Sunday, September 22, 2013

1PanelReview Army of Two The 40th Day

And here's a quick review of the original Army of Two sequel!

What it is: Army of Two: The 40th Day

Which is: A Third Person Shooter video game
Created by: EA Montreal/Electronic Arts
Year: 2010
Available on: Xbox 360, PS3 & PSP

The 40th Day is the 2010 sequel to the 2007 original title Army of Two. Once again, the game is a third person action shooter with an emphasis on co-op gameplay.

What's Good about it: Like the first game, Army of Two The 40th Day is still a very much fun over-the-top action game, with lots of one liners, silly "Bro" moments and epic scenes. Our heroes have become more of full-on blown off parody of action heroes.
There's even more camaraderie dynamics between the two lead characters Rios and Salem. Be it silly non-useful playful stuff like high fiving and air guitar. Or simply team-up moves to get ahead.
Air guitar, dude!!
The all-new and improved "Aggro" system, to take the enemies' attention, is a lot more in-detail and effective this time.
The game feels simply more simplified and streamlined from the first one, quick actions, easy to pull off moves, etc.
There are morality choices to make now! A nice new addition, sometimes you might decide what to do with an hostage, enemy or other civilian. Those actions have quick results shown to you through a comic book-style epilogue drawn by popular artists Chris Bachalo, Jamie Mendoza and Jock! It's a fun little mechanic.
The weapon customization makes a comeback, and is much more improved and complex this time. Do you dream of a gold bazooka with zebra stripes on a silencer on top of it? It's possible now! The fancier you make your guns, the more attention (Aggro) you might get.

What's Bad about it: The sequel does take itself a bit more seriously, with more dramatic scenes and a very tense storyline.
The levels also feel a lot smaller and more linear.
Likewise, our heroes are this time trapped in a single setting through the entire campaign... in  Shanghai, China. No more variety in the levels through the entire game, it's mostly red-brown-ysh streets of a destroyed Shanghai the whole game.
The whole game thus feels less inspired and memorable than the first.
You're not playing for the story, are you? Cause it's super generic, bland and forgettable this time. With even more non-sense twists near the end...

Overall: It's a fairly standard sequel, the game feels a lot more action packed and longer than the first... only you might not find yourself replaying through it anytime soon.

It's still a good game at the end of the day. But I kinda wish they hadn't trapped Rios and Salem in one giant single map (divided in several smaller linear segments).

Due to the big success of the franchise by this time, EA Montreal started working on a sequel tentatively titled "Army of Four" after The 40th Day... but the main EA headquarters would then cancel this project and shut down the Montreal-based studios. 

Finally some members would be brought along the developer Visceral Montreal to co-work on a new Army of Two game. Developed by another studios unlike the first games, this third episode was finally released this year. Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel has very little to do with these past two games, it's more of a reimagining of the series. More serious and lacking any fun of the originals.
I give it: 2 / 3 Quacks!
[How does my Rating System work?]

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