Saturday, February 06, 2010

Video game number thirty seven: Army of Two: The 40th Day

Game review number thirty seven in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Army of Two: the 40th Day".

The 40th Day is a sequel to the original Army of Two, which I never played. The original seemed like a Gears of War clone to me, a co-op shooter in the third person. I like Gears, but that game is more the exception than the rule as far as my tastes are concerned. I prefer my shooters in the first person, and generally...solo-style. It's really tough for me to get together with friends who want to co-op the campaign of something, most times when we game together, it's for multiplayer experience. All these things combined kept me away from the original, and I only played this one because it's new and I'm trying to hit all the new releases lately.

This game is tailored for the co-op experience, which means when you play it alone, the experience will naturally be lacking. Right out of the gate, I was annoyed with my AI partner, who wasn't nearly as brave as the box art implied.

The story of this one seems interesting and the graphics are great. The city of Shanghai is being destroyed around you and you have to kill soldiers while saving a friend trapped in the building you're stuck in. Most of the game play feels like a watered down Gears of War to me, right down to having to press an "action" button when you arrive at an obstacle. You use cover and "blindfire" a lot, and you can grab enemies to use as cover or take as hostages.

I dug the morality choices, which you're asked to make in many games these days. The first one was to choose whether or not to kill a contact you had made. I killed him, and you get a screen that shows you the aftermath of that decision. Later, I chose to spare someone...and found via the aftermath screen that I should have killed the guy (turns out he was a traitor).

As for the game play itself, I didn't really enjoy it. The camera was annoying, and constantly needed to be adjusted, the weapons felt weak, and constantly getting incapacitated and waiting for the computer to save me was annoying. I just don't enjoy playing games like this one alone. The Left 4 Dead campaign is another example of a game that I really like playing with friends, but hate playing by myself.

Overall: 5/10. It's average, but it's not something I wanted to keep playing....unless one of my friends buys it and wants a co-op partner. The combat just isn't rewarding by yourself.

I got a few achievements, but barely scratched the surface of the game. I won't be going back to this one to clean them up.


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