Army Of Two Online Co Op

Why aren’t there more co-op games? Why are so many modern titles focused either on
singleplayer campaigns and multiplayer deathmatches, with multiplayer co-op often acting as nothing more than than an afterthought? The human action of going through an entire campaign with the help of a shut friend or online stranger can, in theory, combine the best aspects of both single- and multiplayer modes; the player still gets an interesting story and level design catered specifically for the players’ enjoyment, but with all the fun social networking that a pleasant multiplayer game can afford (when played with friends, that is).

Because of this, I was reasonably excited for
Ground forces of Two. This 3rd-person shooter was congenital from the ground up with cooperative multiplayer in mind, and
cooperative multiplayer in listen. Many other reviewers take docked points from the game’s score just because the singleplayer is bland, merely that’southward
non the goddamn point.
Regular army of Two
is a multiplayer cooperative game, and should
exist played or judged as a multiplayer cooperative game.

Still, though, does
Army of Two
succeed in what it sets out to do? Does it craft a fun, engaging cooperative experience in which teamwork is required rather than a gimmick?


Army of Two
(XBox 360 reviewed, PS3)
Developed by EA Montreal
Published past EA
Released on March 4, 2008

Army of Two
is built on a really beautiful idea: pattern an entirely cooperative campaign where the two players are forced to symbiotically rely on one some other at every turn, and wrap it around an intensely relevant story about private military groups and the commodification of state of war.

Shame that information technology isn’t very

Without getting into the moral or political implications of the story — that’s for another solar day–
Army of Two‘south narrative is awfully tedious considering the nature of the premise. Given all the horrible things we’ve heard almost Blackwater from CNN and NBC over the past few months, 1 would wait
Ground forces of Two
to make profound, agonizing, or at least mildly interesting statements about the privatization of the military. Instead, the game treats the premise equally nothing more than an excuse for contemporary, globe-spanning warfare. I’d have been willing to have the overall dullness of the plot were information technology not for the facts that every “twist” is telegraphed at to the lowest degree five missions in advance, both protagonists have exactly two character traits (“badass” and “compassionate” or “badass” and “selfish”), and the final boss is killed in
a friggin’ cut scene. And I don’t mean you shoot him a bunch of times, only to watch him fall to his death or something in a noninteractive cut scene. I hateful you don’t even get to fight him at
all. Y’all run to the last area, and the game substantially beats the boss
you. Seriously.


Only story aside, is the co-op gameplay whatsoever good? Well, yes and no — more often than not, no.

Starting with the adept, the guys at EA Montreal did a nice chore of sprinkling a few moments throughout the campaign where both players are forced to completely rely on each other. For case, several times players volition find themselves floating to the ground on a parachute; one player will command the direction of the parachute, while the other shoots at enemies below with a sniper rifle. Even libation is the scripted Back to Dorsum mode, where both players stand facing away from ane another and must blow away dozens of surrounding enemies in deadening-mo.

In moments like these, players
cooperate with each other to survive: if the gunner doesn’t tell the parachute controller where to move and when, they’ll get cutting downwardly by gunfire, and if the players in Dorsum to Back don’t cover their ain areas, and so a stray suicide bomber might vey well blow the duo to kingdom come up.

Army of Two’s
best moments can exist institute in these scripted co-op setpieces; they channel the intrinsic fun of playing with a buddy by forcing co-dependence. At times,
Army of Two
feels like exactly what information technology should: a fun,

Army of Two
has some pretty clever mechanics of its own. The visual aggro system is really helpful and interesting (an “aggrometer” at the height of the screen tracks who is cartoon the most burn, while the well-nigh aggro-heavy actor glows bright reddish), and the fact that objective completion earns players money which can then be spent on weapon upgrades adds a sense of persistent progress to the campaign. These mechanics feel fresh, fun, and mildly innovative.

It’s just that everything
Ground forces of Two‘s entrada kind of blows.


About notably, the controls are
bottomless. The pause bill of fare just allows 3 freelook sensitivity settings instead of a slider, and even on the highest setting the controls are still sluggish as heck. There’s a definite filibuster between the fourth dimension a player turns in a direction and when their onscreen avatar actually begins to motility — given the high-octane nature of the game, this is almost totally inexcusable.

Not only are the slow aiming controls simply irritating on a surface level, but they make the guns far less useful. In the afterwards levels of the game, as enemies stream from multiple directions simultaneously, I really establish information technology much easier and more constructive to run straight at the baddies and melee them to death, thank you to a one-hit-kill physical assault mechanic. I don’t begrudge EA Montreal for including the melee mechanic, but it has to be said: if your aiming system sucks so much that running
directly into a hail of gunfire
is a more strategically viable option that shooting at enemies from a medium distance, then your control scheme has some serious bug.

Amend controls might have saved the entrada which, while it includes the same clever co-op moments, generally feels like a crappy
Gears of War
clone. From the hilariously beefy protagonists, to the bleed-out system, to the enemies who tin can accept up to half a clip of bullets before dropping expressionless, the non-scripted aspects of
Army of Two‘s entrada don’t do anything that
Gears of War‘s co-op campaign didn’t exercise much, much better and much, much earlier. I don’t fault
Army of Two
for beingness derivative of
Gears of State of war; I fault it for being derivative and
boring, with awful controls. Hell, cooperation isn’t even necessary given how many bullets each soldier can take; once you get over the novelty of boosting your buddy up over a contend and so he can snipe at baddies on the other side, you’ll find the story mode irritatingly dull.

The co-op campaign itself is clumsily brusque (I completed it in about 6 or seven hours), but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; the game already begins to wear out its welcome once the final level rolls around, and a few extra hours of repetitive playtime wouldn’t necessarily have helped matters.


With an alternately original and irritating co-op entrada, one might presume the Versus multiplayer to fall into that same trap about all supposedly “next-gen” games do, where developers take the graphic symbol models from the main game, plop them into deathmatch and CTF modes, and call information technology a multiplayer experience. Oddly — and pleasantly — this isn’t the case in
Army of Two. There’south but one versus way, but it’south a real doozy. Up to four players, two on each squad, fight on reasonably large maps wherein they complete objectives and earn money, which tin then be used to buy new weapons and gear.

A typical versus map won’t but have one or two objectives, but around a dozen: players will race to one end of the map to blow up a fuel tank, then suddenly find themselves escorting an unarmed hostage to a helipad, so afterward rushing to kill a specific NPC. That’s right — in addition to the four homo players, each versus map is populated with dozens of easier-to-kill NPCs who constantly go on all players on their toes and really do a damn good job in replicating the feel of the regular co-op campaign. The controls still suck, of class, merely the varied objectives, upgrade mechanics, and numerous NPCs brand the versus mode a much more entertaining and substantial experience than I ever would have imagined.

Army of Two
has many good ideas only ultimately falls apartment on its promise. It’south got some fun moments of cooperativity, some clever mechanics, and an unusually badass multiplayer fashion, only its horrible controls and vanilla entrada mode prevent
Ground forces of Two
from being even an to a higher place-average game.