Reviews

Army of Two: the 40th Day-review

Army of Two promised a lot when it was realeased, action packed co-op, extensive gun customisation and 2 fantastic characters.
Sadly it never actually lived up to its promises but was still a fairly enjoyable 3rd person shooter.

But now the Army of Two return in a brand new game titled The 40th Day and this time it delivers….

Salem and Rio’s return as the games main characters, since the events of the first game the two best friends have set up their merc business in Shanghai, but as you might expect things will never go well for Salem and Rio’s.
Thankfully Salem and Rio’s are no longer the annoying prat’s from the first game and now are much more believable and fun to play as.
After your tutorial that shows you the ropes Shanghai comes under attack and building explode, walls crumble and your stuck in the middle of it all fighting for your life.
The plot in Army of Two: TFD is wafer thin and lacks any real substance but it does set the game up for some great locations to fight in such as fighting your way down the side of a collapsed skyscraper.
But the story does allow for one of the games most interesting mechanics, the Morality system.

Ok, so morality decisions are nothing new in games but Army of Two takes a different slant on it, once you make your decision you will then see the consequences of these decisions played out.
You may have made the choice with the best of intentions but your choice may not actually work out and the consequences can be startling.
Usually if you choose the morally wrong choice you receive cold hard cash while morally good choices will often get you a reward further down the line.
It’s an interesting take on the standard system.

Now that we have that explained we can move on to the core mechanics of the game, this is a 3rd person cover based game and as such has a lot of competition to face if it wants to dominate.
The cover mechanics are solid, simply walk  up to your cover of choice and your character will auto lock into cover, I never experienced any problems with this and it felt smooth and natural as I advanced through the games well laid out levels.
Army of Two also provides some neat features to set it apart, such as taking enemies hostage.
if you manage to grab yourself and officer the other soldiers will often surrender to you, at this point you decide whether to tie them or execute them which increases or decreases your morality.

This time around Army of Two holds up on its promise of vast gun customisation, it now boasts arguably the most extensive customisation system out there in a shooter.
You buy yourself a stock gun, lets say a G36, and after that you can swap out the barrel, stock, cartridge, scope, muzzle, and add this like bayonets to it, it’s a vast system and it has a large part selection enabling you to create your own dream weapon.
It does have a glaring flay however, most of the weapons feel very samey and don’t have enough of a unique feel to them and one gun often feels like another.

Army of Two does have one very big flaw though, its campaign is only 5 hours long, possibly 6 if you play it on hardest level.
Now this is not unheard of, look at Modern Warfare 2, but sadly that game has an extensive multiplayer to supplement its lifespan and Army of Two does not and as such a 5 hour campaign is very disappointing.
While it does have a multiplayer it is a pretty basic affair, not to mention you are always partnered up with someone and many Xbox Live users are simply not willing to work as a team.

Happily the 2 player co-op through the campaign will keep you coming back as you blast your way through collapsing buildings and hiding behind the corpse of an elephant, yes, thats what I said, an elephant.
And thanks to the games Aggro system team work is essential and fun to use, as one player fires his weapon at the enemy they start to shift attention to him, once the aggro meter has built up his partner is almost invisible and can snipe or flank to his heart’s content giving the game some great team-work options

The whole game now feels much tighter, smoother and more fun to play as you advance through the game and while the plot may be a bit daft  it’s still enjoyable to follow.

It’s Army of Two’s ending that will stands out in the game however, as opposed to some massive shootout or boss battle the game gives you a simple choice to make, and while this has been done before in the likes of Fable 2, this choice will actually make you stop and think, it’s one of the few times in a game where I have actually had to stop and put some major thought into a decision.

If you ignore the rather silly plot you will find a great shooter in Army of Two: The 4oth Day and a perfect game for some co-op play.
However the short campaign and a few other minor flaws do ruin it somewhat.

Score’s:

Graphics: 80%
A pretty enough shooter but with some dodgy parts.

Gameplay: 85%
A solid 3rd person shooter with great weapon customisation

Lifespan: 75%
With a 5 hour campaign and limited multiplayer it wont last that long.

Overall: 84%
Army of Two is a fun shooter and a good laugh in co-op, but horribly short and lacking in plot.

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