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Developed by EA games and released as one of the first games to appear on the xbox 360 in 2007, army of two introduced some new gameplay concepts to the familiar genre of 1st person shooters.
First of all it was one of the first games to have a combonation of 1st/ 3rd person views, in that for a majority of the game you play in 3rd person and you can fire your gun from the hip, which I have done with a sniper rifles in this game and managed to kill very close up enemies. But generally if you want to aim properly you can go into 1st person mode. This concept is used widely now and depending on the camera angles thatthe develpers emplay it can be effective, back in 07 it was relatively new.
The other point to make is that EA games came up with the great concept of 'aggro' using aggro either you or your partner can draw the enemies attention and your character, either salem or rio`s will light up red, this means that the enemy are know focusing on you and you draw the majoiryt of the fire, meaning that you can order yoyur partner to flank enemies and take them out from behind their cover. Likewise if your partner draws the fire, it means that yuo become slightly invisable, you cant walk up to them easily and get away with it, but it will allow you to break cover without being shot.
This game also had a great idea of not only being able to upgrade your primary weapons...assault rifles- to minigun, your secondary weapons...a handgun to a short mp5 style sub machine gun, special weapons ...sniper rifles and armour. You can add stocks, different barrels, grenade launchers, tripods, improve accuracy,or even an armoured plate to the front of the gun as well as being able to 'PIMP' the gun, if you have money to spare, you can spray if gold, silver or even add diamonds, apparently this pees offf the enemy more !
The only thing missing here is that you only ave 3 lots of different armour and cant swap it around
You fight in somalia as army rangers, and then join USC a merc company and fight in afganistan, iraq, phillipines (on an aircraft carriers which is very under siege like), and north korea and the gulf og mexico during a hurricane !!
Its a great action packed game, good cut scenes and character acting...im surprised the havent made a film about it
Army Of Two is primarily a two player game (hence the title) in a first-person shooter battle mode, although it can be played by one player. When in one player mode you will have another character counterpart controlled by the computer that works with you throughout the game. If you choose two player mode then the two players will need a controller each.
The game was released in 2007 by one of the world's leading software companies, Electronic Arts - otherwise known as EA for short. The game has an 18 rating which is understandable considering the content of strong bloody violence and offensive language throughout the game.
Graphically, the game is something to be admired. All the levels are rich with details and the actual levels themselves have been designed and constructed extremely well. The animation throughout the game is also rather smooth too and does, to some extent, show off the capabilities of the X-Box 360 console.
In terms of gameplay there are some great features, such as the ability to go back-to-back and move round in a circle while you both blast everyone around you. There is also the ability to build up 'aggro' which allows your character to build up power and go all-out action. However, I do find that when there is a lot of action happenng in the game, the graphics and animation do tend to slow down a little and become a lot jerkier.
What I don't like about the game is the player controls and the awkward angles at which you sometimes find yourself. This can make it very difficult to play the game, as you will end up facing completely the wrong direction. This also severely affects playability when you are trying to aim at enemies and it can be really annoying at times.
The story to the game follows a rather typical plot and is rather basic. You're an army of two people that has to basically battle against entire armies from country to country. Unrealistic and pretentious but that's the way games have become lately.
The intention behind the game is pretty good, but I really do think they could have worked on the playability of the game a bit more. It's very award to control and gets rather annoying sometimes. So while the game isn't exactly the most fun to play compared to others, it seems that they have focused more on the graphics rather than anything else and the game suffers as a result.
Army of two is EAs hope for the quest for more cooperative played games which is needed these days. The player takes on one of the 2 mercernaries for a private military corporation in various parts of the world. The story isnt of decent stature but more focus has been given on its gameplay
Both mercanaries will be present and in the absence of the second player the AI will take its place. The gameplay heavily focuses on teamwork and cover system where one player will be agressive and lay convering fire whie the other can flank the enemy and take them out. The gameplay also adds different mode like coop snipe and back to back which further the gaming experience. Single player is good but its gets dangerously addictive with a buddy at your side
There is a good variety of weapons and endless amount of custmization or each from extra ammo and sights to golden pimped up versions. The leavels are also diverse from china, usa, iraq and even an airplane carrier in the sea. The music is defnetely top notch with some amazing tracks during the heat of battle.
The single player does get tedious after a while due to the repeated enemies and similar fighting structure. Otherwise this is a top game and definetely a recmmended one especially if you like coop games
The trailers promised so much. The age certificate promised a violent game. All misleading rubbish. The campaign follows a well written and somewhat enjoyable storyline but that is the only good point. You die relatively easily in the harder difficulty levels and although you can customise weapons you get no real satisfaction from killing the enemies.
The violence i expected to be compatible to gears of war series but no. The enemies just fall to the ground, honestly you get more satisfaction from killing people on call of duty 4 with headshots. The 18 age restriction only there because the characters are a bunch of loud mouths who swear every two seconds regardless of what is happening. The explosion don't feel like they actually do anything, they feel underpowered and useless. The grenades go up in a poof of smoke with no real explosion.
