Jump to navigation

Table of contents

Page Previous 1 2 Next

Advertisement

Army of Two: The 40th Day Preview

Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 Preview by Will Porter

13 March, 2009

Page 1 of 2. Page 2 ->

Last year, two cash-guzzling military types made a grand, shared-parachute entrance to the gaming world. Upon landing they did some high-fives, played air guitar on their AK-47s for a little while and bashed their skull masks together for no ostensible reason, before finally turning to those gathered to await their judgement. There was an audible intake of collective breath.

Accompanying the long, slow hand-clap was an army of "meh". "Mediocre" was bandied around, "crass" was muttered by left-wing liberal beatniks, and "repetitive" cropped up now and again too. "It was a humbling experience sometimes," says Alain Tascan, the general manager of EA Montreal, as he recalls the critical response to his team's first game. "We learned a lot from the feedback from the critics... and a lot of feedback from the people playing the game."

Army of Two 2 then, officially known as The 40th Day, is being touted as a subtly different beast to the one that came before. Salem and Rios are back, masks intact, but the way they work has been streamlined. Co-op moves and tactics are being distilled and honed, while gameplay will present itself in a far more organic way than the somewhat stop/start 'use Back to Back special move here!' nature of the original's combat.

The somewhat hammy global trek between terror hotspots has also been dispensed with, in favour of a single near-future location - Shanghai. Wrongdoers are running riot throughout the city, so private military contractors Salem and Rios are on hand to knock heads together and earn a bit of cash. After all, they're now running their very own private military concern - Trans World Operations. Or, acronym fans, T.W.O. for short. Yes, that's right. They honestly just did that.

"We want to put players in the middle of a disaster scenario," explains executive producer Reid Schneider, a man as American as his name suggests. "We want that emotional connection, in the same way that the characters in Cloverfield are in the middle of this huge thing that's going on around them. It's not space monsters, it's still a very realistic game, but it's that emotional experience that we think will be really interesting."

'Army of Two: The 40th Day' Screenshot 1

The photoshoot was very rudely interrupted.

To demonstrate, Salem and Rios are shown throwing manly banter at each other in what appears to be a Shanghai courtyard, surrounded by tall brick buildings. Suddenly, the structure directly in front of them begins to crumble downwards - in a manner eerily reminiscent of the building you demolish in the Red Light District in Duke Nukem 3D.

When the last of the office block falls away, a curtain has dropped; it's revealed that you're in fact high up, in fact on the roof of a skyscraper. From here you're met with a nightmare vision of the Shanghai skyline. As in the final scenes of Fight Club, one by one gigantic buildings collapse on themselves. Streets are ripped open by explosions, planes crash and anarchy takes hold in every direction you look. It's a stirring moment, only interrupted by an out-of-control plane spiralling into the roof you're gawping from - and a platoon of enemy goons making their presence known.

"It's all about two-man tactics. Two-man gameplay," pipes up Schneider, while showing off the returning MMO-esque aggro system that allows for one player to take the heat while the other gets with the flanking. "But we really want to open it up to a more organic co-op experience. If you go back to the first Army of Two it was really quite bite-sized - shoot, then co-op move, then move on. What we want to do here is have the co-op moves and co-op tactics done anywhere within the game, any time you want, so as a player you'll have all the old co-op moves that you liked from the first game like Riot Shields or Back to Back - but you'll also have this new suite, this new arsenal, of co-op moves at your disposal. It's really about choice."

It's all a bit more obvious now, too. Whatever your crosshair hovers over, friend or foe, will flag up interaction possibilities. Come across an enemy on your travels, for example, and you can then order your AI underling (or agree with your co-operative ally) to grab an enemy and use his struggling body as a meat-shield while you provide cover.

To Page 2 ->

Advertisement

Are you excited about Army of Two: The 40th Day on PlayStation 3/Xbox 360?
View Eurogamer readers most anticipated games

Thanks!

Want to comment on this article? Log in, or register!

Comments: 1-18 of 18 in total

Poster
Comment Low-scoring comments hidden. Log in to see them!
Eraysor
13/03/09 @ 16:14
#1
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
CHACK
13/03/09 @ 16:18
#2
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
consideringt the first game had the driving sections and other elements chopped out of it to hit the release date does that mean we get the other half of the game now?
The earning money while you kill aspect I liked other than that give me GRAW 3 any day of the week.
kangarootoo
13/03/09 @ 16:21
#3
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
"so as a player you'll have all the old co-op moves that you liked from the first game like Riot Shields or Back to Back"

I thought the riot shield move worked a treat, but back-to-back was utter nonsense.
kangarootoo
13/03/09 @ 16:24
#4
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
"Perhaps it's a reference to when Jesus was out in the desert and had to choose between rejecting the devil, embracing the devil or to rejecting the devil and then potentially embracing him later on."

