Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel is the third in the Army of Two series and we got our hands on an exclusive co-op play session. This time round the story takes us to Mexico as Alpha and Bravo, two new T.W.O operatives, are dropped in the middle of a drug war against the La Guadanya cartel. As with all Army of Two games, there is a big influence on choosing co-op play, with The Devil’s Cartel allowing split screen co-op on one console and online co-op. The third person shooter calls for many moments of team work, such as simple things like joint opening a door or, when one of you inevitably falls due to too many bullets in your face, getting you back up before it’s too late.
The game also makes sure you don’t get too pally with your team member though, splitting you up at points to go after different objectives. This makes the game much more repayable and in our session we played the level twice literally just to see how different both the paths went. The problem with the paths is sometimes one feels smaller or less exciting. Near the beginning the ground member has to go through and clear a couple of wide areas, whereas the other only has one smaller area to cut down. The choice near the end had one going up and through a building to take down a Machine Gun and then board a helicopter and do some sniping. Whereas the other had to stay on the ground shooting endless waves to protect an AI character.
The Overkill mode returns where, once you’ve built it up enough, you hit LB and you go into a super mode where you’ve got an infinite clip and you do much more damage. If both you and your team mate go into overkill at the same time, then the damage is even higher. This is the first Army of Two to run on EA’s Frostbite 2 engine, meaning parts of the scenery are destructible. This is extremely evident when in overkill mode, with barrels and concrete hiding places being blasted out of the way, revealing the guys hiding behind. If you want more control over your soldier, then you can customise his face plate, tattoos and clothes, with lots of designs available to purchase using in-game money. You can also have an insane amount of customisation on your guns, meaning you can make a monolith of a weapon as you keep earning.
Even with it’s co-op focus, you can play by yourself with single player. There you can command the other player to send out grenades or to activate his Overkill mode, so you can chain both together. It’s not as fun as playing with another person though, so online or local co-op is the way if you want to play.
At the end though, the game is all about showing you one thing: Explosions. The game is full of explosions and you can use them to your advantage by setting off environment kills by shooting at the big red barrels and nearby cars. The end of our gameplay session finished with the biggest of them all, well at least as far as we know so far.
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel comes out in the UK on March 29th.