Army of Two XBox 360 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.8
Graphics 8.9
Sound 8.7
Value 8.8
Distributor: EA
Classification:
M15+
Review Date:
March 2008
Reviewer:
Gabriel Brown

8.8


Army of Two

Army of Two is EA's latest idea into the squad based first person shooter market which revolves around two military guns for hire, Salem and Rios who are not only battle hardened but are probably two of the toughest soldiers in the world.

The developers have done a great job at introducing both these characters into the story, giving us a glimpse of their past and also their future which takes place during the Iraq war. Not only are the characters quite likeable but they have their own different personalities and traits which makes for some interesting gameplay.

The story of Army Two involve our heroes and when someone within their mercenary organisation is setting up its members, Salem and Rios come are drawn into this mystery, all in the name of stopping international terrorists.


 

Features:

  • Co-op is no longer a mode, it’s the game. Players must undertake TWO man missions using TWO man strategies and tactics to ultimately create a TWO man advantage that no enemy can withstand.
  • ARMY OF TWO delivers intelligent partner AI (PAI) that will interact, adapt, collaborate and learn from their human partner. The PAI will also react and adjust to the gamer’s ability and how they play the game by taking the lead or following, driving strategy or taking orders. It is the dream of the human machine.
  • Customise and upgrade dozens of deadly weapons and share them with your partner off or online.
  • EA’s Montreal game studio is working to deliver realistic character and environmental effects including fluid dynamics that showcase an open-ocean water-wave simulation as well as physics based animations.
  • ARMY OF TWO will captivate gamers with a politically charged storyline, centering on the impact and ethical issues of Private Military Corporations.
  • ARMY OF TWO redefines TWO MAN online gameplay with players seamlessly moving from PAI to live players as they make their way through the game.

In its essence, Army of Two is your traditional third person shooter with a squad based interface. Even though the AI in the game is rather apt, you cannot rely on your partner to dispose of all the enemies and in two player mode, the game does become quite realistic.

The missions in Army of Two are diverse and entertaining with the player visiting a wide variety of different locales as they dispose of terrorists. By completing missions and certain objectives, you are awarded money which can then be used to purchase additional weapons and equipment.

What sets Army of Two apart from its competitors is the introduction of a new "skill" called agro which allows the gamer to distract their opponent in order for their partner to flank the enemy. Fortunately the developers have included a rather in-depth tutorial which teaches you all the variety of maneuvers and commands that are available to you in the title.

There's some really cool "other" maneuvers as well, such as helping your partner to unreachable places and then lifting them up. The friendship between Salem and Rios is great and you can perform some great little tweaks in the game such as playing the air guitar together, high fiving or even slamming heads. Camaraderie at its best!

The combat of Army of Two is frustrating at the best of times and even on easy, it's sometimes quite difficult to eliminate your foes as the aiming system feels quite flunky and lagged. Especially when you are encountering a wide variety of enemies, targeting can be difficult due to the fact that they don't stand still.

There are some tactics such as the "back to back" method where you stand back to back with your partner and attack the enemy in an almost Matrix-esq feel. The developers have really stressed this point in the game as you need to rely on your partner to successfully complete the game and to make things easier for the players. You can also command your partner to perform certain objectives, however the control system is a little confusing.

If you get fatally wounded, your partner will drag you to safety (or vice versa) and you can then administer a life saving injection. Where the game really shines is playing cooperatively with another person which almost forgives some of the above flaws in the game.

The game features a  variety of weapons and items available to the player that would make almost any military general blush by the diverse variety allowed for your characters. Match that with a variety of multiplayer options as the campaign mode is rather short and you can have hours of fun either online or with another gamer on the same XBox 360.

Graphically, the XBox 360 version of Army of Two is a visual treat that features high resolution graphics, extremely detailed characters who move with true realism. The special effects in the game are first class, especially the explosions and muzzle fire of your weapons.

The backgrounds are also quite detailed in some places and whether your parachuting into an enemy encampment or using a car shield in the streets of Miami to prevent you getting killed, the attention to detail is great.

The sound effects of Army of Two are quite realistic and sound great through our surround sound system, match that with some over the top voice acting and you have one clichéd sounding game with a soundtrack to match. The one-liners in the game do become a little repetitive but some of them are really entertaining and really help get you into the role of the two characters.

In conclusion, Army of Two is an entertaining squad based shooter, however does suffer from sometimes a frustrating control system. Once the kinks are worked out by the player however and you have mastered the control, the title is quite apt, especially the online mode which is definitely the winner in this game.

Great graphics, interesting gameplay make Army of Two an unusual if not satisfying experience as this is a strategically squad based game not a stock standard first person/third person shooter. Go get em!






 
 



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