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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Electronic Arts
Developed By: EA Montreal
Genre: Action
Players: 1-2 (2-4 Online)
Rated: M (Mature)
Release Date: March 4, 2008
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Rangebar Merani

Army of Two is a third-person shooter from EA Montreal that focuses entirely on cooperative gameplay both in campaign and versus modes. With the ability to play with a live partner or an A.I. partner, the game is fun because it takes an idea so simple and turns it into something entertaining. Entertaining yes, but sadly, not for too long due to a very short (but fun) campaign mode. With a fast-paced versus mode, customizable weapons and a complete focus on cooperative gameplay, Army of Two truly delivers a very solid co-op shooter with many great ideas.

The story goes something like this: Salem and Rios, two badass mercenaries that fight terror for money, have been sent on missions to random hot spots infested with terrorists. From Somalia to Iraq, and even to Miami, Salem and Rios are fighting terrorist groups, until they find out that someone in their organization has been setting them up. Quite honestly, the plot of the campaign is pretty bland, itís entirely too short and many of the levels are straightforward and narrow. But, surprisingly, itís still fun and enjoyable when playing with a buddy. The only way to get through the campaign is to use cooperative strategies such as back-to-back shooting, trading weapons, co-op sniping and even dragging your injured partner as he fires at enemies. Although, there is the option to play with an A.I. partner whoís pretty reliable, itís much better and so much more fun to play with an actual partner , either through split-screen or Xbox Live.

One of the great ideas introduced in the game is the Aggro meter, in which one player can gain Aggro by shooting more, causing enemies to focus their attention on him. There are many times where one partner will have to take as much Aggro as he can, while the other sneaks up on enemies to take them out. As the Aggro level increases, you will glow red and your partner will glow blue, looking almost transparent to the enemies. The Aggro meter is a very reliable tool in the game and is at the center point of cooperative strategies.

Even with the strategies implemented with the Aggro, much of the action and combat seem almost effortless at times, because of the linear and constricted level designs. Most of the time itís easy to just shoot at enemies on your side of the level, while your partner takes his side, and move on. The enemy A.I. is really dumb at times, clearly running in the open and turning their backs while Iím shooting at them. Speaking of shooting, the combat in the game isnít always as smooth and fluid as it should be. Of course when stopping and taking aim, the shooting is perfectly fine, but when running you can barely hit someone. And when in close combat, the camera angle gets all wacky at times, making it hard to see where the enemy is and making it seem easier to just melee them, instead of shooting them. With a great selection of weapons and the ability to buy and customize them with extra ammunition, suppressors, shields and even pimping them out, itís a shame the shooting in the game wasnít better.

As I mentioned earlier, the campaign mode is rather short. Luckily, Army of Two also has an online versus mode that can really keep things fresh. The versus mode pairs you up with a partner to face another two-man team in a game to complete as many objectives as possible and earn money doing so. The more objectives you complete, the more money you get and the team with the most money earned at the end of the game wins. Some of the objectives will have you killing certain A.I. enemies, rescuing hostages or planting bombs, all before the other team can do so. The action is fast-paced and fun, giving the game some much needed replay value.

The graphics in the game are quite impressive, with great detail to both the environment and the characters. Although many of the levels might be straightforward, you can still tell a lot of effort was put into making them look realistic. The voice acting in the game is pretty good, with a few funny lines but still some corny ones. The gunshots and explosions in the game all sound really good too.

With a fun, but short, campaign and a story that isnít very interesting, Army of Two is at its best when playing with a friend. The versus mode is where Army of Two is most entertaining, because of itís two-on-two competition to see who can complete the most objectives. With an impressive concept using cooperative gameplay and the Aggro meter, Army of Two truly shines as a solid co-op shooter with great ideas, but falls just short of really being a great game.


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