Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Game Review : Army of Two

While still waiting for big hitters like 'Grand theft Auto IV' and 'Metal Gear Solid 4' to appear on the ps3 front, I decided that i needed a distraction while I waited for these video game giants to bomb into the scene. That distraction turned out to be a bit more than I hoped for in the form of 'Army of Two'

Basically its about these 2 guys, hence the name army of two, whom start out as military operative in ths 1st so called training mission and later joined a massive private military contractor, or better known as a PMC. The game starts out with a bit of gore and is peppered with a lot of vulgarities throughout the game. So for unwitting parents out there, this might be a concern for you if you are deciding to get this for your 6 yr old.

The Game

The game starts out with a simple training video that explains what aggro means, which is a vital part of the game. Aggro revolves around the fact that if your are more aggresive, the enemy will put all their undying attention, the the form of hot lead, into you. There is another factor to aggro, which is if you have a bigger gun, you are bound to attract more attention.

So its fairly simple that if your partner has the bigger gun and is randomly shooting in the air, the enemy will be focus on him and you can go about your killing business with impunity without even getting a glance from them. This all works fine if you can control what your partner do or control what gun he starts out with at the start of a mission. there is also a function to allow you to give your partner a positive pat or a negative kick ingame.

The game progresses in a very linear manner and little exploration is allowed on any of the maps. There are many sub objectives that you can complete in each mission but they do very little to add on to the actual storyline, most of these are there just to give the player more money to buy or upgrade his weapons for more potent ways of killing someone. There are also bonus explorative items in the form of suitcases in most missions to also further fund your desire for killing.

Weapons are divided into 3 catagories, primary, secondary and special. Primaries are your main stay weapons, most of them are assualt rifles, there are some shotguns and even a gatling gun and grenade launcher. Secondary weapons are mainly pistols and submachine guns and the special weapons are used for sniping or taking out vehicles.

The Good

The game's AI is very well done, enemies will tend to keep you pinned down with gun fire and their compatraits will know how to flank you and try to kill you with any means available. They will even lob grenades at you on random. If you charged towards them, they know when to flee and take cover at a further location. Only once in a while, when there is no where to run they will come right up to you and smack you in the head.

The range of weapons available is quite good and numerous upgrades for most guns will keep you playing the game a few times thru just to buy all the upgrades for each gun. The stats of each gun reflects the performance of each gun rather accurately thus a gun with more damage tend to stop enemies faster than one with lower damge. This applies for the accuracy as well and one must often trade damage for accuracy. The old saying of a more accurate bullet will kill its target better than a bigger bullet.

Playing the game with a friend is a lot more fun than with the AI as you can tell your friend what you want him to do immediately and his aiming did not suck like the AI's. I completed the contractor mode with my brother in 8 hours of play time and it was much easier to have a 'live' partner than the dumb AI. Only downside to this is that you gotto share the ammo you find when enemis randomly drop them.

The Bad

In single player campaign, it is a pain to rely on your partner effectively and you have to keep cycling between comands to tell him to move or to stay where he is, to be more aggresvie or more defensive. All these has to be done in the heat of teh battle. Furthermore, when you pick up a riot shield, the AI will lock behind you and fire at the enemies while you advance. This would work if the AI hits the targets more often than missing them and not squeeze every road he has in a clip at an enemy in cover only to reload, more often than not, at the wrong time.

There is plenty of ammo for your primary and secondary gun, but if you use a foregrip attached weapon, you will almost never find the ammo for it mid game, well at least I never did. So if say you have a grenade laucher on your G36, the 3 ammo is all you get until you reach mid mission shopping and change out your gun.

Enemies tend to disappear after a while of their death. Unlike in 'resistance' dead bodies are left where they were when you dropped them and you still see them if you back tracked, this gave me a feel of realism back then when I played that game. The game also suffers from slow framerates at certain times, not sure whatthe cause of this was.

The plot of the game is rather simplistic and very short. In a sitting of 6 hours, one can complete the game in recruit difficulty. Playing it in contractor mode will be a bit more tedious if you had to rely on the AI to help you out. i just wished that the missions were more drawn out or more missions were added, Maybe the ability to explore the maps more would be a bonus. I for one would have liked to walk around the aircraft carrier in mission 4 to just to see what a real aircraft carrier looked like from the inside.


Overall the game is better than average, but its much better to play this with a friend. I would recommend this game to hardcore action fans whom like to play a game on split screen mode with a friend. I give this game 3 1/2 consoles out of 5