If you're thinking of getting this game, i strongly recommend that you rent it before you buy. Overall in my opinion it was a big let down from all the hype and reviews.
I enjoy playing games, like most people. In fact I have a number of consoles in my house. However what I enjoy most is being able to play wiht someone, to actually work through missions together. When your there playing a game on your own, sometimes you need an extra set of hands to complete a task, or help you beat overwhelming numbers of enemies. The problem is in these cases the game gives you a computer controlled character to assist you, this character is not more intelligent than the enemy, which means they are pretty much useless.
What I love is getting games where a friend and I can work through CO-OP on it (split screen is just fine on a 46" TV :) This adds more fun, it means you can work strategy together, you can divide and conquer, you can have a laugh, and most importantly its not a dumb computer controlling the character doing something you son;t want it to do.
Enter EA with Army of Two. The entire concept of this game is a 2 player game. It can be played single player with a computer playing the second character, but its been designed around having 2 players, either split screen, or across the internet. WOW what a game. It works in every way. Your given missions,. you have to work together. There are high numbers of enemy and limited ammunition. B having two characters choosing weapons to their own strengths (me a sniper riffle, my friend a shotgun) it allows us to be quite a strong team. The fact this game relies on two peopel,as if one if knocked down, they need the other person to revive them. Its not a case this game was developed for single players and then ahd a co-op mode added, more the reverse, the game was made for 2 players and had a single player mode added.
The story of the game is you work in a commercial private army, and essentially through strange under the table dealings this private army is used more often than the USA normal army (maybe its because we don;t shoot friendly targets (except if we actually want to)). However due to the underhanded nature of this commercialisation of the army, we discover this hidden plot involving lies, money, betraylal, and wow only these two characters can stop it, with the help of their mission manager.
The graphics in the game are excellent, just typically good XBox 360 graphics, there is plenty of areas to hide behind to get cover while shooting, and a wide area covering the way you can move to get to your goal, however it is still a pretty static one way path.
The controls of the game are very easy to learn as the game guides you through them on a training mission and the first mission, and you very quickly get used to them.
As a chacter you are able to carry 4 weapons, 1 lot of granades, 1 primary weapon, usually a machine gun or assault rifle or shotgun, a secondary weapon of handgun or sub machine gun, a special weapon, either rocket launcher or sniper riffle. The 4th weapon is always a granade. You can change your face mask. All of these things you buy with the money you earn from missions, and you can customise most weapons.
Actually I find it pretty good to be walking through a mission with my 3 pimped out in Gold Plated and Diamond AK47, P90 and which ever Sniper Riffle I have chosen.
The game uses what it calls an Agro Meter in order to be able to get the enemy to focus their attention (their agro) on you, so your team mate can flank around generally un-noticed.
Naturally being on the 360 it has 1000 points of achivements about a third of which relate to online game play of ranked matches. These I haven;t gotten around to. The others are relating to single/co-op play, some actually can only be achieved with a human controller of the second character.
There is also downloadable content for the game to add on an extra 2 missions, and another 250 points of achievements. I believe when I got this extra content it was free, but I don't know if they are charging now.
All in all this game is fantastic, very anejoyable, well planned, well thoughtout. I look forward to their Army of Two 2 which they will bring out soon.
So fi you love playing co-op games then this is one to get, and clearly there are a large number that do, due to the number of co-op games coming out.
All i cans say is i love this game. When i first got it i was not to sure but when i started playing it i could not stop. The single player mode is amazing, i love the idea of always playing with the computer instead of just playing by yourself. The story mode is quite long so keeps you going for a while and if you find it to easy the harder stage is very challenging. If you like army games then this will definately be for you. If you get bored of playing with the computer you can always go online and play with friend which is always a laugh because you can also use the microphone. You can also play lots of different online modes against other users which will always keep you amused especially if you have completed the game. The accomplishments that you have to complete on xbox live are not as easy as some other games which i prefer because usually i find i have nearly completed all of them after the first day !
Army of Two
When I first heard about Army of Two I was so excited, me and my friends would download as many trailers as we could and discuss it quite frequently, then when the game actually came out only one of us got it and said the game was not worth buying, well a few weeks ago I came across it in the pre-owned section with a 2 for £30 sticker on, so I picked Circle of Doom up and Army of Two to try them out for myself and when I got home that was the first thing I did.
In the very beginning you make your character selection of either Salem of Rios, on both times I have chosen Salem as he seems more like the cute and friendly and some how quite good looking for someone who has worked in the army for a long time, whilst Rios is the tough brute who looks like a marine and has a few scars, your typical solider.
