I personally don’t think there are enough great co-op games on the market today. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are games like COD that allow split screen online and I thank them for that, but it isn’t enough! My boyfriend and I are both gamers that live together and it gets tough taking turns in games like Battlefield 3 that don’t offer any two-player capabilities! We have even contemplated buying another PS3 and television just so we could actually play together at the same time (an idea still open for consideration). Until then, developers need to remember that there may be more than one person per system playing and we would much rather game together than take turns on the sticks! I’m no longer satisfied with just SOME games having online split-screen, or shitty co-op story modes, which is why I have been on the hunt for a new game that offers an amazing two-player campaign!
And I might have found it…
ARMY OF TWO: THE DEVIL’S CARTEL
People may recognize this series from it’s previous installment, which admittedly wasn’t very good. The main characters, Elliot Salem and Tyson Rios, were in a goofy bromance that sometimes took away from the seriousness of the plot. Though I can’t say the high-fiving, air-guitar playing duo weren’t funny because that would be a lie. Talking about sex with pandas in the middle of gameplay is hilarious, but just that. It took away from a game that could be something much greater. Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel brings changes that could set the co-op world on fire!
Although there were mixed reviews for the previous installments, the Army franchise does have an established fanbase. “I think we believe the reason is that there’s gold at the core of this concept.” -EA Executive Producer Jeff Gamon
- A NEW ATTITUDE:
In this installment Salem and Rios won’t be the main characters. Instead they will take on background roles as top executives of the Tactical Worldwide Operations organization (T.W.O) . Why?
“Most notably, Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel takes a more serious approach than past installments which would have put Salem and Rios in an awkward position. It would be strange for the characters to take a 180-degree personality shift, so they’re adopting support roles.” -GameInformer writer Jeff Cork
Control will be left in the capable hands of two operatives only known as Alpha and Bravo. We won’t learn their real names because creators of the game want players to feel like they are the main characters, but I have bios here that you can check out:
Alpha- A veteran of multiple armed conflicts with the U.S. military and special forces. He’s a born leader who thinks of T.W.O as a way to bring precision military tactics to a paramilitary battlefield. Rios is the one who got Alpha to become a mercenary, even though he still sees himself as a soldier.
Bravo- An instinctual guy with a quick reaction time and raw talent. He served one tour with the U.S. army before deciding that life wasn’t for him. After, he worked with private military companies around the world and was eventually scouted by T.W.O after an urban rescue operation in the Balkans. Bravo didn’t dare pass at the chance to work with Elliot Salem.
- WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR?
TDC takes place in Mexico where drug cartels have left tens of thousands dead. The leader of these deadly groups and the main antagonist of the game is Esteban Bautista. His cartel organization, La Guadana, is so large and powerful it has taken on the Mexican military and even controls many of the police, judges, and politicians there. They have done so by gun-running and drug smuggling in large numbers.
Alpha and Bravo come into play when Juan Angelo Cordova, the mayor of La Puerta, hires T.W.O to provide security for a political rally in the area. La Guadana, A.K.A Scythe, has murdered Cordova’s family in retaliation for his anti-cartel stance, so he has reason to fear for his life.
T.W.O no longer works in secrecy and is now openly working with the Mexican special forces, GAFE. They have grown in both size and reputation but are still outnumbered in comparison to La Guadana, which has more money, personnel, and weapons. This leaves Alpha and Bravo in plenty of sticky situations, facing choices that clash with following orders versus their own moral beliefs. No matter how chaotic things get, Visceral promises its story line will keep things together.
“Alpha and Bravo are not going to fix everything for Mexico. It’s in the background and we’re caught up in it, but it’s a more personal story to them and we’re using the backdrop as the situation.” -producer Scott Speirs
In The Devil’s Cartel gameplay gets more interesting as players become more vulnerable when they split up, leaving no one to revive them if they die.
Frostbite 2 Engine- If you’ve played Battlefield 3 you have a good idea of what to expect. This engine makes almost everything in your environment vulnerable to destruction! All gameplay pieces whether they are big, small, essential, or nonessential are affected by gunfire and explosions. Be careful, you might feel safe behind cover until the enemy blows it to shreds!
