mikeinsc's Army of TWO: The Devil's Cartel (Xbox 360) review

Less Bro-Y Than Usual

Army of Two returns again and the douchey frat boy bromance is effectively dead. Doing away with one of the twin pillars of the game (that and the entire aggro system of gameplay) is always a massive risk. EA took the chance...and, well, the game is not exactly blowing my mind.

Truth be known, I actually liked the first two Army of Two games. They were asinine games with pretty good shooting mechanics and a nice aggro system. True, Salem and Rios were utter douchebags. Unlikeable bro-heims. But truly obnoxious people. But the games were fun, popcorn fluff.

This game...not so much.

You are Alpha and Bravo, newbies in the PMC. You are freeing a Mexican politician from a cartel, but this is less a storyline but more of an excuse for the mayhem. And mayhem is there in spades. Environments blow up nicely. Action is laden. Violence is everywhere. You get scores for every person you kill, but more points for more strategic kills. Flanking and killing is worth more than a headshot. Saving your teammate is worth more than flanking. It does provide several ways to tackle a mission, but with the brain-dead AI, the challenge doesn't really hit.

As gorgeous as the game is and how nice it plays -- the game just doesn't have much fun. Your characters are charisma sponges. Utterly bland avatars who, while not as remotely douchey as Salem and Rios, were way less fun than both of them. They occasionally crack a terrible joke, but it feels forced. The environments feel lifeless, which is odd, since they are as "legit" looking as environments can be. It looks lived in. But it looks like a Hollywood set, not a real world. There aren't a wealth of enemies nor enough gameplay to avoid a quick and profound sense of deja vu.

I liked the The Fortieth Day far more than this title. As obnoxious as Salem and Rios were, Alpha and Bravo's blandness killed this game in the starting blocks and nothing could really redeem it. I think aggro systems are a great gameplay idea and hope they try again...but try somebody different than the tedious Alpha and Bravo next time.

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Other reviews for Army of TWO: The Devil's Cartel (Xbox 360)

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    When a new game is being prepped for release, there are multiple opportunities to build or destroy expectations based on what the publisher does. In the case of Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, EA managed to destroy most expectations by laying off an entire studio shortly before the game’s release date. This move would normally indicate that the publisher has no faith in the final product. This may or may not be the case, but Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel does a fine job of exceeding these lo...

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