The idea behind the game is that you either Rios or Salem who are working for the privatized military or in this case the SSC, meaning that you get paid to kill and with this comes missions that bold no relation to you and each level could have no relation with the other some even being a few years apart, unlike other shooter games, instead the story is based on what is happening outside the mission as Rios quickly comes suspicious of Clyde and this continues throughout the story until it eventually means something, this suspicion is then heightened as they catch Clyde doing possible dodgy dealing aboard the aircraft carrier, as usual Salem thinks of it as nothing but it is Rios conspiracy theories that actually adds a bit of interest to an otherwise lackluster story.
Obviously I don't want to give away to much as you may want to find out for yourself, I'll just say this, don't trust anyone during the game, they have an underlined motive to almost every mission, all will become revealed towards the end.
For me the story only really gets interesting when you arrive in China and take out a senator who, behind the scenes of the missions, was trying to prevent the military from becoming privatized, this is where the missions relate to the story and you feel like you want to complete them to find out more and help save one of your captured friends, this isn't that bad and does provide you with a few exciting moments, unlike the rest of the campaign. Altogether there are 6 levels to go through on the game, but look foreword to the last two:
Each level shouldn't take that long, obviously depending on the difficulty and you're ability, but the game isn't a lengthy one, quite short compared with the other games I play, but that is one of the good points of the game, its fun but it doesn't drag on, by about the fifth level you do feel a lot of repetition where every level is essentially the same as you enter an area, kill the enemy, then advance, with no real idea of whom you are killing or why.
Army of Two is a game built around the idea of co-operative play and tactics; this can either be done with a friend or the AI partner, admittedly the game would probably be more enjoyable with a friend, but as I was the only one to have it and I also hate split screen, I was forced to do it with the A.I partner. First of all I was a little worried with working with an A.I as usually they are dull and do not always do what you want. Luckily Army of Two has done quite well in producing a rather handy partner with only a few minor problems such as they won't hold any shields as you have to, or occasionally they'll try and heal you in the middle of battle instead of in cover thus resulting in your death and annoyance.
The Gameplay is just a basic set-up of a third person shooter, something I prefer more to the usual first person, mainly due to Gears of War and with third person you feel more connected with the character as you can actually see them and the surrounding scenery, which is quite important.
Now this game, like I said is built around the idea of team work and in the trailer this was always the main point as they constantly showed you various moves that you can perform together, but I was actually quite disappointed with what you can do as it all seemed pretty basic, on the trailer they had at least 79 moves as they numbered the ones they where showing you, but these including things like the hovercraft or healing you're partner, for me these don't really count as moves, the only real ones you can do are things like the step jump, cover shield and the useful back to back, other than that there isn't much to the rest of them, but it is still fun doing flipping cover together or dragging you're A.I partner across the floor as he pumps some oncoming enemy.
Weaponry on Army of Two is a brilliant part of the game as unlike most other games you're weapons can be modified with thins like, a different scope, bigger clips and even a small shield on the front, this gives the idea of progress within the game that is seen in RPG games, you start off with an average gun and by the end of it you may have a rocket launcher and a beefed up shot gun, also as you advance you can also go from light armor into heavy armor and change you're mask to what ever one you wish to have equipped.
One problem with the weapon system is that some weapons offer very little ammunition, some only one bullet, this creates a problem when you're in desperate need for some heavy fire power, but the mid-mission shopping does help as you may require a different weapon for the next part of the mission, you can also spend some of your hard earned cash before you proceed.
Almost every game that comes out on the Xbox 360 is expected to have great graphics and to be fair to Army of Two; they have done quite well in that category but with games like Mass Effect I expected nothing less and if played on HD then it does add a lot more to the quality, but although the graphics are good there is nothing really challenging them, faces are covered, bodies just die, no over the top explosion or unbelievable head shots and if you're looking for the gore factor, look elsewhere as this has relatively simple graphics that are good in its own right but nothing compared with Gears of War or Far Cry 2.
Sound is very important part of the game, when you're sat on the settee playing a game you don't feel much like a soldier, but when you hear the sound of a shot gun blowing up 50 creates of explosives through surround sound then this might change your mind, unfortunately this didn't do that, but it did sound average, just not enough to draw you into the game and the sound of silenced weapons are really annoying, they may be more stealthy but I hate that type of weapon, I prefer the sound of a head cracking as the bullet is fired out of a rifle, not silenced out, all in all the sound does fine with the rest of the game, just about average.
One of the most important thing for me in a game is the online play, games like Gears of War have kept me on there for so long due to the addictiveness of the online experience, this is most certainly not the case for Army of Two, mainly die to the fact that it is only 4 players, I've always loved games where you are part of a big team but obviously Army of Two wasn't going to do that, but only having a 2 v 2 scenario is quite boring as there is relatively little action, very few maps to chose from and the 3 game modes of 'Extraction,' 'Bounties,' and 'Warzone' these modes act just like campaign where you either have to kill someone or complete an objective, all of this happening whilst you try and kill the other team, talk about repetitive and yes it is true that some repetitiveness can be great, I mean breathing is pretty repetitive and so is Gears of War, but no one likes doing something they hate over and over again, unless its for money and this is a similar case.
