If you have played any of the previous Army of Two titles you know that this series is pretty much a bro fest. What I mean by that is it’s an over the top action shooter with two main protagonists that spew really cheesy dialogue whenever possible. This includes but not limited to your momma jokes and that’s what she said jokes. Not only that but the protagonists tend to be extremely cocky no matter the situation and they don’t seem to realize that they could be shot and killed at any given second. Even so, the previous games managed to keep my attention and the characters sometimes would give me a few chuckles here and there. So with the Devil’s Cartel switching over to two new characters how does it compare to previous titles?
In the previous Army of Two games you played as Salem, a small guy with a sarcastic attitude or Rios, a really big dude that pretty much kept Salem in line. Both were part of the private military organization known at Army of T.W.O.(Trans World Operations). Even though you still are employed by the Army of T.W.O. you are in control a different cast of bash brothers. This time you are two characters know mainly by their codenames, Alpha and Bravo. Even though you no longer get to play as Salem or Rios, they still end up giving you support on the battlefield and help you along the way.
Hired by Mayor Cordova, a politician in Mexico, you are ordered to take down the cartel know as the La Guadaña and their leader Estaban Bautista. The game doesn’t hesitate to throw you into the action. Soon after the game starts, you’re attacked by the cartel and most of your team is K.I.A. Mayor Cordova runs off to find a place to hide and you are left to fight your way through the heart of the cartel. Most of the characters in the game, enemy or friendly, were portrayed and voiced really well. Most importantly, the further you got into the game the more I grew to like Alpha and Bravo’s personalities. The ingredients were all there to make this game really interesting but I felt that the game really just dragged on. There were parts of the game where I really thought this was going to be the end only to find out that I still had a ways to go. This wouldn’t be nearly so bad if they changed the pacing of the game up a little. Essentially, the game formula is breach a room, clear the room of enemies, repeat process. It sure is fun… for the first 4 hours but when it goes on for about 12, it overstays its welcome.
You will have lots of different weapons to choose from including assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns and pistols. Not only that but there are lots of mods to choose from as well (Including grips, scopes, grenade launcher attachments, laser sights etc). You can even bring out your creative side by painting your weapon with a variety of gun camos or create your very own Army of T.W.O. mask (This was a really cool feature that if you really took your time with, you could end up making a pretty badass looking mask).
Hit detection felt responsive causing enemies to react depending upon where they were shot (Sometimes, this would result in their limbs flying off…ouch). Enemies shot from a close up shotgun blast would be blown back or knocked off their feet, a few pistol bullets will take down an enemy, a shot or two to the face with an assault rifle will end them, and a well aimed shot from a sniper will leave them dead where they stand. In previous games it seemed like the enemies were more like tanks. Enemies wouldn’t go down easily which would get frustrating after you have emptied an entire magazine into them.
The cover system worked well protecting you from enemy gunfire and allowing you to blindfire. Depending on the cover you were behind, you could pop up and over to fire or lean out to the side and fire. There was one frustrating part of this game that I felt should have been added to the game. That is a dodgeroll mechanic. The main reason I felt the game needed this feature was when trying to avoid grenadeds. When a grenade lands near you, the only real way to get away from it fast enough to avoid damage was to run straight forward. Strafing was way to slow and going backwards was just as bad. As you may know, running straight forward into enemy gunfire is not the best course of action because bullets hurt. With the simple ability roll to my left or right, this problem could have been avoided and thus my character could have avoided some shrapnel (Which I’m sure he would’ve appreciated).
This was the first game in the series to add the “Overkill” feature. This ability, even though completely unrealistic, was actually a lot of fun to use. After playing for awhile and using this ability more and more often, I found this feature to be extremely helpful, especially in times of desperation. How it works is you have an Overkill meter which fills with every enemy kill. Depending upon how you disposed of the enemy (Shots such as headshots, flanking kills, distractions etc. it would fill the meter). When that bar was filled you were able to go into Overkill mode. This made time slow down, your character completely invulnerable to any damage, (Even explosives like grenades or rockets which was kind of funny) and oh yeah my favorite… your bullets were stronger. So yes when you are shooting at an enemy behind cover without Overkill mode, the enemy is unharmed. But, activate Overkill mode and your bullets will destroy the cover he is behind and wipe out anything in the immediate area. It sounds really goofy and it is but it was actually lot of fun to use. This is especially true when you just run and gun your way out into the open and carelessly kill everything in your path in about 7 seconds (Kinda makes you feel like Rambo).
Unfortunately, there aren’t tons of co-op games you can play nowadays that actually allow you to play split-screen or online with another player. I will say that this game is a lot more fun when playing with another player. If you have a buddy that you can team up with, you will enjoy the experience even more. If you don’t have any friends, have no fear because your AI partner is competent enough to get you through the campaign without too much frustration. In my playthrough, he rarely made dumb decisions that got him downed (Even though don’t be shocked if your partner is downed a few times during a boss fight).
If you were excited to play team deathmatch or objective based games against others you will be disappointed. That is because there is no competitive multiplayer. Instead, there are survival missions where you face against enemy AI. This will catch your attention for a few times but I’m sure you will get sick of it very quickly.
This was by far the best looking Army of Two game in the series and that is all thanks to the Frostbite 2 engine (Which is Battlefield 3 also used in their game and hopefully you have seen how amazing that game looks). Building destruction and damage looks realistic, weapons and all weapon attachments on the guns look on par with the real thing and gun sound effects sounded a lot better than previous games in the series which made some guns sound like bb guns.
Although this game was a lot of fun and in my opinion was the best one of the series, unfortunately it still isn’t worth the hefty $60 price tag attached to it. The multiplayer and campaign don’t offer you enough replay value to last more than 20 hours total. Most likely, this game would end up collecting dust on a shelf shortly after completing the campaign. My suggestion, wait for a price drop and then grab another person to play it with. Then, go and wipe out as many enemy La Guadaña as you possibly can.