Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Montreal
Genre: Third Person Shooter
Release date: Available now
At the beginning of EA Montreal’s Army of Two: The 40th Day, everything is looking pretty calm. Salem and Rios are on an assignment in Shanghai and it’s a beautiful, sunny day. All of that changes, however, when the city gets bombarded. Before you can say “bromance,” buildings are toppling over and casualties are rising.
As Shanghai burns around you, your main objective is to get the hell out of town. There isn’t much else going on in the game, plot-wise. You travel to several different locations in Shanghai, including the zoo, a mall and a hospital. During your tour of Shanghai, you come face to face with a ridiculous number of enemies. The only thing you know about these guys is that they really want to kill you, and that’s usually all I need to know before I start shooting. And rest assured, there is plenty of shooting.
Army of Two: The 40th Day is a third-person shooter that features a single-player and co-operative campaign. It also includes a few multiplayer modes, such as co-op Deathmatch, Control (capturing and defending locations on the map), and Warzone (objectives must be met to score points). The game brings back the weapon customization and aggro system from the first Army of Two, and adds a new Morality system, which lets players choose how they want to handle certain situations. While most of these seem inconsequential, some do affect minor things later in the game.
While your partner’s AI has been greatly improved this time around, 40th Day is still at its best when you’re playing with another human being. Having completed the campaign both with and without a second player, I can say that it’s a lot more fun killing, flanking and fake-surrendering when you’ve got someone with you who knows what is going on. The weapon customization has also been greatly improved for the sequel, including several different parts for each gun as well as a plethora of new paint jobs (some of which are so ridiculous they actually affect your aggro). The aggro system has been tweaked a little bit, but for the most part it’s similar to the system in the first game, allowing the player with less aggro to sneak around enemies who are focused on the player with more aggro as he fires his guns blindly into the air to get their attention.
One of the game’s new features is its Morality system, which puts you in scenarios and lets you determine the outcome. Your choices are usually “life” or “death.” After making your choice, a small scene plays showing what the future is like based on the decision you made. It’s a nice feature, but ultimately it feels like a drag compared to how fast-paced everything else is. The campaign itself is very short, taking me seven hours when I played through it with my brother and only five hours the second time by myself. The game has almost no plot, and at the end of the game you are left asking a lot of questions. There are only a handful of different types of enemies, ranging from “general thug” to “fully armored walking death machine.” While most of the time simply shooting enemies in the face works, some of the more armored bad guys have weak points that you must exploit before they will go down.
Army of Two: The 40th Day’s non-existent plot and short campaign make it a tough sell. While the game is great fun with a second player, it’s over in a few hours and there isn’t really much replay value. If you and a friend are looking for an afternoon of bullet-filled mayhem and leopard-print shotguns, then this is the game for you. While not worth the $60 for a new copy, it’s certainly worth a rental.