Overall my online experience was not what I was expecting and really does put this above average game down to the usual, bored after a while type game that is found everywhere.
There are 41 achievements to obtain in the course of you're Army of Two experience and most of these are the type of achievements I enjoy, such as kill 250 men with shotguns and earn one millions dollars in campaign, these are the type of achievements that keep you playing the game, better than that of earlier Xbox games which involved about 10 achievements, more recent games tend to have longer and usually more achievements in an attempt to keep people playing and I'll give Army of Two credit for that, these achievements will keep you playing for at least two campaigns and maybe if you feel up for it, you can try and earn 1 billion dollars online, I'm not even going to try!
Personally I think this game had one idea of team work and tried to base a whole game around that, not really thinking much about the rest of it, above all the game can be a good laugh for a few nights, but is not the type of game that will have you enthralled and griped to the very edges of your seat, instead it will provide with a couple of quick thrills for a few hours before you regret purchasing it. Online play provides you with nothing exciting and the campaign isn't long enough to keep you playing for weeks and neither is it the type of campaign you'll want to do again in a hurry.
Overall it's an okay game, with good graphics, an average campaign, very little story and not it's not surprising to see it going for cheap, I would only really advise this purchase if you're planning on doing it with a friend, otherwise I wouldn't bother.
Gameplay - 7
Graphics - 8
Enjoyment - 6
Sound - 8
Value - 5
Thanks for reading, hope this has helped any possible buyers.
When i saw this game advertised came out i thought it looked amazing, a new technique on the shooter game play.
But i didnt have an xbox, so i waited a few months, weighed up the odds and i decided to get myself an xbox 360.
As soon as i got my xbox i went straight to find this game and i bought it, i couldnt wait to play it when i got home. I have been a fan of shooting army style games. I am not an avid gamer but i like a good play every now and then.
On the graphics:
As like most games, the graphics in this title where exceptionally good, showing the shadows crisp and clear.
On the controls:
The main controls are very easy to use, you have a button to shoot, jump and various other things. However i found it to become harder with the controls progressed, in the co op mode i often found myself pressing the wrong buttons for what i needed to do, it was about the end of the game when i actually figured out which control was which.
The co op modes where good and fun to do, especially when taking down mass amounts of people.
The interaction between the two characters was an odd thing but it could be quite amusing none the less.
On the storyline:
i thought that the storyline was good, a typical storyline that you would see happening in a movie or such. the storyline does have fairly interesting twists and plots but mostly can be predictable.
The customization in the game is good, the ability to be able ot change weapons, buy weapons and 'bling' them up is fun to do, though you dont get a large variety what you do get is good enough.
This is a good game overall however if could do with being a little longer, having a little more variety and more of an indepth storyline, but a good game and fun game to play.
With the advancement of online play over the years, EA has been the first developer to try something different and have based their entire game on 2 player Co-op. And its been pretty sucessful for them considering the company that made it.
During the release of the game, it was extremely difficult to find in store as Game and Gamestation had refused to sell it as this was during the time of their row with EA, but I wont go into that now as its a long story.
You play as one of two war-hardened mecenaries, either Rios or Salem, and you are given this choice at the start of the campaign.
Rios and Salem have branched in to the private military sector and are being hired to take on enflamed hot spots round the globe. The levels take place in:
and each of these will last you roughly an hour to complete.
The story has some very interesting twists along the way and will keep you entertained through play.
The main focus of Army of Two is the Co-op and this is implemented really well. The game enables you to co-op either online or through split-screen play and involves some pretty good tatics. In most cases this involves one player taking on the "agro" by firing blindy at the enemy and attracting their attention allowing the other player to sneak up behind and wipe them out, this becomes very useful against heavily armoured enemies.
"What if i've got no friends?" I hear you cry. But no fear as the AI controlled version of your buddy is pretty useful and will get you through the levels but will put alot more pressure on you.
The game features a very nice cover system which is needed in all levels with the vast amount of enemeis swarming you and does allow you to heal yourself without fear of being completely obliterated.
Other Co-op moves include:
Co-op snipe (perfect for taking out 2 enemies at once during stealthy missions
Swap Primary - Lets people swap weapons incase one needs to take on the agro
and in the case of playing on your own, you are also given the option as to whether your partner goes silent or takes the "agro".
All weaponary is purchased before missions and the money is earnt by completing missions, so you are able to redo missions as much as you want to be able to afford the best weaponary.
Primary - There are about 10 different primary weapons ranging from plain rubbish ones, to massive grenade launchers and mini-guns. All weaponary can be upgraded however, with addons ranging from, weapon mounted shields, silencers, bigger magazines and the ability to "pimp" your gun.
