EA's Army of Two has had a rough road to release. A title focused on co-op mercenary missions to extents of borderline innovation, its tongue-in-cheek, adolescent play on private contractor military presence in the current world has been mistaken by many for a poor attempt at humour with no greater punchline than a well-timed fart.
So what did the critics think of Army of Two? Hit the jump for our Frankenreview on the game—what is inarguably the leading meta review system on Kotaku today.
The aggro mechanic, where one player draws attention and hostility and glows red as a result while the other player effectively becomes invisible, sounds really goofy but actually works...It sounds nonsensical and looks pretty goofy, but the visceral feel of one guy tearing through baddies with an unlimited-ammo gun while the other slinks around and ends fools like a ninja is pretty great.
There's a whole plethora of other co-op mechanics built into the game, and the majority of them are mildly pointless and prosaic in their implementation. Boosting up to high ledges, simultaneous co-op sniping, pre-animated feats of twin strength, and the scripted moments of back-to-back, slow-motion massacre all feel rather forced and flow-breaking.
[AI]will do what you need it to do for the most part and help you through most missions without major incidents. However, the AI will perform some stupid mistakes here and there, such as dragging you large distances to what it determines to be "safe cover" before healing you...and will sometimes charge blindly into the middle of battle, swinging the momentum its way and leaving it open to be quickly injured or even killed.
Borrowing a page from Gears of War, Army of Two [online multiplayer]goes the route of more-intimate online matches, with four players hopping into games that see two armies of two going up against one another. Like a tactical team-based game, Army of Two includes several objectives within each of its three game types (Warzone, Bounties and Extraction), and although the map choices are limited (four total, based on the campaign), they offer enough diversity that players can switch up their tactics each time out.
Kotaku (360 version)
I've never been a fan of small team shooter match-ups, but Army of Two doesn't just make it work, it makes it sing. Buy it for the chance to head butt your enemies to death in a custom mask, keep it because you're not going to want to give up on the ability to drag and heal, distract enemies with gunfire and use car doors to block bullets on the move. Whether or not the game is going to rattle the industry, it looks like a pretty fun co-op shooter.