Cover- In previous installments Salem and Rios would automatically enter cover, but now with Alpha and Bravo players must take an active role by pressing a button to duck into or behind cover. Once in cover you can scan the area for other safety spots marked with an icon. The cover button will bring you to your new destination by automatically sliding or ducking into it, allowing players to avoid exposure. If the cover you’re running to gets destroyed by enemies before you reach it, you can cancel the animation by simply moving in another direction. You can also move up and over smaller cover items in a swift movement by holding down the cover button and the run button at the same time.
Overkill/Double Overkill- The enemies are overwhelming you! Now what? While playing you rack up on points and money, and cooperative actions with your partner add up to Overkill points. Things like going in guns blazing while your partner flanks the cartel unnoticed count towards Overkill. When you have enough saved up and OK is ready, you can choose to use it right then and there or save it for when you’re in trouble. Trigger OK and blast through countless enemies and anything they’re hiding behind with increased weapon force. Double Overkill (which is when both players trigger it at the same time) will result in slow motion action, audio warps, and a sepia toned screen. It lasts for about 15 SATISFYING seconds, within which you will destroy countless foes.
- Cooperating= More $ and OK points
- Overkill= More $$ and Weapons
“It all feeds back into an ecosystem that gives players a reason to work together, as well as the incentive (and ability) to regularly upgrade weapons.” -GameInformer writer Jeff Cork
Gunplay- Players will be able to upgrade weapons with money they earned to fit their style of play. You can add various attachments and adjust the level of accuracy and recoil. Alpha and Bravo will also carry blades for brutal melee kills.
Heavies- They are no longer bound by specific categories such as Shotgun Heavy, Flamethrower Heavy, Chaingun Heavy, etc. Heavies will now have a variety of weapons and AI styles. Some of them will even be downright sneaky!
Big Story Moments/Cutscenes- In TDC, developers want all the intense scenes to be playable. “If you have a big story moment, I don’t mind a cutscene; that’s cool. But it’s got to be playable. It’s a Visceral game. It’s the same thing for Dead Space. If it’s cool it’s got to be playable. Otherwise, what are we doing? Are we making a movie or are we making a video game?” -Visceral Montreal producer Zach Mumbach
- IN OR OUT?
The new installment may have people wondering what features will still be included, and which we can say R.I.P to. Here’s a list of a few of them:
GPS- Previously used to navigate on the field and tag surrounding enemies, this feature will be IN. Although it doesn’t mean more HUD or bells and whistles. “We’re taking it in a new direction that we feel is going to tie into tactical co-op really well.” -Executive producer Julian Beak
Customization- Of course, this will be IN and better than before. Weapons will have options for different attachments such as larger magazines, new scopes, and gold-plated finishes. It’s been hinted that players will even be able to customize more than just Alpha and Bravo’s masks! 😉
High-Five Moments- These are OUT, and will no longer be a part of the Army franchise. Developers want players to communicate more through talking to your buddy on the couch, or through headsets online.
Shared Shields- Salem and Rios shared a lot in past games, including shields. One player would navigate, while the other provided backup. Both players were safe behind the mobile cover, and the feature is back IN. Although, for Alpha and Bravo it will now be easier to maneuver, with the back-up provider able to enter and exit cover like it were any other safe zone. This makes it easy to split up when the shield is no longer helpful.
- ARMY OF ONE?
This game is meant for co-op play, but players can also choose to game solo with and AI bot. The AI will now be easier to control, with less commands. Only needing to tell him when to follow or advance will be enough because the AI will be able to pick up on what’s going on in the battlefield. For example, if you’re getting pinned down by the cartel your AI will notice and flank them while they are unaware. Also, don’t worry about being upstaged by your robot partner, he’ll be tactically useful without fully taking over. For missions where you two split up you’ll have the option of choosing which position you want to take over, like being the one in the helicopter versus the one handling things on the ground.
Sorry guys, there is none. Like it’s California counterpart, Dead Space 3, developers want this game to focus on a strong campaign with competition between two co-op players. I don’t think adding a multiplayer ever hurt anyone but hey, I guess that’s how the cookie crumbles! 😦
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel is set to release in March of 2013, buy it or DIE! Just kidding, I’ll be sure to review it after my boyfriend and I give it a whirl. 🙂
“You see games where you get to the second or third game and they make little jumps, but I think that with this third game we’re going to be making a great leap.” -Zach Mumbach (founding member of Visceral and veteran of the Dead Space franchise)
FOR THE OFFICIAL ARMY OF TWO: THE DEVIL’S CARTEL TRAILER CLICK HERE
Thanks for reading AllYouCanGamers!
-Tania Rodrigues ❤