Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel - Fewer Bros, More Blows

Visceral Games' Army of Two reboot claims to be grittier and more serious, but Mark finds there's still plenty of silliness in its over-the-top action.

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Back in the '80s, the world was introduced to Lethal Weapon--yes, the film with Mel Gibson, before he went insane and ruined his career. In that film was born the buddy-cop movie: two regular guys--one messy, one clean--trying to rid the world of evil while crap blows up and lots of funny stuff happens. And that was the formula adopted by EA's Army of Two, which attempted to mix comedy with third-person shooter action. Unfortunately for EA, that mix didn't hold up well, particularly when the storylines were, quite frankly, absolutely ludicrous.

With Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel, developer Visceral Games is dropping the bro-tastic comedy double act all together. Its focus, says the developer, is on gritty narratives and seamless cooperative gameplay. Yes, it's another reboot of a famed franchise, but don't hold that against it. The Devil's Cartel might have gotten more serious, but the action itself is still wonderfully over-the-top. In a mere 15-minute demo, buildings collapsed, miniguns were fired from helicopters, and a pilot was shot in the face in super slow motion. Lovely.

There are tweaks, though. For one, co-op actions, such as giving each other a leg up, breaking down walls to create paths for each other, or covering enemies, have been enhanced so they're easier and smoother to perform. If you get separated from your partner, you're often given separate objectives too, so it's not always a case of the game telling you to cover each other endlessly.

Also new is the overkill function, which lets you and your partner indulge in some fantastically gory killing sprees. Each action you take as a pair, whether that's performing headshots, flanking the enemy, or covering each other, charges your overkill meter. Once it's activated, you're dropped into a bullet-time-like mode, where your bullets cause a lot more damage and time slows down. And the screen turns yellow for some reason. It's a lot of fun, particularly with the shotgun, which sprays enemies across the walls, and the floor, and usually all over your teammate's face.

If you both have your bars charged up you can activate Double Overkill, which is standard Overkill times 10, with more blood, more slow motion, and a lot more time in which to kill people. For all the seriousness that The Devil's Cartel is supposed to have, it's a silly feature, but one that's lots of fun. Speaking of that gritty seriousness; there wasn't much of it on show in the demo I played. Sure, the environment was an urban disaster area, and yes, the shooting felt weighty, and satisfying, but there was little in the way of memorable dialogue--I couldn't even tell you why I was trying to get to the roof of a building, to board a helicopter, to fire a minigun, or to blow up an entire warehouse block. Then again, when you're doing something so nutty, it hardly matters.

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Discussion

29 comments
steve4200
steve4200

"new is the overkill feature" wow you should not be in the gaming industry if you dont even go back and research the earlier games in the series so you dont sound like such a idiot when you talk about the new ones, (aka overkill was in the first game) also i found the first games story to be great, international conspiracy, backstabbin, granted the second game was shit but that happens to 99% of good new titles, they get bought up and turned to shit

Tyreeceholmes
Tyreeceholmes

I loved the first one...The second was a little too much of the same for me. I'm eager for this but I know it won't bring much new to the table..

 

There's so much potential for this game to be fun...Bunch of 2 man multiplayer battles etc...God this game would be great...

 

But I loved Kill.Switch on my old big clear Green behemoth..

ghost688
ghost688

i like army of two franchise, but the soldiers are violent civilians or army renegates? have just a little of S.A.S games.

1990BlackStar
1990BlackStar

i think whats silver_wing is saying is spot on i dont like this game for how super serial it is its how funny and memrable it is to play with my friends.

silver_wing
silver_wing

I am not happy with this news at all. Yes the game could use some work but I loved salem and rio and the comedy that came with them. I loved when one of them would hold up one of the shutters and then trip the guy who was walking through. The dialoge and comedy made the game great. No matter what they do to the game, without the humour and without salem and rio ( I assume they are no longer in it from the looks of it) the game may be good but it wont feel the same.

