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Army of TWO:The 40th Day – Game Review

it seems that 40 days was how long they spent making it.

14/01/2010

I was quite excited by the thought of Army of TWO getting a sequel. The thought that a fun (albeit repetitive and sometimes boring) game was getting a chance to improve where it had fallen short the first time was a welcome one. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that this is the case.

Worst Collision Ever

Right from the beginning, there were signs that this game was not going to live up to my expectations. Upon starting a new game, I watched the opening cinematic quite attentively. It was well done, for the most part. Though the entire concept and execution of Shanghai going from regular city to post-apocalyptic warzone was done well, there was a dead giveaway during this cinematic. Amidst all the chaos from the “Cloverfield” type filming, a fire truck racing to help people collides with another vehicle. When the collision occurs, the truck stops dead in its tracks, and aside from a cheesy fireball that shoots out, no visible damage happens to it. I’m sorry, was this game designed on an original Playstation?

From this seemingly small point, I move to a bigger one. I don’t know what it is exactly but the over-the-shoulder placement of the camera feels far too awkward. It’s either too high, slightly too far out, or both. It has hindered a lot of the tactical skill I attempt to employ when playing any type of game which offers the option to play stealthy. Choosing to jump over cover was explained as tapping the A button while pushing forward against it. I have yet to accomplish this. There are many more problems I have with the control, but to continue would just make this review 10,000 words when combined with the other issues I have with this game.

The weapon customization is huge. Like, massive. I am going to put something out there that I never thought I would say about a video game: it’s too big. It wouldn’t be, though, if it felt like there was any sort of advantage to the weapon I was choosing. Every single assault rifle and sub-machine gun feels the exact same. Every sniper rifle, the same. Every shotgun, the same. When you add things and remove things from your weapons, the stats apparently change. I do not feel this at all. This is probably because every single gun is on the exact same playing field, which is realistic, but not fun. Why would I want to buy that SCAR-L for $20,000 when I can just buy a new silencer (which doesn’t pose any significant/noticeable change from the last silencer) for my M4?

I have been playing through the game with a computer partner, which is terrible. The AI has definitely improved from the first game, though half the time I tell him to stay put, he will run directly into the line of fire, getting himself killed in the process. This is not how the game was intended to be played though. Unfortunately, I am unable to find this out, as I have not been able to connect with another human online.

The only thing I did like, comic book styled cinematics

None of this even compares to the idiocy of the Enemy AI. In order to escape a grenade I lobbed over a wall, two enemies both ran and dove into a wall, 2 feet away. The shoddy collision detection also allowed them to complete their rolls while fully against the wall. Also, when enemies are being shot at, they rarely take it upon themselves to move from one camped position and will continue to pop out after hiding for a predictable amount of time. There are 4 types of enemy mercenary, and the only thing that differentiates them is the kind of hat they wear (and one type of bad guy looks like he has a radio). Then there are the Boss types, which are enemies with a spookier hat/mask and a bigger gun. The way to kill them is to get behind them and shoot any number of pouches they happen to have on them (1, 2, or 3 is the most I have encountered). Easy.

The stealth and hostage-taking aspects of this game are laughable and aren’t even worth going into detail about. In fact, the more I think about it, this game isn’t even as good as I was originally going to say.

I will say that I do like the setting, although I think I would have much rather liked a mission-based game involving lots of different locales above the “gotta escape the falling city” thing this one has going. Having said that, EA accomplished what they were aiming for there.

So to summarize, don’t go anywhere near this game unless you are obsessed with Nolan North, and the 5 million games he had voiced in. Seriously though, this game is terrible. I am bummed I actually bought it.

Welp, time for Bioshock

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