If you’re anything like me, and I’d like to hope that someone is, you don’t care so much for the testosterone, jock-filled world that is expected of us males. I’ve always liked to believe that there is a direct correlation between this and videogames—that people like me are the types who play videogames—but I am constantly proven wrong. Five different Maddens come out every year, and most people I’ve played Halo with can’t possibly be the deep, caring, sensitive male that I am. So maybe this personality type is correlated with GOOD videogames? Well, that can’t always be true. I spent 30 minutes in a line with a bunch of stoned frat boys to buy GTA4 on Monday night, and the GTA series is great.
So what the hell is going on?! I thought playing videogames was nerdy and geeky and that’s not cool, which was cool! But now it’s cool to play videogames? So am I cool? That doesn’t sound so great; I liked being a social reject. At least I wasn’t assaulted by racial slurs from 12 year olds when I was a geek.
That being said, it is obvious that there is a demographic of knuckle-dragging ape gamers, and Army of Two, with laser precision, targets this demographic and leaves a clean wound with very little overflow to accommodate gamers who enjoy fun, innovating gameplay. If you like a solid, bread-and-butter, run-and-gun game, Army of Two can be fun. It’s FULL of explosions and guns, which is something I’m all for. It’s got a decent amount of unlockables that affect your gameplay style (which ranges from loud-attention shooty to silenced, less-attention shooty). It looks good, which is obviously a must by today’s standards, but doesn’t really do much to impress me if I don’t have fun with the game. It’s got decent cover and teamwork mechanics, and playing with someone sitting next to you is a somewhat engaging experience, but beyond that, the game is shallow and, quite frankly, absurd.
Gameplay-wise, it’s simply repetitive and dull—even the “innovative” teamwork elements become grinding and annoying and oftentimes feel forced. Point and shoot, don’t die, help your teammate out. Controlling the action is relatively simple, and the mechanics are all there for a solid game; it’s just the story elements that really break the game apart.
The story takes you, as mercenaries, from the Middle East to China to…well, fighting through Florida’s flooded airport terminal. The “twist” in the story is blatantly foreshadowed with elder frontman Elliot worrying about conspiracies and annoying twit Tyson telling him to “shut up” before verbosely describing a pair of tits and his partying habits. The game obviously tries to advance story through these dialogs between high points in the action, but it just falls short with horrible writing and shallow characters. I don’t care about these people and their foreign, frat boy dialects, and that bogs the game down for me.
I really wanted to love this game, too. I’ve been following it since its announcement, anticipating some sweet co-op action, and the game kept me minorly entertained for a meager five hours before being returned to my shelf where it’s sat, untouched, since. Even its blinged-out weapon unlocks and explodey, shooty goodness couldn’t draw me back in. One thing this game has taught me, though, is that I’m not the type of person EA wants to sell this game to…and that I never want to meet that type of person, because I’m afraid I might shove needle sharp pencils into my ears until the hurty talkies go away.