Zulu1Tango
Zulu1Tango

I was definitely a fan of the first two. That being said, it definitely could have used more work on controls, game play mechanics, map issues, AI...I mean the list goes on. For the most part though, definitely a fun experience solo and even better experience with a friend (in my case, my son). Hopefully they work out the kinks and bugs to deliver the best Army of Two game yet. I'm looking forward to this one. I also agree with most people on here as well, keep the bromance humor alive!!! If we wanted serious, we'd play Max Payne...I don't by the way...

bostadskontrakt
bostadskontrakt

No the mix DID hold up well and now it's stupid boring tough guy shit that the masses playing cod likes wtf. But I guess that's a good thing since I forgot how everything is measured in how much money rolls in.

GameAdvisor
GameAdvisor

The only gripes I had with the last game were when Salem took an RPG to the shin and all that happened was they both got knocked unconscious. That and the ending. The ending was... bad. I wouldn't be surprised if the developer just ran out of time and was forced to put out the game without being able to make the game's ending not so... I dunno... bad. Embarrassingly bad. 

 

Besides that though, it was a lot of fun to play through with a friend either online or split screen.

foxtrot137
foxtrot137

the second game was awsume and so was the comedy of the dialog i especially liked the one about panda fornication in the zoo stage not saying i would like to am.... deflower a panda, but it was a big part of the game i enjoyed. (the dialog not the zoophilia )

tightwad34
tightwad34

All I gotta say is The Devil's cartel is one cool subtitle for a game, let alone anything, really. I still won't be playing this.

Evil_Mr_Jingles
Evil_Mr_Jingles

Way to ruin a franchise by making it similar to everything else in the market, they're obviously interested in making another game because the first two sold at least a decent amount of copies so they decide to remove everything that separated them from the rest, great idea guys!

Idiots!

DrPhartPounder
DrPhartPounder

That's okay, with me and my buds we'll make our own comedy for this game in co-op

JACOBDRAGON666
JACOBDRAGON666

i perfer more humor rather then less if i wanted a serious shooter game id play medal of honar COD or BF i loved army of two because of the humor and comedy antics.

boags24
boags24

Little bit disapointed that they're dropping that humor, because I really enjoyed it in the second one. You CAN still have that sort of humour AND a great story line!

pandamonium000
pandamonium000

Your little catch phrase after the title might send the wrong message

EatShanna
EatShanna

Just what the world needs, another "gritty" action game.

 

God forbid they continue with the comedy approach and simply create a tighter action game with a better story, A.I. and level design.

 

Nah let's just make it gritty and "serious", and throw in some brooding for good measure.

 

 

edinsftw
edinsftw

That title man, i don't know which way i should take it.

firedrakes
firedrakes

yeah it was the back and forth talk between the main chars which was the best thing. in army of two

Mrod1212
Mrod1212

Looks cool. But I would like to go to different locations, not just one.

endorbr
endorbr

I don't think the bro team was what people really had a problem with in the Army of Two games.  I actually really like the comedy back and forth between the two characters.  Poor game mechanics, frustrating controls, bad AI, awkward level design... those were my issues.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

I so have a joke here but I'll hold back......family friendly site and all, can't upset the parents.....

It's related to the title......yeah really bad taste I'll admit. [me I mean]

sergiodoom
sergiodoom

Well, after playing the other two, I feel this one will be the same, plus the bad guys look like guys taken from a favela in Brazil, not like members from a drug cartel. Include guys with golden chains, big mustaches and hats to make it look like real hitmen from a cartel! I'll stick to Max Payne 3 for the time being.

MAS_100
MAS_100

Need to see more of this game, the demo looked okay at best.

Darnasian
Darnasian

Looks good!

Can't wait for this!

ShotPigeon
ShotPigeon

 @1990BlackStar Same, considering I only played Army of Two with my little brother, I kinda liked all that bromance going on.

giort08
giort08

 @Evil_Mr_Jingles Pretty sure the masses were saying the same thing about Fallout 3 back in the day......just saying.