Army of Two Updated Hands-On

We check out EA's co-op shooter at the company's Summer Showcase.

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At today's EA Summer Showcase, EA director of corporate communications Jeff Brown made it very clear that one game he really wants people to play this year is Army of Two. Likening it to the one of the great films that gets lost among the shuffle of the summer blockbusters, Brown said he hoped gamers would get the chance to see Army of Two amid this holiday season's onslaught of releases. We spent a little time with the game today, and after having played it, we'd like to echo his sentiments. It might be another third-person shooter amid a sea of upcoming third-person shooters, but its unique cooperative gameplay and tongue-in-cheek tone look to be enough to make it stand out.

The premise of Army of Two is pretty simple: A pair of mercenaries for hire travel the globe, shoot people in the face, and blow things up. There's also some sort of betrayal plot going on, but does it really matter? There are faces to be shot, and stuff to be blown up!

At all times in the game, the twosome will be on screen. In single-player, you'll control one of the mercs and the other will be handled by the artificial intelligence. But the real joy of the game is cooperative play. We saddled up with one of the developers of the game and dove right into a mission in China. This particular mission required us to get a hovercraft from one side of a dam to the other--not as easy a task as it might sound. With the doors to the dam shut, we had to climb up to the central control area and flip the switch to open one door, then hit another to fill up the central area with water, and finally hit yet another to open the door on the other side and get out.

Doing this entailed quite a bit of back-and-forth cooperation. With Chinese soldiers everywhere, we'd often have to trade off combat and switch-setting duties. The game uses what is referred to as an "aggrometer," a meter that displays whether the enemies' focus is on you or your partner. It's often a good idea to have one player fire off rounds and draw attention while the other handles the primary task in a more stealthy fashion. Of course, it's also good to team up for certain situations. When you do, you can actually hook into one another, with one player holding up a riot shield to take incoming fire, and the other standing behind the shield-bearer, blindly firing over his head to take out any nearby enemies.

When they aren't shielding one another, the mercs at the center of Army of Two are slapping each other five, engaging in a bit of air guitar, or spouting off some of the most random dialogue you'll ever hear on the battlefield. For lack of a better term, these guys are kind of weird. If they aren't cursing back and forth with their home-base radio contact, Alice, they're discussing the merits of the members of the Wu-Tang Clan. It's strange, funny stuff, to be sure.

The other level displayed at the show hadn't been shown to the press yet. Though brief, it gave us a look at a very flooded Miami. This area showed a bit more of the vehicular combat, again with the hovercraft. One player drives, and the other mans a machine gun to take out any nearby enemy vehicles. And there were, indeed, some enemy vehicles to take out. Handling the hovercraft as the driver is actually pretty easy, and shooting with the big machine gun is as satisfying as you'd expect. Stuff blows up real, real good when you shoot it with this thing.

It's interesting that both the levels shown at the Summer Showcase were water levels, because the water looks fantastic. Of course, that's not the only visual highlight of the game. The character models for the two mercs are really sharp and detailed. They're decked out in these insane suits of armor that look like a combination of a goalie uniform and something from Mad Max. Every piece of these guys looks cool as hell, and some of the animations you get in combat are hysterical. When you're up close to an enemy, you can just press the shoot button and your soldier will do a quick melee attack, like grabbing your adversary by the throat and tossing the poor sucker halfway across the room, or throwing down a Zidane-style head-butt.

Army of Two is shaping up really, really well. The combat has a tight feel to it, and the mission designs are tailored nicely for cooperative gameplay. Everything's more fun with a friend, especially games that are specifically designed to be played with a friend. We only got a small taste today, but that small taste was enough to get us excited. Be sure to stay tuned to GameSpot for more coverage of Army of Two as its November 15th release date draws near.

Discussion

159 comments
theJZA
theJZA

I believe there aren't that many co op games out. This one's gonna be awesome, I hope. I've already pre-paid for it!

Teebown24
Teebown24

dutch, it is a 3rd person game. read this again and you would clearly see that stated. this game will be great and i would recomend this if you love third person shooters.

dragonnt123
dragonnt123

should i get army of 2 or haze hmmm cant decied ????????

dutch777
dutch777

IS THIS GOING TO BE A FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER, I THOUGHT IT WAS THIRD-PERSON. That sucks man

Cono_2007
Cono_2007

Can't wait too beat up my friend on it, he he that is all i'll do when i get bored of fighting (hope i don't)

doggyfiz
doggyfiz

i wonder if there will be a demo. i sure hope so

PatricMask
PatricMask

Mmm... November is going to be a good month for games, but a bad month for my wallet.

guppieface
guppieface

i like the emphasis on co-op. gears wasgreat for this i hope they do more co-op in games in the future.