Secondary- These can be upgraded just as well as primary with a few restrictions but the weapons range from simple hand guns to sub machine guns.
Special- These are more advanced weapons but cost alot more, these consist of sniper rifles and heavy weaponary such RPGs.
Army of two does have some really nice locations, the suburds are well detailed and provide a nice atmosphere and the same amount of effort has been put in to all the levels which does keep the players interest in the game for much longer as many other games just look the same everywhere.
The character modelling is extremely impressive and if you play this game on a full HD tv the detail during the cutscenes is unbelievable. During play the level of modelling is also good and enemies are fairly varied in appearence and alter through levels with bosses having alot more expression put into their bodies and making them memorable.
The music is fairly standard in gaming terms, however the sound of gunfire is pretty intense during play and there are some rather humourous lines of dialogue throughout the cut scenes. EA has made a good desicion to restrict the dialogue during play meaning if your hanging around for a long time, you don't have your partner repeating the same line over and over.
The online play (non-campaign) is a slight let down by only supporting 2v2 play and the whole idea of co-op tatics is just thrown out the window when every game is as laggy as playing "The Darkness" online.
The game modes consist of:
Versus - involves 2 teams racing to complete as many objectives as possible and earn as much money as they can and beat the other team
Warzone - Just destroy or defend different locations on the map
Extraction - Defend and escort hostages and take out the other team as they escort theirs
Bounties - Kill the targets and earn the most money.
I would not recommend playing this game online.
Players - 1 to 2
60KB to save
HDTV support for 720p/1080i/1080p
Supports dolby digital surround sound
Online content for download
Supports the microphone
Rating - 18
This game is very good and great fun to play, but as it has been out quite a while so I would suggest finding a buddy to do the game with if you are going to get it as you may struggle to find someone online.
Army Of Two is A third person shooter for the Microsoft Xbox 360 games console.
In this game you take control of a mercenary, as you are fed up of being a regular soldier. It is called army of two so that means you have a partner.
The game is largely based on the team play you can have with your partner, if you want you can let the computer control your partner and it will do a reasonable job, but it is a lot more fun to get a friend to play it with you.
The shooting mechanics are pretty good, but it is slightly tactical for so you will have to take cover and stuff like that. There is also a interesting system where one of your team can draw the enemy attention which will leave the other character free to flank and destroy the enemy.
If you have someone to play this with you will enjoy it a lot. You can purchase it for about £30.00.
Very good game with an original idea of basing the whole game on co-op.
Great for playing with a friend and it constantly uses the idea of "two" throughout the game with original ideas including step-up and back-to-back. A good story line with some further down loadable content including an alternate ending which contributes to the game play.
However, you do not necessarily need a friend as you can play alone with your partner being AI, in an intelligent system that enables him to become accustomed to your style of play.
Another great feature is that you earn money as you go through the game and can buy masks, body armour, and weapons as well as being able to upgrade them and pimp them.
Also includes good online play with team based objectives, yet is slightly limited compared to some other similar games available.
If you enjoyed Gears Of War you will love this as it is similar play style with the new idea of two man army.
Well worth buying!
Only costs £30 from game at the moment as it has been reduxced in price!
It's the winter of 2007 and 360 gamers are perhaps being given the best winter line up of games of all time. From 'Bioshock' via 'Mass Effect', 'Halo 3', 'The Orange Box' and 'Call of Duty 4' you could hardly move for a game that screams must own. These five games alone are likely to set the average gamer back £200 so what will happen to the other 30 or so games released during the same period? The stupid will go out anyway and be killed of, whilst cleverer publishers may decide to hold off until the quieter start of the New Year. This is what EA did with 'Army of Two'. They were so close to a pre Christmas release that magazines had already reviewed it only for to be recalled. Was this recall an intelligent sales tactic to avoid the Christmas bottle neck, or was it in fact as rumoured that the game was so average it would have only sold an army of two copies?
'Army of Two's gameplay is taken directly from the 'Gears of War' play book. This is perhaps the closest clone to date with the same 3rd person perspective, shooting mechanics and use of cover. Also like 'GoW' you can play the game co-operatively with either computer AI or a friend. This co-op experience is how the game is meant to be played as on your own it feels very limited. You and a friend must work your way through a series of levels shooting an enemy waves. Most enemies will be fodder, but on occasion you will come across a man sporting heavy armour.
The heavy armour soldiers can not he killed head-on so to destroy them you must work as a team so that one distracts whilst the other sneaks behind him. 'Ao2' has an aggro meter that connects the two players. One player can shoot at the enemy and attract their attention so that he becomes a bullet magnet. The other will then become invisible. Balancing the risk between players is vital to get past tricky situations and you must work together to fulfil your goals. Other areas that require cooperation include lifting one another up and opening heavy doors. This means that at no point are you far away from your partner.