Heeheehee :)
mkreku
13/03/09 @ 16:29
#5
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
One must question.. first a preview of Ghost Busters.. and now a preview of this..

There are so many interesting games being developed out there, and Eurogamer chooses to cover these games instead? Why? Seriously, why? It's like doing a preview of FIFA XXXX. We all know what FIFA is and will be by now, it won't change. Same with games like these.

Please try to cover the games that doesn't have a hype machine the size of Uganda's BNP too. Please.
Krelle
13/03/09 @ 16:44
#6
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
True, EG aint what it used to be, but that was uncalled for mkreku.

This is a recently revealed game who fans of the first (if there are any?) no doubt will be interested in.
Ghostbusters havnt had a preview for about half a year and is approaching its release.

What games would you want EG to cover instead?
kangarootoo
13/03/09 @ 16:44
#7
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
"We all know what FIFA is and will be by now, it won't change. Same with games like these. "

Well, with FIFA we probably do know what to expect but Ghost Busters is a completely new franchise (in this gaming generation anyway), and as far as Army of Two goes we should probably expect some changes to occur between the first game and the sequel... or should we ignore all sequels on the basis that "we all know what it will be"?
Rodchenko
13/03/09 @ 17:10
#8
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
Is it explained anywhere during the first game (which I didn't play) how these guys actually breathe under their masks? And what about facial transpiration?
darc
13/03/09 @ 18:42
#9
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
"It's a stirring moment, only interrupted by an out-of-control plane spiralling into the roof you're gawping from..."

It's a stirring moment, only ruined by the fact that you read about it in a spoiler on EG the month before...
septimus
13/03/09 @ 23:49
#10
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
Fix the controls and I may bite.
3william56
14/03/09 @ 01:29
#11
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
Oh Noes! Whiteys shooting slanty eyed asian stereotypes!

You make Racial Harrassment Panda SAD!
TheRook21
14/03/09 @ 10:50
#12
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
I liked... nay... I really enjoyed the first one coop with a friend on the same PS3...

I hated the playing co-op with a friend on a different ps3... it just wouldn't connect to them... the online was fucking dismal and needs to be resolved... I will be very cautious when this comes out I will want a demo and I will want it to include the same system for online as the full game when it releases and I want it to work... and I want a lobby system not the stupid wait... wait.... wait.... wait... system you had previously EA!

/shakes fist at monitor
/goes back and sits down

TheRook21
jachap
14/03/09 @ 11:09
#13
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
The second page of this article is so snide. Army of Two is an easy target for mockery because it's seemingly irony-free but give it a chance.
notmyrealname
14/03/09 @ 17:36
#14
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
wtf? this game was great fun to play solo and with a partner. Why... do ppl hate this?
knightmt
15/03/09 @ 00:17
#15
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
Good coop, simple yet effective, it definately was a piss take though.
Lots of head butting!
Enzeru
15/03/09 @ 15:43
#16
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
looking forward to this one
mono_eric3
16/03/09 @ 13:41
#17
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
It does make me laugh that most of the people who bitch about Army of Two never played it, they just regurgitate what they read.

As for the tone of the game, if you take it seriously then that really is your own problem. The dialogue is painful, but so is the dialogue in most 80's action movies, doesn't stop them being a great way to waste time.

Army of Two was a romp, nothing more nothing less. It looked good and played mostly well. Some of the co-op moves were wasted, but I think a sequel will iron out most of the problems with the first one.

I might actually be looking forward to this game..

: D
Psyver
18/03/09 @ 18:28
#18
0
You buried this comment
Comment below viewing threshold
Show
I'm counting. There's a catch though. I'll need to have a demo from EA this time. I went on blind faith and a crap ton of videos EA dropped on Live Marketplace. While I wasn't entirely dissapointed with the final game, I wasn't blown away. Co-op was great and even passable with the A.I. If I wasn't being dragged into fire by my partner I could count on his infinite ammo to give me cover fire while I took out the nearly endless stream of baddies one by one. The end boss that shipped in game was as lame as the "new and improved" downloadable end boss was impossible. Figure out the happy medium here guys. I like a challange but I also like beating the game. Don't go Conan on me. It's anti-fun. Good luck with launch and I'll be looking forward to this, one of very few EA titles I'll be getting this year.

-Psy

Comments: 1-18 of 18 in total

Want to comment on this article? Log in, or register!

X View gallery