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Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel  




Preview: Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel photo
Preview: Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

2:30 PM on 12.10.2012

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


Oh Army of Two, the little franchise that just keeps on keeping on. The first title followed mercenaries Salem and Rios and their dude-bro antics: blowing sh*t up and giving each other high fives along the way. The second attempted to be decidedly more mature, offering moral choices with consequence. Now we have a new pair of mercs, a new developer at the helm, and a huge new slant on destruction, courtesy of the Frostbite 2 engine. But does it make for a new experience, or at least, one worth getting hyped for?

In my time with the game, probably.

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

Ousting series mainstays Salem and Rios, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel follows the operations of T.W.O.'s newest operatives Alpha and Bravo. While the protagonists are new, their bromance is almost the same. Alpha is the gruff responsible one, while Bravo is young, brash, and probably loves to air guitar over a fresh kill as much as getting the kill itself. Salem and Rios do make appearances through the game, however, such as in the mission I played where you actually accompany them. Oh, and Outkast's Big Boi and B.O.B. are both in the game and playable. So yeah, that's happening.

The Devil's Cartel packs some nifty visual touches thanks to Frostbite 2. Battlefield 3 showed the engine's capabilities with environmental destruction, Need for Speed: The Run (shut up, I liked that game) showed what it could do with environmental set pieces, and now this game redirects the Frostbite's prowess towards the human body. Specifically, what happens when a masked man takes a shotgun to another man's torso.

Do so, and you are treated with the sight of his ribcage smiling back at you. Or maybe you're the marksman type that wants to go for a head shot. Great! Now you get to see the human brain rattle on the floor. The gore is almost educational in its amount of detail. The demo I played was relativity short though, so it remains to be seen just how dynamic this system is. If I could add one gripe, it's that the destructibility doesn't extend to the environment much, outside of your typical crates, boxes, and exploding barrels. It just feels odd to have dismembered and decapitated and entire small village of goons, but see my shotgun meet its match when it goes up against a wooden door.

The hyper violence is further accented by the gameplay, specifically the new Overkill mechanic. It works like this: you kill things, the meter builds, you hit LB, and in an instant you and your partner are transformed into grim reapers. Damage output is high, while your body responds to bullets like they were mosquito bites. It's as straightforward and damaging as it needs to be. We've seen this kind of mechanic in games before, and it fits in particularly well here.

Now, as more of a personal aside, there was one thing I specifically took issue with. I don't like how the cartel setting is being handled. Like Call of Juarez: The Cartel before it, one of the most dangerous gangland settings is essentially just a background for what's more or less mindless action. Sure, there may be some story that tries to square this all away, but the gameplay seems to be speaking otherwise -- especially when you have a flagship mechanic in Overkill that is all about emphasizing relentless action. Cartel violence is a very real, current problem, and I fear that The Devil's Cartel simply doesn't respect that.

I'm not exactly high on this one, but I'm keeping Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel on my to-watch list. What it sets out to do, it seems to be doing well. Provided that the weapon customization remains as deep as it was in The 40th Day, and the story treats the setting with a bit more taste, I could see this one turning out better than the already solid last. After all, third time's the charm, right?

I couldn't help myself.








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Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel



5:00 PM on 03.28.2013
Review: Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

Army of Two has never been an especially bad series, it's just never been an especially good one. Providing simplified cooperative shooting action, as dumb and dirty as can be, the series has clearly found a fanbase for its p...more



4:30 PM on 03.06.2013
Army of TWO: The Devil's Cartel demo available March 12

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So, I haven't really been super interested in Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel. That is until this new trailer that focuses a lot more on the story. I think part of the reason is that the story presented here looks like it'll...more



11:30 AM on 02.21.2013
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6:00 PM on 01.16.2013
Army of Two 'Overkill trailer' features a lot of shooting

In case you needed reminding of what you're going to be doing in the upcoming Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel, then this trailer makes it totally clear. You're going to be shooting lot of bullets at various bad guys (for som...more



9:00 PM on 12.07.2012
Big Boi and B.O.B. to appear in the new Army of Two

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10:00 PM on 11.01.2012
Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel coming out on March 26

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel releases on March 26, 2013 in North America, and March 29, 2013 in Europe. Folks that pre-order the game will be upgraded to the "Overkill Edition," which will include early access to three "Ov...more



9:00 AM on 08.19.2012
gamescom: Overkill in the new Army of Two is ridiculous

One of the abilities the two new protagonists of Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel get is called Overkill. After filling up the Overkill meter from in-game actions such as killing others, a player can activate it to slow thing...more



9:40 AM on 08.14.2012
gamescom: First look at Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

EA just showed off live gameplay footage of Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel here at gamescom. The live demo focused on the new pair of heroes working together to take out enemies, much like the past games. Eventually th...more





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4:30 PM on 03.06.2013
Army of TWO: The Devil's Cartel demo available March 12

The Tactical Worldwide Operations group is setting forth on their new mission later this month, fighting against a ruthless drug cartel. Judging from the new trailer released today, there may be an enemy within as well. Scin...more



7:45 PM on 02.28.2013
New Army of Two trailer gives you the finger

So, I haven't really been super interested in Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel. That is until this new trailer that focuses a lot more on the story. I think part of the reason is that the story presented here looks like it'll...more



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