To a large extent the actual process of co-op works well, especially if you are with a real life friend over LIVE. However, the gameplay itself is somewhat lacking. The cover and shooting mechanism does not feel as good as 'GoW' and the actual co-op elements of door opening are little more than cut scenes. I did like the idea of having a set amount of time to heal your buddy and the aggression idea is a good one. Unfortunately, the potential is not fulfilled as you end up playing a generic shooter that does not require too much co-op! I had fun with this as I have fun with any game that I play with my friends - but 'GoW' did a similar thing better over a year ago. (4 out of 5)
Arrghhhh. 'Ao2' characters and story seem to be designed to be the most embarrassing cliché things ever. You play as two mercs who talk about rap music and act cool. Apart from that the story seems to be about betrayal and privately funded armies. It did not make much sense to me because a lot of the dialogue is piped into you whist you are in a fire fight. The game is pretty hard and you have to concentrate to succeed, therefore you tend to ignore someone wittering in your ear. The only positive thing about the characters is that they will high five or play air guitar if you press a button! (2 out of 5)
The campaign lasts for around 8 hours, but a lot of that will be redoing scenes that you have just dies in. Once completed a harder mode is unlocked. Unfortunately my friend and I (both veteran gamers) found it too cumbersome and difficult to bother playing again so we stopped after 2 further hours. There is an online mode that would improve game length, but I felt it was limited and slow. Finally, for those with achievements in mind the game does require 2 or 3 playthrus to get them all. (3 out of 5)
Personally I feel that 'Ao2' is yet another victim of poor online. As a co-op experience the online works well with minimal slowdown, only once was it unplayable. However, alongside the core game is a set of multilayer modes. All the modes hold a maximum of 4 players therefore with relatively few people it is a surprise that nearly every game suffered from severe slowdown. The game types are different from the usual online experience and require teamwork to complete tasks faster than the other team. I enjoyed it for a short while, but the experience soon became boring and I went back to the sturdier shore of 'CoD4'. (2 out of 5)
Using the Unreal Engine 'Army of 2' does look very good. Each level is set in a slightly different location and they all feel realistic. The best looking are the ship level and the airport level. The character models are also very good with our two heroes in particular looking meaty and strong. Overall, the graphics are amongst the best that the 360 have to offer, the only issue I would have is with some of the clipping on show. This is when a character gets too near to an object and seems to blend into it. (4 out of 5)
It is hard to praise level design in a game that fails to utilise its space correctly. In a single player experience the levels in 'Ao2' they would be good enough as a linear experience, but offer no alternative paths. All 6 levels have a different look and I feel it is a shame then that they are all essentially long corridors. The sections that work best are those that have an open feel e.g. an airport lobby, these are too few in my opinion. If EA decide on a sequel they need to add more to the environment that requires true cooperation on the players' part. (3 out of 5)
With powerful gun blasts and cries of anguish the sound is pretty good in 'Ao2'. The voice acting on offer is also of a high standard even if the characters they portray are irritating. The music is perhaps not quite at the same level as you soon grow bored of hearing the games theme when you are yet again reloading a level. (4 out of 5)
'Army of Two' is a game that failed to show its full potential. In many ways it is a polished experience with good graphics, sound and gameplay. However, the enjoyability of the game is based around who you play it with. Alone the game feels empty and dull and only with a co-op pal does it work. Even then the elements of cooperatively are limited and you can not help feel that EA could have done so much more. I hope that this game does get a sequel and that the extra time to make this is used to create a truly co-op experience. If this is done then perhaps 'Army of Three' will become a classic. (3 out of 5)
Maker: EA RRP £50
Amazon uk £39.48
EA Games have grown a bit of a reputation with gamers. They have a stack of games with almost zero polish, they have a tendency to barely change yearly releases and they can come off as greedy, with them buying out Pandemic and Bioware and now are trying to buy Take 2. The attempt at Take 2 has really sparked hatred. Either way, they have taken a big risk with Army of Two. Games these days are including Co-op play as a bonus feature. Some have succeeded, like Gears of War yet some have failed like Kameo. But no game has focused on the co-op in almost all of its game types, but that what Army of Two does. It's a risky gameplay style, which pretty much needs another player to have the most fun. Does EA give fun for both single players and cooperative players, or does it leave something to be desired.
Rios and Salem are two Army rangers, who on their first mission, decide to join the Private military for more cash. As they joined, the popularity of the military grew and grew and now the CEO of the company is trying to push out the Army completely with just hired contractors to kill those terrorists. But is there a conspiracy? To be honest, the plot itself is pretty thin with a bit of predictability there too. What makes the plot better than average is its two main characters-Rios and Salem. Constant references to films and other media really help connect with the character. For example, if you're a fan of the Aliens films then you'll recognise the moment where Salem goes into Overkill and yells 'Game over man! Game over!' There are also other lines of dialogues, and even achievements, that reference to media which means Army of Two will be great for fans of the media.
