Army of 2: The Good, The Bad, The UGLY
With its slick characters designs and intuitive co-op systems, EA promised a gaming experience that was truly unique. Although Army of 2 delivers on many of these promises, ultimately the game falls just short of being a masterpiece.
Having played through the game numerous times with my friend Neo Nova X, here is what we’ve noticed…
Let’s start with “The GOOD”
Army of 2 had an awesome idea of letting players customize their weapons. Players could earn cash by completing missions and then use these funds to unlock upgrades on their weapons. From silencers to grenade launchers players had numerous options at their disposal. This is an awesome feature and players will spend a lot of time make sure they are nicely equipped. Once you get a GOLD AK-47 its hard to use anything else.
CO-OP Shield Usage
Throughout the game you are given the option to pick up a shield and use it as cover. You can walk in front of your teammate and protect him as he takes out enemies. I found this to be very entertaining and useful in tight situations. Hilarity ensured when we would walk right up to an enemy and bash his face in. Ahh the Good times. =D
AO2 had a great camera system. I never had a camera issue throughout the whole game. It was easy to see your enemies and change angles to catch all the action.
The story behind AO2 is predictable and ordinary but still VERY entertaining. The main characters are mercenaries trying to earn a quick buck. Things go horribly wrong when they are framed for a crime they didn’t commit. Playing AO2 is like watching an awesome action movie.
The “Jason” Masks are cool and the characters are likeable. I think EA did a great job with Rios and Salem. You can even customization your Masks to look even cooler.
From inspiring orchestral pieces to heavy metal rock, AO2 had a nice musical score. I found myself inadvertently humming many of the themes during load times.
The Aggro mechanics work well in AO2. By increasing your aggro, enemies would tend to focus on shooting at you rather than your partner. This allowed for strategic attacks and better positioning. I personally liked shooting enemies in the butt. “Rear End Justice: >=D
Back to back
Similar to the shield system, “Back to Back” was another option which allowed you to use your ally in a devastating attack against you enemies. It would’ve been nice to be able to trigger this option yourself instead of having it automatically occur as part of the story.
I really liked the Revive system. If your friend was mortally wounded you could drag him to a safe spot and revive him. It added suspense to the battlefield and really made you look out after your buddy. At one point I kept screaming, “YOU WILL NOT DIE, YOU WILL NOT DIE, NOOoOOooOo!”
GPS was an interesting feature that AO2 developed. Players could activate a virtual GPS system that would show objectives and where to go next. I thought this was a great idea and it really helped me as I progressed throughout the game.
And now “the BAD”
I don’t know why but every shooter has some sort of vehicle mission. Its as if it is “required” by law to include it. The hovercraft missions in AO2 were annoying and a chore to get past.
Constant 2 Man Co-Op
Every so often the game would require you to “step-jump” or team up with your ally to open a door. The first couple of times this feature is kinda cool, but after a while it gets old.
The normal campaign is very short. My friend and I beat the game in one sitting. I’d say the game is roughly 5 hours long.
More Special bullets
The game features special weapons that have devastating killing powers. However you never get to use these weapons because Ammo is scarce.
The game is riddled with collision detection issues. Many times I have sniped a solider in the face, only to have it blocked by an invisible wall. Curse you invisible wall….
Incentive to switch weapons.
AO2 had an option to switch weapons with your Ally. During the 3 times we have cleared the campaign we have only switched weapons 3 or 4 times. This features sounds cool on paper but in reality it was never feasible and ultimately useless.
All ammo drops looked the same. Even if you needed secondary ammo, you couldn’t distinguish between normal and special ammo.
All Enemies are Snipers
Enemies are deftly accurate. Even when I was armed with a sniper rifle and I was shooting from a mile away I was getting shot.
RIOS: “WHO the hell is sniping us”
SALEM: “Dude they are just shooting @ us normally -_-;”
Similar to Gears of War, AO2 had a loud “GONG” that signaled the death of all enemies. This was horribly glitched. We would hear a GONG and people would pop out of nowhere and kill us.
Team Snipe was awesome and under utilized in this game. Sniping definitely needed to be fixed.
Inability to skip scenes
You could skip some scenes but not ALL. Sometimes you had to watch a scene over and over and over and over and over…….
Ao2 had awesome movie scenes that you couldn’t watch outside of replaying the normal campaign. This was a horrible mistake. I thought this was standard across all games with movie scenes?
In conclusion, Army of 2 is a solid CO-OP shooter with an entertaining Campaign. True to its title you really need 2 players to fully enjoy the game. If you have a dedicated friend to complete the game with, it is definitely a fun experience. Sneaking up on enemies while your friend has aggro, NEVER gets old. Ao2 may not be worth the hefty $60 price tag but it is definitely worth renting or purchasing on the first price cut ($40- $55).
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