hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

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

Preview: Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

2:30 PM on 12.10.2012 // Abel Girmay

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.



Abel Girmay, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Born and raised in Oakland, CA. Avid fan of FPS, RPGs, and Little Caesars Pizza.  more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, 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.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
@Jed Whitaker I might be missing something, but does the race of the characters really matter? I'm white and if every VG character was black I wouldn't care. It's skin color... that's it. I guess others care more than me about this stuff though.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Who is your favorite Jewish game character? I'm pretty sure BJ Blaskowicz is (right?), so I'm going with him.
gajknight avatargajknight
Interview tomorrow! Little apprehensive, I really want this job. Working with adults and children with learning disabilities, perfect experience and a worthwhile job. We'll see how it goes! :D
Parismio avatarParismio
Being in the hospital Fucking blows.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Who is your favorite black Super Smash Bros. character out of the roster of over 50 characters? Oh wait... Game and Watch doesn't count.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
One thing I've noticed about the Halo series; the more epic the teaser, the more disappointing the game. And the "opening cinematic" for Halo V: Guardians looks epic.
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
I hear through the grapevine that a game called Metal Gear just came out that is sort of a big deal.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Thinking of starting to document my attempts in Super Mario Maker with screenshots etc. in a series of blogs - think USgamer's Daily Mario. But I think most who would spare a glance at it would be way better level designers and players than me by default.
Script avatarScript
Tearaway was cute, but it was kinda short and underwhelming to me. I would recommend paying around $20 for it if you value your money.
Lena Gredasova avatarLena Gredasova
Pixonic has published its game Walking War Robots globally on Google Play. Walking War Robots is a 3D MMO shooter where players pilot giant robots and battle in 6 vs 6 teams. Get it for free now! play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pixonic.wwr
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I wanna buy PS+ Plus but I know once I play my PS4 this weekend I wont touch it again for half a year.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
MGS V starts with a flaming unicorn. Yup, I already fucking love it! :D
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
Writing about Tearaway PS4 & referencing Metal Gear Solid several times because, guess what, Tearaway is really dang good
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
I took some shots of my DIzznee Infineetee Quorra figure. Been waiting for this since the brand first stumblefucked its way onto the scene. (pics in comments of post to save feed space)
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Now Listening to Old Music 7 - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
[youtube]https://youtu.be/9aHQnDTd1y4[/youtube]
Shinta avatarShinta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/ix6BJTSjAB4[/youtube] There is a ton of awesome music in this game.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Laracraft: World of Tomb Raiders
Joe Parlock avatarJoe Parlock
So there's a game called School of Ragnorok coming out, and in it there's my new boyfriend. He's an 8 foot tall demon thing with awesome hair: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ibgnjCHv24
Nerdcotic Network avatarNerdcotic Network
check out this awesome video made by the Nerdcotic Network. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3KgJfBt0uE
Nerdcotic Network avatarNerdcotic Network
Hay check out this awesome video made by the Nerdcotic Network on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QemwbuspOJg
more quickposts


Contest!


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


  Feb 21

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

Rebooting the Army of Two series with producer Greg Rizzer


  Jan 16

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

Guns, explosions, guns, explosions, and more guns


  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!



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 -