Army of Two is a third person shooter, which means the controls are basically the same as the third-person shooter. Aiming is mostly smooth, though it's sometimes hard to get a hit on far away targets. Like Gears of War, you hold down the right trigger to precision aim, as well as aim in cover. You can use the D-Pad to select commands for your partner, select your weapon and more. You can use a roll move by pressing the Y button, which can also be used to slide to cover. You can use the GPS by pressing the select button which guides you to your next objective. The only really control problem is the vehicles, which don't handle well at all. This means for some frustrating sections where you are on a Hovercraft or other vehicle. Aside from that, Army of Two controls well enough.
Army of Two first comes off as a clone of Gears of War, where you hide behind cover and shoot with either blind fire or aiming. You'd be mostly right. You are in a third-person view, cover is your best friend and you can melee kill enemies up close. The difference here is that you don't push a button to stick to the cover. Instead, you crouch and you go into cover automatically. This takes out all the moments where you randomly stick to cover when you wanted to roll instead. It makes it easier to stick to cover. But it does still feel like it took some cues from Gears. Blind firing can kill when up close, but really to get the best results you must aim with your gun, which puts your character out of cover and at risk of getting shot. It's like gambling, where taking a risk can either get you killed or complete the mission successfully.
But there are lots of other elements to Army of Two. Unlike Rainbow Six where you have at least two people with you, here it's just you and the other character. While you can choose to be Salem or Rios, there isn't much difference between the two, aside from a couple of moments where one character goes in another route. You can give commands to your partner like go forward, regroup or hold. You can turn on a camera to see where your partner is in case you get lost, though usually you can just use the regroup command. There are other co-op specific moves you can do with your partner, like hoist them up to a ledge where they can take out the enemies above, co-op snipe where you aim for two targets and take them out at the same time and more. It definitely adds something unique to the game. You can even give them props by doing air guitars, or headbutt them.
You can make your partner go forward or regroup aggressively, which all ties into the Aggro meter. Basically, when one person constantly fires at enemies, kills terrorists and generally grabs the attention of the street then the enemies will fire at the attention grabber, leaving the other person near invisible. This is interesting, especially in co-op, as when one person is grabbing the attention the other can flank behind, which grabs their attention, and then the person first grabbing their attention can flank back. You can also use aggro to take the attention off a wounded partner, get the attention of a gunner while the other person takes them out and more. It adds strategic depth to the game. Plus, get enough aggro and you can use Overkill. There are two types of Overkill. If you get all the aggro, then you can do double damage for a few seconds while your partner is invisible, but if your partner gets the aggro then he gets double power while you are invisible. These are helpful in tight situations.
There is also some nice attention to detail. You can rip the door off a car to use as a riot shield, or use an actual riot shield, where one person moves with the shield while the other shoots from behind. If Rios and Salem are outnumbered, they will go back to back as they shoot enemies trying to kill them and more. The game also doesn't use health back. The now overused recharging health system is here, where if you hide in cover for a few seconds you'll recover from damage. If you take a few too many bullets, you'll fall to the ground and sit up. You can still shoot and when your partner finds you, they can drag you and revive you. If they get shot while reviving you then they have to start again, which means finding the perfect cover is essential.
Unfortunately, you'll be getting two different experiences depending if you play it with a friend or not. It is definitely a weak experience when playing by yourself. The main problems with the game include the A.I. If you send your partner out on an aggressive push forward, they could actually take out all the enemies by themselves, where you can just go in and clean up. It's a little harder on the harder difficulties, but they could still kill a lot. The enemy A.I. is also slightly annoying, as it's near impossible to kill an enemy that is moving. But that's not the biggest issue with the A.I. no the biggest single player annoyance is reviving you. Maybe it was just too tough for the A.I. to figure out where it's safe to revive you. They will either drag you back to the beginning of the level, occasionally going straight past safe cover, or they will die trying to revive you in open air. It's annoying, especially on the harder difficulties. It's also just dull, feeling like a buddy movie without the buddy.
But once you go into co-op, the game truly shines. All the co-op elements feel solid, reviving isn't an issue and you just get more fun out of Army of Two. Unfortunately, there were the occasional moments where people kept quitting because it was too hard. Or I fell out with someone because we argued over having to retry sections. It's also worth noting that you can only play with people with PAL version of the game, which means that there is less chance of finding a game. Still, there is little lag during gameplay and it's just fun playing with another person. It's just a shame it couldn't succeed with its single player too, as you find other games like Gears of War which succeed in both the single player and co-op.
