Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

'Dude-bro' takes a back seat in The Devil's Cartel

11:30 AM on 02.21.2013 // Keith Swiader
  @keithswiader

Rebooting the Army of Two series with producer Greg Rizzer

"We really pimped out the whole gun customization this time around."

That's what Greg Rizzer, producer of Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel first told me as I sat down to get hands-on time with Visceral Games' latest entry in the series. 

Yes, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel continues the series' tradition and includes a legion of gun attachments and customization options. Everything from your weapon's stock, barrel, scope, magazine size and color are customizable, with more options included than ever before for the series. And yes, even the shield attachment returns, though such an attachment will have varying effects on your character's movement and turning speed.

The series' main characters, however, Elliott Salem and Tyson Rios, are not returning to The Devil's Cartel -- in playable form, anyway -- and are instead replaced by Alpha and Bravo. That's because the latest installment is a reboot of the series, and given the nature of the game's plot, this omission was for the better.

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel (Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3, PC)
Developer: Visceral Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release: March 26, 2013 

Set in Mexico, The Devil's Cartel takes place in midst of cartel wars and assaults, and Rizzer said the team at Visceral Games didn't feel they could accurately portray the seriousness of the situation with Salem and Rios as the game's main characters, even with the game's gore being over-the-top. 

"As much as the graphic violence is over-the-top and very 'Hollywood,' as I call it, the story itself is dealing with something that is actually in the headlines and realistic, so we didn't want to have the guys ass-slapping and playing air guitar in a Mexican cartel backdrop," Rizzer said. "Again, they will have their banter back and forth, but that whole dude-bro mood [from the first games] didn't fit in the kind of story we wanted to tell."

Sure, Rizzer knows there are people who enjoyed the more playful and silly nature found in the previous Army of Two games, but added he also knew Visceral had an opportunity to reach more people if they toned that element down a few notches. 

"We wanted to keep it in the style of Lethal Weapon or Bad Boys -- that vein of comedy. Not over-the-top, super silly, but still good cop-buddy kind of comedy," Rizzer said.

A different kind of co-op for the series

"We took what we thought worked [from the first two games] and took out what we thought didn't -- for instance, the Aggro system is still there, but now it's under the hood."

As mentioned in our hands-on preview, the Aggro meter -- which displays on which character the enemies are focused -- is replaced with the Overkill meter, which, when filled, turns your character into a damage-dealing tank. Even though this sounds potentially game-breaking, the meter does take some time to fill, and Rizzer assured me the team worked through its kinks to make sure the balancing was just right.

One of the gameplay mechanics most prominently advertised during the release of the first Army of Two title was the ability to go back-to-back, a mini-game of sorts which had both players putting their backs to one another and laying waste to their surrounding enemies. It was a feature that I thought worked quite well, but to my surprise, it's one of the many co-operative gameplay elements not returning in The Devil's Cartel. Parachuting is also not returning, though fortunately, the riot shield ability is.

The Devil's Cartel is in many ways breaking away from the norm of co-operative shooters, even going as far as having an emphasis on breaking up the team more often as opposed to keeping them together.

"We actually found that one of the coolest things is splitting the players apart to do separate things, and when they come back together it actually makes the co-op experience feel that much stronger," Rizzer said.

Set-pieces and "one-off" moments will still be found in The Devil's Cartel.

Unlike past games, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel won't feature any sort of competitive multiplayer component, as the team at Visceral focused solely on the co-operative experience this time around, Rizzer told me. The only sense of competition will come in the form of "co-opetition," as Rizzer calls it, as at the end of each checkpoint both players will have their stats accrued --including kills, revives, etc. -- and the player who has the most points will have bragging rights for that section.

Rizzer explained that if you really want to play a competitive multiplayer game, there are plenty of good offerings out there.

"I don't want it to be just a bullet-point on the back of the box where we can say, 'look, we have competitive multiplayer,'" Rizzer explained.

On the whole, the Army of Two franchise has been the victim of receiving a lot of flak from critics and gamers alike, what with its gameplay and overall style taking the more over-the-top, arcade-shooter route as opposed to the realistic approach many games take nowadays. This notion is extremely apparent in the shooter genre. Rizzer told me there's a place for both in today's market, and while realism is great, playing something that's fun is what's important.

