EA is no stranger to top notch games and they hope to continue the tradition with Army of Two. Hyped as no ordinary third person shooter will Army of Two give gamers a reason (outside of the sports genre) to connect a second controller to their console? Lets find out as we take a closer look at the Xbox 360 version.
EA is no stranger to top-notch games and they hope to continue the tradition with Army of Two. Hyped as no ordinary third person shooter, will Army of Two give gamers a reason (outside of the sports genre) to connect a second controller to their console? Let’s find out as we take a closer look at the Xbox 360 version.
Who is EA
If you don’t know by now, get out from under your rock and check this out!
Electronic Arts (EA) is the world’s leading independent developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for advanced console systems such as the PlayStation® 3, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP™ (PlayStation® Portable) system, Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo GameCube™, Game Boy® Advance and the Nintendo DS™ as well as PC, casual web-based games and games for mobile phone devices.
Since the company was founded in 1982, EA has been a creative leader. Today, the company continues to innovate and evolve the interactive entertainment medium. By drawing talent from diverse fields such as computer programming, animation, character modeling, motion capture, 3D face and body rendering, computer graphics and sound engineering with contributions from storywriters, directors, camera-people, actors and musicians - EA uses technology and creativity to develop mainstream interactive entertainment.
The Army of Two consists of Tyson Rios, the muscle and Elliot Salem, the looks. You start out as members of an elite US Army Ranger Unit sent to oversee an assassination, which has been contracted out to the Security and Strategy Corporation (SSC). Your SSC contact is Phillip Clyde: supposedly one of the best there is… but not mentally stable.
At the drop point you meet up with your SSC contact only to find that he severely lacks any trace of people skills, resulting in a conversation that would make Britney Spears blush. There is no time to snuggle with your new friend, as all hell breaks lose during the assassination attempt, leaving Rios and Salem to accomplish the task themselves while Phillip Clyde takes all the credit and gets paid.
Realizing the amount of money that can be made along with the freedom to accomplish the task in the manner of their liking, Rios and Salem leave the military and join forces with the SSC. Everything seems to be going well as this Amy of Two continues not only to make a good amount of money and contacts, but quite a name for themselves as well. That is until they realize that key members of the SSC – including their old friend Phillip Clyde - are selling sensitive military information to the enemy. After all, more war means more money for the privately contacted.
To succeed in Army of Two you must learn to use the Aggro system, which basically revolves around getting and keeping the attention of the enemy through an exchange of gunfire. The teammate that has the most Aggro will be the primary target for the opposing forces. This is key, as some enemy soldiers can only be hurt from behind; therefore, one teammate will need to build Aggro to allow the other to sneak behind the enemy.
Teamwork is critical in Army of Two and has never been easier to control in single player mode. The D-pad will dictate your teammate’s actions: it will hold instruct him to hold his position, advance forward, or group on you. You must also instruct your teammate to build Aggro to allow you to sneak around, or allow you to take all the Aggro from the enemy. Keep an eye on your buddy because if he goes down it will be up to you to drag him to safety and heal him. The flip side to that is if you get damaged, he will need to come save your butt as well.
Army of Two did not forget about the importance of in-game customization. You will not only be allowed to purchase weapons, but upgrade them as well; thus increasing damage, accuracy, the amount of ammo a weapon can hold - and you may of course “Pimp” it out to give it a custom look. Weapons are not the only way you can customize your character as there are enough mask designs to make Jason Voorhees jealous.
GRAPHICS & SOUND
As you can see, Army of Two has done a great job with the graphics; they’re truly first-rate. The environments look fantastic and are only outdone by the characters. Rios and Salem have a great amount of detail from their armor down to the modified weapons. The quality of the sound was almost the same level as the graphics - especially the actors’ voices. One thing to keep in mind is that Army of Two has a Mature rating, and this is something to think about if you are offended by profanity. Army of Two has plenty of it.
CONCLUSION & THOUGHTS
EA promised something different in regards to this third person shooter and I must say they did deliver. It was not only very refreshing to utilize the co-op and multiplayer aspects of Army of Two, but it made the game more enjoyable then playing single player. It brought me back to the days before our consoles were all linked via the great internet. The story behind the campaign mode was interesting but not at all gripping or intriguing. Expect to have the campaign mode beat with a few nights of dedication. While the campaign mode was short - and once beat it is very unlikely you will attempt to conquer it again - the online gameplay will help keep your interest peaked. Xbox Live made it easy to find and connect to others online however character customization is not allowed. I was a disappointed to find that all that hard work to buy and pimp out your weapons will not help in online play.
How Army of Two Scores:
Graphics – 9
Detailed maps along with the work put into the characters provides a vast amount of eye candy.
Sound – 8
Weapons and combat sounds keep you immersed in the game. Hats off to the actors as the voiceovers were excellent.
Gameplay – 8
Gameplay is a blast, and incorporates new aspects to the third person shooter genre.
Replay Ability – 7
You are able to rerun completed missions over and over again to gain extra spending cash; although once you beat the game, you only unlock the Professional setting, resulting in harder AI. However, the online play helps keep the action going even when the campaign mode is beat.
Learning Curve – 8
Army of Two is actually much simpler than I thought it would be in regards to keeping your second character under control. Toss in your basic control layout that seems pretty standard for most third person shooters and you have a game that is easy to pick up and play.
Price – 8
This console game sports the normal new release price of $59.99, however offers nothing as far as any type of collectors edition.
Final Score: 8 out of 10