However, the AI still has its flaws. Enemy soldiers don't press attacks very well. If Rios needs Salem's help, the AI might just stand around and watch while Salem saves him from bleeding out. There also seems to be a "trigger" mechanism for some soldiers -- they can see you and you can see them, yet they still won't attack unless you shoot first. But these are occasional glitches. For the most part, the AI is much smarter and has a better sense of tactics, requiring more coordinated effort by you and your partner.
The improved AI also helps the "Co-Op Moments," which feel much more organic in The 40th Day than the original. If you switch to your sniper rifle, your partner is smart enough to do the same and he will shoot when you do. If you pretend to surrender to an enemy, your partner will play along until you decide to open fire. You can even subdue the enemy and free any hostages they may be holding, allowing you to have an impact on the new morality system that judges how kind or ill-tempered your mercenaries really are.
See, you have a choice during your escape: save yourself and blast everything that moves or restrain soldiers and save the locals. If you save civilians, you'll get cash or weapons parts. If you kill them, you might miss out. Eventually these decisions add up and affect what items you receive throughout the game. You'll also encounter "extreme morality moments," which are larger moral dilemmas that affect both partners. Nothing is clear cut in this world, so even choosing what seems like the lesser of two evils can have a dark resolution. Regardless of your decision, you'll get a cut scene that shows you the immediate repercussions and its long-term implications.
The visuals are particularly strong in The 40th Day. Even though the game takes place in just one location, you really get a sense of how the varied environments of the city are altered because of the gameplay. Shanghai goes from beautiful to busted. There are awesome particle effects, like rubble and dust from falling buildings, electrical sparks from wiring and smoke from explosions. Even Rios and Salem have undergone a character makeover, with a noticeable size difference between each character. The subtle touches, like watching the characters flip up their face masks to talk to each other, are excellent, and both characters animate well, especially during melee attacks. There is texture pop-in on both PS3 and 360, and the camera can pick bad angles, especially during bromance moments, but overall, visual differences are minimal. The lone standout is that the 360's shadows are a bit smoother than the PS3.
Sound design is great as well. The voice actors deliver their lines expertly and with perfect comedic timing. Salem's "Worst. Zoo. Ever," comment after you've fought your way through a fortified animal enclosure is simply hilarious. I do wish there was a little more banter. It's a tricky balance to strike -- they talked too much in game one and it feels like they're too subdued now. That's a disappointment because the dialogue is good. Just when you're about to say "That plane's going to crash," one of the characters says it for you. In spite of that, the sound is terrific. Your customized weapons make distinctly different sounds as you exchange parts, and you get the auditory sense of being in a war zone.
A disaster movie in a game package, Army of Two: The 40th Day capitalizes on its co-op play to deliver an awesome action experience that's incredibly fun to play. Co-op moments feel more natural, and whether you’re playing by yourself or with friends, you’ll enjoy the fast paced action that doesn’t seem to slow down, even when you’re in the middle of a cutscene. The improved Aggro system (thanks to the inclusion of the GPS feature) and expanded weapons customization strengthens the tactics on the battlefield, which are much deeper than the previous title. Even multiplayer reinforces the co-op nature of the game, and its modes will keep you playing for a long time. The morality moments could have posed larger dilemmas and the AI still stumbles at times, but overall, The 40th Day is a great game to blast through.
|out of 10||click here for ratings guide|
An interactive disaster movie from start to finish, The 40th Day throws Rios and Salem in a fight for their lives as an entire city falls around them.
From the particle effects to the animations of Rios and Salem, The 40th Day is visually appealing. Texture pop-in and some camera issues hold it back from being outstanding.
Voice acting is excellent once again, although there should be more dialogue during the game. Sound effects are rich and vary based on modifications to firearms, giving the sound of a warzone.
Single player is stronger thanks to improved partner AI. Co-op is improved this time around, and just about every feature from the first game has been amended. The morality system could go farther.
Again, co-op play makes this game engaging, and with a stronger set of multiplayer modes you’ll blast through Shanghai over and over for a while.
(out of 10 / not an average)