesting sections involving simultaneously sniping at targets together, but this feature is seldom utilized.
Thankfully, this can be resolved by playing with a friend, who can take the role of the other character. Presuming that they have more than a singular brain-cell, they ought to be more apt than the AI's pitiful attempts.
The AI of the enemies on the other-hand is superhumanly good. They were able to spot me from two hundred yards away despite the fact that I was hiding behind some sandbags; not only that, but they were equally skilled to actually be able to shoot at me with deadly accuracy from that distance with a bog-standard machine-gun.
The game generally follows a linear path where it's virtually impossible to get lost, which is a relief as many of the locations look consistently the same. The entire game can be completed in around 4-6 hours depending on how skilled you are, but in a happy senseless-violence sort of way, there is some replay value in slaughtering the countless aggressive enemies.
After each mission, and sometimes at specific points during a mission, you are invited to go shopping (anticlimactic I know). At the shop you can buy a variety of weapons, upgrades, masks, and armor. Sadly, due to the insultingly low levels of pay as mentioned earlier, it can take three or four missions before you can afford even a half-decent gun.
I do admire the game for a few unique quirks. You can communicate with your partner to approve or disapprove of their actions. This has really no other purpose than cheap amusement, but I couldn't help but feel satisfied that I could back-hand the other character every time he had done something ridiculously inane (generally most of the time).
You can also interact with your environment to a certain extent, such as using car-doors as riot-shields.
-- Sound --
Again, the sounds are generally as one might expect from a war game. There's realistic gun shots, explosions, and other...stuff.
The enemies each speak in their own languages though they usually all say exactly the same thing in exactly the same voice leading you to believe that you're actually battling an army of clones.
The voice acting on the part of the two main characters is unique to say the least. Where as one sounds like a stereotypical deep-voiced military gruff, the other sounds like a sickeningly adolescent American youth who even wears a backwards military baseball cap to give the impression that he's actually cool when in reality he's just a...sickeningly adolescent American youth. Presumably this was to appeal to the fanboys who could find something to relate to in this character, but to the average gamer he becomes incredibly tedious in a very short space of time.
-- Summary --
Overall I would say that it isn't a half-bad game. The graphics are very impressive and there is no shortage of action. However, the missions often feel very repetitive and the extravagant personalities of the main characters will quickly begin to grind on the average gamer. It is worth it for the short term, but unless you are impulsively obsessed with unlocking each any every single weapon and feature in the game, there is little longevity.
N.B: This review is also legitimately published on Ciao under my pseudonym 'LegalEagle247'.