Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

..Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel..

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Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Box Art
System/s: PS3, X360
Developer: Visceral Games Montreal
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Third-Person Shooter
Players: 1
GD Score: 66
Press Scores
Release Date:
N. America: Mar. 26, 2013
Europe: Mar. 29, 2013
Australia: TBA 2013
Japan: TBA 2013
ESRB: Mature (Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language)

"Not So Devilish"

REVIEW |

Author: Akil Henry  

At the end of the last generation of systems, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel would have been released at $20-$30 and would have had everything included on the disk, without the need have pre-order anything.  However, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel was released this generation, and as such, it's priced at $60, it doesn't come with a manual, and the menus mention features that don't state they require the pre-order of DLC from a specific retailer. For a title with such features, there are a number of problems that one would have been able to overlook if the last-gen approach had been taken instead.

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel is the third title in the co-op focused series, but it takes the normally light-hearted, frat bro' feel (players could high-five each other after kills in previous games) for a slightly darker tone.  Players control two new recruits, Alpha and Bravo, who work for the Private Military Company owned by the characters that starred in the other games: Salem and Rios. Set in Mexico, the characters are hired to rescue a politician who has been kidnapped by a cartel. Eventually, the work becomes personal, as the cartel goes directly after the PMC's employees.

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Review Screenshots (PS3, Xbox 360)

Gameplay in Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel is pretty standard third-person shooter fare, and although the game would like you to believe that teamwork is needed to survive battles, most of the time missions feel as if they can be completed solo. Killing enough enemies allows a player to activate overkill, which gives for a limited time infinite ammo and invincibility. Features such as the aggro meter, which let players know at whom enemy aggression was directed, are gone; teamwork is used in level primarily to distract someone at a stationed machine gun, double overtime, or to heal a downed teammate.

Between levels, players earn money from kills to rank up and purchase stronger weapons and items to customize the character such as weapon skins, armor sets, masks, and tattoos. The weapons leave a lot to be desired, and there are few differences to be seen even when having fully upgraded them. The leveling up system in Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel also feels like an artificial way of providing replay value, seeing as how once the campaign has been finished once, there's nothing to really see when going through again. As mentioned earlier, the menus talks about another mode called contracts, but when looking online, I see that the mode was only available to those who pre-ordered the game.

With the campaign being the only thing to do in the game, it really drags on until it plateaus towards the end of the game, where the gameplay situations change often as the story concludes. Until this point, the chapters drag on as the story keeps putting objectives slightly out of reach to artificially stretch out levels. There is one point where an NPC is on the other side of a gate you're facing, but for some reason, Alpha and Bravo decide to take the long way around instead of breaching the handle like they do at every checkpoint.

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Review Screenshots (PS3, Xbox 360)

Using EA's Frostbite Engine, as seen in Battlefield 3, Devil's Cartel looks on par with other titles, after installing an HD texture pack (at least on Xbox 360). The game features environmental destruction, but not on the scale of something that would be seen in the Red Faction series, so the reason behind the 1.5 GB install to prevent the game from looking like a PS2-era title is a mystery to me.

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel plays like something that would be released at the end of a generation: playable but generally lacking polish, including a very annoying bug that tells your A.I. partner died in the final cinematic and forces you to start the last battle from the beginning. It's not the worst thing that has come out this year, but there are a lot of games that are cheaper, or you could just save your money and wait on.

GameDynamo's Score for Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel (X360)
Graphics
Looks nice, but the HD texture pack install required to see it brings things down a notch (not everyone might be able to install it).
Sound
Standard Michael Bay-esque score expected of the genre.
Gameplay
Standard TPS fare. Levels drag on at times, and the control scheme is a combination of Call of Duty and Gears of War. Co-op mechanics feel loose compared to the previous titles.
Play Value
The level-up system simply adds grinding in an attempt to make players go through the campaign a second time around.
 
Final Score  66  
Not bad, but it doesn't stand out from the rest of TPS games out there.

Posted on 04/09/2013 | Game Played on: Xbox 360
Akil Henry

Akil is a big fan of video games and music, specifically fighting games and R&B. Other interests include game design, and comedy. His background in game design combined with his unique worldview and sense of humor makes him someone to follow.

The views of GameDynamo's writers are not necessarily the views of the website as a whole. However, we support freedom of speech and enjoy diverse opinions about video games. Hopefully you do too!

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