When Army of Two released in March 2006, developer Electronic Arts received mixed reviews regarding the gameplay and game mechanics. So to top this effort, Electronic Arts decided to launch its sequel called Army of Two: The 40th day in January 2010 but to no avail. And once gain developer tried to up its efforts in order to create Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel promising that this would be an epic instalment. The game is third person shooter which allows the player to play along with a friend either through the split screen option or multiplayer options. It runs on an Unreal Engine 3 like the previous two.
The first two instalments did not create waves in the gaming community yet they were pretty neat in their own way but that cannot be said for Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel. It is weak in comparison to the other two and seems to wander off onto another path forgetting the basics it was built upon. Army of Two revolved around two protagonists who caused havoc and chaos wherever they went with a slice of humour on the side while never really taking the game in the realm of seriousness.
This has taken a turn for the worst as the game introduces new characters for the player to handle who are uninteresting and not as much as fun as Salem and Rios. Alpha and Bravo are poor characters as they do not allow the player to connect with them and do not share a camaraderie Salem and Rios had. There is comedy present but it is poorly presented through the protagonists making the jokes fall flat on their face.
The story is as bland as the moronic characters and fails to leave a long lasting effect on the player. Each location feels like walking into a drab and dull environment as none of them possess the excitement and vigour that inhabit a place. The only plus point about the environments is that they are destructible so the player can take out his frustration on it. The game presents the player with an opportunity to level up and collect new gear but there isn’t anything substantial here to hold the player’s attention.
The absence of competitive multiplayer makes this game stink even more as it was a core element in the previous versions. There is no ‘aggro’ meter and morality moments are missing from the game which takes out a portion of the fun. Combat is ok but nothing great. The player will perform various tasks in plain lifeless environments and will do this over and over again bringing a sense of monotony. A new Overkill mode is pretty cool as it lets the player become invincible for a while along with increasing damage from his bullets but this isn’t enough to pull the game out of the grave it has dug for itself.
The cover system is flawed and players will feel frustrated when they can’t change to their desired place of cover or cannot take cover at all. The AI is extremely stupid and gives a bad name to AI all over. Enemies will rush towards their death. Thankfully the partner AI is great and can be depended upon in times of need.
Over all Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel is a mediocre experience and should be played only at your own risk.