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Review by: Pete Hines
Published: March 26, 1999
The original Army Men underwent a pretty dramatic change during development and ended up being more of an action game than the real-time strategy title it started as. While the game had its highlights, it was not without problems; still, it managed to secure a fairly loyal following. Army Men 2 attempts to build on the successes of its predecessor while addressing some of the shortcomings. The result is a more varied title that at times shows flashes of real creativity, but doesn’t solve all the problems.
You assume the role of Sarge, leader of the Green forces, in a continued struggle against the Tans, your sworn enemy. Through a series of missions, you lead Sarge, and any other soldiers he might have with him or find along the way, through a series of maps and missions to eradicate the Tans. Sarge always carries his trusty rifle but can obtain other weapons by finding power-ups. These power-ups give him the ability to use up to five
additional weapons or items, and are assigned to one of the remaining slots in his inventory.
Each item has a number that denotes the uses you have left, meaning a “6″ in your grenade slot indicates you have six grenades left before that item disappears from your inventory.
Items or weapons can be dropped to make room for others, and when you drop them, they become power-ups you can pick up later. Unlike the original game, power-ups are additive, so if you have a bazooka, you can run over a bazooka power-up to gain more
ammo. There are also a number of new power-ups available, which I’ll discuss on the next page.
Sarge might begin a map alone or with several soldiers, and he can find soldiers along the way to help him. Each has only one weapon type, such as a grenade or rifle, and they can’t take advantage of power-ups on the map. You can maneuver these men individually or as a group, or simply order them to rally and follow Sarge. In addition, they can be made to attack or defend specific locations, or hold their position. As they become more
experienced through combat, they become increasinly effective and earn stars to show their level of experience. Troops with more stars have higher hit point levels and are more accurate with their weapons than inexperienced troops.
When you begin a map, you’ll have access to an overview that shows key locations and gives a few pointers on how to be successful. Maps are usually broken into more than one mission. So initially, you may simply be ordered to find a location or person, but then you’ll be given a secondary mission that includes going somewhere else or pursuing another objective. Occasionally, Sarge or one of his men may need to use a vehicle in order to complete an objective. PT boats, tanks, jeeps, half-tracks and cargo trucks make appearances throughout the campaign, with the PT boat being the biggest addition to the game because it introduces crossing water to the action.
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