The mission objectives in Army of Two aren't awe-inspiring. Most of the objectives ask you to follow the GPS while killing any enemies in the way. It can get repetitive, especially by yourself. There are some interesting objectives, like in a later level where you must use co-op snipe to blow up a bridge. Much like Ghost Recon, objectives constantly change. In the level I just mentioned, your escape route disappeared meaning you had to find a way to get out of the level. Unfortunately, there were only a couple of instances where that happened. The game tries to shake things up by including vehicle sections, but most of those are weak. The vehicles don't handle well, and they mostly play like the normal objectives where you simply follow the GPS while you or the partner shoots. The other interesting objectives include when you're parachuting down to the level and you must snipe the enemies on the ground.
You can also heavily customize your weapons. The weapon selection is split up into three catagories-main weapons, secondary weapons and special weapons. The main weapons compose of assault rifles, shotguns and more. The secondary weapons include SMGs, pistols and other smaller weapons. But the special weapons are interesting, including sniper rifles and rocket launchers. The customization available is impressive. While some weapons can only be 'pimped' with a flame paint job, some weapons can be immensely customized. You can use upgrades to make your gun more powerful, have more ammo or grab more attention. It can become and addiction simply upgrading weapons, though balancing upgrading and actually buying weapons can be hard. Thankfully, you can unlock all the weapons by playing through the game on the three difficulties.
The other mode of play, aside from the campaign, is the four player multiplayer modes. I know, that doesn't sound awe inspiring. That is like four times less than Call of Duty 4, but hear me out. Basically, it's two on two matches in four modes. Versus is where you must complete as many objectives as you can while earning cash, Warzone is the same except there are enemy A.I. on the map, Extraction is what the name implies where you must find and extract wounded partners on the battlefield and Bounties is where there are a number of assassinations to be completed before the other team. The thing is that the multiplayer is much less chaotic than Call of Duty or Halo 3, meaning noobs have more chance of winning. That said, it does get old quickly as the modes aren't exactly dramatically different from each other. It at least runs well though.
The game is rated 18+ for 'strong bloody violence and language' which is pretty much true. The game constantly swears, dropping F bombs a lot, and the game is always bloody. Sure, it's not heads exploding by as you shoot, blood spurts realistically on the floor. That said, the game is good for younger players as they could easily let the A.I. do all the work for them, though they will probably find it boring. I'd say anyone over the age of 13+ could play and not be offended.
Army of Two uses the now famous Unreal Engine, which powered Gears of War, Mass Effect and more. As you can tell, this means Army of Two will look at least half decent, and it definitely does. Sure, it's not quite as good looking as Gears but nothing has trumped that, really. Everything metal in the game looks really shiny, the character models for Rios and Salem are incredibly detailed and well animated (as is most of the game) and the environments are well detailed, if a little bland. That said there are some issues. The other character models can look a little rough, and the enemies repeat a bit, the environments are a bit sparse and the game is maybe a bit too shiny. Also, the water in the Hovercraft levels isn't particularly nice to look at. But all of this can be forgiven when the frame rate is running smooth. Plus, it's interesting to see that when one person goes Aggro, the other goes transparent. The explosions are nice too.
The sound is also great. The voice work is great, with Rios being the typical gruff guy and Salem being a rather smooth talking dude. They both have some funny interactions with each other. To name one, in a level where the two guys get ambushed, Salem just randomly asks Rios who is his favourite member of the Wu-Tang clan. It made me chuckle, as did a lot of other situations in Army of Two. The other voice work is great too, and it's worth noting that foreigners speak their native language. The music is decent, with some nice scores coming in at the right moments. The gun effects are top notch, with weak weapons sounding appropriately weak and strong weapons sounding incredible. Explosions ring your ears, and other effects are spot on.
-(The Replay Value)-
The value is where Army of Two slips up most. Whether you're playing it alone or not, the campaign itself is short clocking in at about six hours or more. It depends what difficulty you are on, as there are more frustrations to be had on Professional. That said, if you play it once on the single player, you'll play through it again on co-op. The multiplayer modes add some value, keeping busy for a couple of hours, but they don't add much. One area where I think the game succeeded was the achievements. There are 37 in total, which include the typical 'kill 250 guys with a shotgun' as well as 'complete this level on the contractor difficulty or higher...' which don't sound like much, but I found myself addicted, earning about 650 gamer points from it. It's actually interesting that you can earn a lot of these by playing by yourself, and simply trying to complete the game on Professional will keep you hard at work for hours. Still, it's hard not to want more value for money.
-(The Ending Comments)-
Army of Two is a decent shooter that stands out in the market, thanks to its co-op gameplay. Unfortunately, much like the title suggests, you need two people to get the most fun out of this, whether it's online or local. Either way, the game suffers from a disappointing single player, some annoying A.I., a short length, poor vehicle controls and other minor quirks. But, thanks to interesting co-op mechanics, great graphics, characters you can connect with and great co-op Army of Two definitely is better than average. It's just that other games have included great co-op, like Gears of War for example, but also succeeded in the single player portion of the game.
-(The Extra Info)-
This was published by EA Games and developed by EA Montreal
This was released on March 7th, and is also on the PS3.
This is available from Amazon for £39.48