Sicklex
Sicklex

I really like the graphical effects in this game, nice touch. I can't wait!!!

LFXFox
LFXFox

One word describes this game. WOW!

wars45
wars45

looks good but how long will it be and is it online

lockstock
lockstock

extremely tasty looking game, i hope they don't cut corners in the final few months to get it out in time for the christmas rush.

retrofraction12
retrofraction12

this game should have killer coop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! graphics look amazing.

XxFulgrimxX
XxFulgrimxX

i am pretty sure there is nonetheless i cant wait for this game!!! >.

2MAC2
2MAC2

IS THERE ONLINE COOP IN THIS GAME??????

Cirus2
Cirus2

dont think i be buyin anyone xmas pressies this year after the run in to xmas.. proper lots :o games out i think assasin creed and few others might wait till jan and rake it in

FLzthvikings87
FLzthvikings87

army of two has everything i thought gears would have as far as co-op. much more teamwork is invovled in this game. hopefully gow2 can learn from this.

TazSteele
TazSteele

This should be a great game that adds a new aspect to teamwork. Nice to see an original idea like this come to life...can't wait!

maxxorz
maxxorz

I'm really glad this game is shaping up well because I have had high hopes for it since it's announcement but it's development by EA has had me worried..

SimmySamSam
SimmySamSam

theres so many good games coming out in november!! Haze, COD 4, this... idk if ill get this one for a few months...

jj_696
jj_696

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

I guess we'll have to wait and see for ourselves.

holycrap05
holycrap05

It'll be tough for this, and any other game, to succeed on the 360 with the hype Halo 3 is getting. For PS3 though, it'll do much better.

CyberStud69
CyberStud69

This could be one of the better games of the year. There aren't enough good modern-day military shooters I find; especially ones that approach weaponry realistically. Now I'm not sure how realistic they're making the firearms in Army of Two, but hopefully it's realistic 'enough' (what I call plausible realism). The best way to determine if a game has plausible realism (for me) is really just how it feels. If firing an AK-47 feels different from firing an MP5, etc. then that is a good first step. If the weapons 'feel' right, I don't see much stopping Army of Two from being one of the PS3's best games this year...except of course for EA's general incompetancy for cross-platform games (Why do you have to bring down the rest of us, Xbox360, with your lack of hard drive and myriad of other issues?) Here's hoping EA gives the resources and time to make the PS3 version at least as good (should be better on paper) as the 360 version.

ghost89x
ghost89x

hell ya, a full bead co-op game...very nice

nationx
nationx

I believe this will be one bad-ass game.

360rocks
360rocks

this looks like one of the best games ive ever seen

Agermemnon
Agermemnon

The visual look of the main characters i think is great , reminds me of the two guys that robbed a bank in the usa they had body armour on and serious firepower looked like the swat team had trouble taking them down but anyway army of two looks great and i cant wait .

colestanley
colestanley

I was thinking about getting kane and lynch before this, but after watching about 20 videos of this game, I think this game is ahead by a long shot.

Eclipse83Lives
Eclipse83Lives

With Halo, Haze, and Even a Killzone latter. Why is this game so hyped. Will see?

fmobliv06
fmobliv06

this or Kane and Lynch? right now i'm leaning towards K&L

wii_sean_wii
wii_sean_wii

this game seems good i'm guno get it but i ent hyping it up to much so its even better wen i play it

matt_tabb48
matt_tabb48

Can't wait 2 shoot some shyt up with my friends on a game other than GOW

Dark-Kamikaze
Dark-Kamikaze

Cant wait to play the game but i wish they hurry up with a demo before the game comes out

djekin
djekin

- Army of Two *added to wish list*

Cono_2007
Cono_2007

cant wait to play this, with the humor in it aswell. its going to be awsome!!

rikhan_z
rikhan_z

I have to admit, but after reading this... this seems to be a very original game, I hope the gameplay holds very well throughout the game when it comes out.

bennie12
bennie12

I Have a question, does anyone know if this game is online coop only? I've been following it for a long time and I don't remember them saying anything about it.

termadoyle
termadoyle

Zidane-style head-butt. LOL! I'm starting to like this game.

Big_Dane
Big_Dane

wow when i furst saw the video ...it reminded me of JASON!!??neway this game luks sick...prob is there too many gud games cummin out...n peeps like me have a budget :(