Army of Two Review

The idea behind Army of Two is absolutely fantastic: the first truly cooperative play shooter. Sure there are other co-op games, like Contra, that have been around for decades but you could play through that entire game alone and have more or less the same experience. The goal behind Army of Two was to make co-op a requirement forcing you to rely upon someone else to complete the game; unfortunately this is one of the few places EA succeeded.

The games designers did some really fun things to force you to work as a team. Parachuting tandem into a level is a great way to drop you into combat. While one player guides you down the other can snipe enemies, making it easier once you land. It is not something that is overused, it was just the right amount of used, and I applaud that.

The Aggro function is my favorite new game mechanic. It works like this: one of the two characters can hold up behind a rock or wall and start shooting at enemies in one of the many tight corridors or streets attracting all the attention. The second player literally becomes invisible and can flank the enemies and pick them off. It’s a great system and it solidifies the notion that Army of Two is a two player experience.

Everything else about Army of Two falls a little short. It has a half-assed cover system that will sometimes grab you onto a wall allowing me to peer around a corner, yet other times it doesn’t and I get shot. The camera is also wonky at best. I found that the camera couldn’t find me when I was up against the wall of a hallway at times. I couldn’t see myself, and was downed because of it.

The shooting mechanics are… well they’re shooting mechanics and when I pull the trigger my guy shoots. I think they’re a little liberal as far as accuracy, because I find myself getting way more headshots than I have ever gotten in any game in my entire life. I’m not complaining, I just know that I’m not that good.

Playing through Army of Two is like watching a good trailer for an OK movie. Looking at the formula of truly co-op plus the agro and the ability to upgrade and even ‘pimp out’ your weapons and the going-back-to-back-and-shooting-in-slow-motion thing that happens every now and then all seems great, but it feels really pieced together.

Army of Two lacks the flow that triple A titles have. Games like Rainbow Six, Call of Duty, and Gears of War all have a cohesive feel to them and Army of Two just doesn’t. Yes those are the big boys in the shooter genre, but I really think Amy of Two could have been up there given a little more work.

It probably didn’t help that I did not care about the characters at all. When I play as a character I want there to be something too that character. Give me depth, give me heroism, give me something other than ‘I love to slaughter for money.’ I’m not saying I need Charles Dickens depth; Maser Chief is pretty one dimensional but he has a sense of heroism within him — Captain Mitchell from GRAW is the same way. They’re heroes. These guys are just idiots.

There are times when we get to learn about the characters, and just when it’s possible for me to get interested, one of them will say something stupid solidifying my utter detest for them. Luckily these scenes are few and far between

I wanted the whole thing to be better, and I could see the game wanted to be better but it just wasn’t. Army of Two as a franchise (can I call it a franchise if there is only one game?) is definitely something I would be interested in following. I am a big advocate of co-op gameplay and there was so much unrealized potential in this game that it will most likely stay on my radar should a sequel come. It’s not a bad game, it just wasn’t spectacular, and I think it could have been.


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Author: Creighton DeSimone View all posts by

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