Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel Demo (Impressions)[Photo]
The 3rd installment of the Army of Two series subtitled “The Devil’s Cartel” has released a demo recently. The game ships on March 26th so it’s adequate time to try it before you buy it. The Army of Two games have for whatever reason managed to keep getting green lit for sequels despite mixed reviews and a painfully generic, gruff military shooter, style. Despite all that the previous games have sold generally well. The likely hook is the franchise’s main focus being on 2-player co-op. For that reason I asked a friend to play through the demo with me.
As the demo starts up the first thing we’re asked to do is select a load out which includes a primary and secondary weapon as well as a side arm. We get $60,000 each to go nuts which suggests completing missions will net you cash to come back and shop. The options are surprisingly varied though a lot of equipment in the menu is locked. From the store you can even opt to test fire your weapons in a shooting range which was welcomed. I stuck a grenade launcher and laser sight on an assault rifle which I then painted matte black. As my secondary I chose a shotgun with extra shells stored in the stock for quick reloads and a barrel that helped to raise accuracy. After we got our gear all set up, we’re shown a video detailing the mask customization. The two main characters wear Jason-esque Hockey masks which can be designed with various decals like skulls, tiger stripes, or whatever else strikes your fancy. We weren’t able to do any of it but the video made it seem like the options there are even deeper than the weapon stuff. So expect a penis to grace the mask of some idiot online somewhere. Finally the actual game starts and our two guys look like they’ve just broken out of jail wearing tank tops and their hockey masks. There are tons of enemies all over the room and then suddenly two other guys with masks repel down into the middle of the room and take out everybody with bullets knives and the usual badassery you’d expect. They exchange some words and then toss over a duffle bag which apparently has our gear inside. When the scene fades back in we’re both fully loaded and finally ready to get to shooting. Honestly I can’t say the combat or enemies do anything at all to stand apart. Aiming employs the same snap to target system made popular by Call of Duty. There is a cover system which works fairly well with some instances of not being able to get off walls when you want to. Certain areas require you and your partner to access, but not in any meaningful way. (Hold X near this wall, watch co-op animation play out). There is a sort of focus mode that either player can trigger for both. Once it’s activated time slows down but nowhere near bullet time and damage is drastically multiplied. An encounter with heavy armored guys wielding mini-guns ended in several reloads and one of us dead the first time. On the second try using the focus mode dropped those guys in seconds. A more interesting segment later on had one of us board a helicopter with a chain-gun and cover the other on roof tops as enemies poured in. Though this segment was better it’s still something I remember doing almost exactly in a previous Call of Duty game specifically in one of their co-op missions. As a second wave of enemies start to attack the helicopter gets hit by an RPG, my partner crashes on the far end of a roof top and I get an alert on my screen to save him. He’s yelling at me through the headset to hurry up as he’s trapped in the wreckage with only his side arm to fight off attackers. I’m sprinting through debris and picking off enemies all the way until I reach him and my character dives towards my buddy who’s now falling off the ledge with the copter. I catch his arm in a fireman’s hold and lift him to safety, but not really because we turn around to find ourselves surrounded. That’s where the demo ends, all in all nothing too impressive, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. Playing this game alone would be a no-no but with a good friend as your co-op partner there’s likely a lot of fun to be had. Try out the demo for yourself on Xbox Live and PSN.