"People can say what they want about the Army of Two franchise," he said, "but bottom line is, when you play this game, I feel it's fun. And with videogames today everyone's like, 'we're the most realistic shooter' and stuff like that, but how about you just make something that's really fun?"



Keith Swiader, Former Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure keithswiader Tips
Although Keith considers himself 'Destructoid's Man on the Streets of New York City,' it's actually a lie, as he lives closer to Long Island than anything. more   |   staff directory





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel


  Jan 16

Army of Two 'Overkill trailer' features a lot of shooting

Guns, explosions, guns, explosions, and more guns


  Dec 10

Preview: Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

And you're dead, and you're dead, and you're dead too


  Dec 07

Big Boi and B.O.B. to appear in the new Army of Two

Hip hop stars to appear in pre-order bonus pack


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Comments of the Week - Love Love Love

Sonic Generations Mod Retrospective 2 - COLORS

Venture into the Borderlands - Epilogue

Pokémon X Review - Fairy Enough

Kitten Bowl x Puppy Bowl Stream Starts NOW!

Cool site never heard of before

Gravity Rush: The 6th generation game you didn't play

The Witness Review

Waifu Wars: Rei Ayanami (NGE)

Gaming's Beautiful People #3: Waifu Wars Edition (Bloggers Wanted)

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

EAPidgeon avatarEAPidgeon
Have a good one everyone. May you enjoy bountiful carbs and fats this Super Bowl Day.
Heat avatarHeat
someone asked me what i am going to do on my vacations... "playing like 6 hours of XCOM 2 daily, then some Diablo 3. Later, Darkest Dungeon and some beers, and to end the night, i'll watch some anime and eat instant noodles" "Perfect"
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
I've beaten the Gaping Dragon and finally got the key to Blight town, whats the first thing I immediately did when I got there? Fall right into a endless pit and died.
Bardley avatarBardley
I scanned some pages from issues of Nintendo Power from the early 90's and saw this back cover ad. I thought it would be appropriate to post today. Who's everyone rooting for tonight?
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Came home pissed off for some reason, hopped on Rocket League and played the best games of my life. New tactic!
ScionVyse avatarScionVyse
10 hours into the Witness, I've solved 350 puzzles, and activated 8 lasers. So, that's about 35 puzzles an hour, I think that's a pretty good pace. I have no idea how many more puzzles there are, but I think I'll be getting towards the first ending soon.
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
Shoot, I have made the awful mistake of watching 50 First Dates while doing Comments of the Week. The comedy in the beginning gave me energy, but all of the sad drama is making me cry and it's hard to see through all the tears. WHY YOU DO THIS TO ME!? 8^8
Zatsune avatarZatsune
I'm eating EDO's rn. Leftovers. Yum. 🍱🍣🍜🍲
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Kotobukiya's making a Xenoblade Chronicles X Formula skell model that looks great but I'd rather have a Lailah model. And I would name it Tharja just like my Lailah in the game.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Damn you, TV Tropes. As if I wasn't already dead set against doing an Undertale genocide run, this has killed the possibility for me.
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
About to start streaming some This War Of Mine: The Little Ones on Twitch. Say hi! http://www.twitch.tv/thedefenestrator
FakePlasticTree avatarFakePlasticTree
Majima karaoke & the man train--Makes Dead Souls worth it <3
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Yep, Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly is still as bad and unpolished as I remember it. Still manages to give me a headache too due to the choppy framerate.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
When aliens have taken over the world, there's only one man you can depend on: Macho Man Randy Savage.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
NBCSN has been killing it lately with their "Curling Night in America" coverage.
LaTerry avatarLaTerry
My favorite was already posted, so instead I'll share my second favorite, the greatest three headed Pokemon there is, Hydreigon.
Titannel avatarTitannel
I like Wingull! He's cute!
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
CAN'T STUMP THE TRUMP!
Alphadeus avatarAlphadeus
Eye of the Beholder (2014) - Possible boss battle theme for a video game. Love the action strings and bell instrument. I wrote this song for 2AD14 - II, which has many great tracks on it. This one is one of my favorites, which is why I'm sharing it.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Your waifu is shiiiiiiiit. Except Angewoman. That's an alright choice right there if she stays that way.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -