Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel / Version Played: PS3
EA / Visceral / PS3/360 / March 28th
In Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel players find themselves on the deadly streets of Mexico as Alpha and Bravo, two operatives working for Trans World Operations (T.W.O.), a PMC outfit that drops them in the middle of a drug war conflict for an assignment full of corruption and deceit. With the ability to unleash the power of ultimate destruction, players will need to work together as their objectives unravel, allegiances begin to blur and they face off against the ruthless cartel. The story if this game is completely over the top and fits in with the gameplay perfectly. Don’t expect to be thinking about it days after you’ve finished though.
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel uses the Frostbite 2 engine. Don’t let this fool you though as if you are comparing this game to the likes of Battlefield 3 then you will be sorely disappointed. The art style in this game is a lot less realistic and whilst lighting and textures aren’t as impressive, they still do well to add to the atmosphere of the game. Pretty much everything is destructible in the game which really added a new touch to the craziness of the game. Animation could’ve been given a little more detail as some things come across as a little clunky. I just felt as if the graphics really lacked creatively and came across as very flat. The greatest graphical touches come whilst you have activated Overkill mode.
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel really centres its gameplay around co-op aspects. From the get go you are ordering your comrades around to open doors, help lift you up amongst a host of other thing. The cover system definitely takes a while to get used to. I felt like in the beginning I was not instinctively finding cover as I would in games like Gears of War. This become less of a problem as I spent a lot of time with the game.
The gunplay is pretty solid. There are a few little things that make it control differently from other shooters but these are ironed out in the games tutorial. If you pay attention in the tutorial then you shouldn’t have any issues in the game, as it throws you deep into bunches of enemies straight after you’ve completed it. The one real difference from other shooters is Overkill mode. Your overkill meter builds with kills and once you’ve activated it you no longer need to reload your bullets, you become invincible for a short amount of times and you do major amounts of damage. Whilst this mode is activated, you completely lose any sort of challenge but it creates mindless fun and breaks up the massive waves of enemies.
The thing I loved most about the latest Army of Two is the amount of customisation options available in between missions. Not only can you completely customise the appearance of your character, you are able to purchase different weapons and load outs. As you progress through the missions you will level up based on how quickly you get through the level, how many kills you get and many other criteria. As you level up you will unlock different weapons. I thought that the developers were smart to do it. There are 25 different ranks to get to and it really gives the player incentive to play tactically and also keeps the game feeling fresh as you unlock new weapons.
I feel like the game is let down in its level design. For the majority of the game you really feel like you’re going through the same linear level designs, taking down waves of enemies with very few chances to explore. The game adds a few different set pieces to spice it up but I feel like it really could’ve gone even more over the top in adding even more set pieces. The game really seems to be lacking in the creativity area. I felt like enemies never really felt all that different and I thought the game could’ve really benefited having less enemies on screen with more variety in them.
The games features local split screen co-op and online play worked for me without too many troubles. If you’re hosting a game than you can choose through the missions you’ve already played through. You can also join someones game based on what map they’re playing. When playing online, a best team player is awarded after each level. This is determined by deaths, heals, baits, decoys and saviours. We think that playing the game with someone is probably the most enjoyable way to play.
If you’ve got a friend to sit down with or an online buddy then you’ll definitely have mindless fun with this game. There is still fun to be had if you’re playing by yourself but don’t expected to be wowed by the production values or story. Most of the replayability comes in the form of weapons and weapon upgrade and this is easily the games best asset.