Graphics:
6.3
Gameplay:
5.6
Sound:
6.1
Control:
6.0
Replay Value:
5.7
Overall Rating:
5.9
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
EA
Developer:
Visceral Games
Number Of Players:
1-2
Genre:
Action
Release Date:
March 26, 2013


I am often wary of blindly stereotyping any given franchise or genre, and I’m the first to remind others to remain open-minded and even optimistic. Therefore, I’m not a big fan of statements such as, “Meh, it’s just another shooter.” But in the case of Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel , despite the fact that it’s a third-person shooter and not an FPS, I have to say with all conviction that such a comment is apt. It’s really unfortunate, too, because this represents yet another example of a token consumer product. Lots of enemies, lots of bullets, lots of cheesy bravado, and absolutely nothing even remotely fresh.

I suppose one could argue that the graphics take a step in the right direction, depending on what you value in a visual presentation. For instance, if you’re more of a big-picture individual, you will appreciate the variety of environments and backgrounds, even if the drab art style begins to chafe after a while. Or you might appreciate the slight upgrades found in character detail and animation when compared to past entries in the series. However, if you were expecting a significant increase in overall technical quality, you might be disappointed. This is one of those instances where I find myself looking forward to next-gen hardware, as this really looks…tired.

The sound falls into much the same category; i.e., “tired.” Sure, there are some great effects and some of the soundtrack is stimulating but other than that, it’s nothing special. The voice acting is decent but you have to allow for some really stupid dialogue. I’m often a fan of cheesiness and cornball, over-the-top humor, but only if the production is designed to be tongue-in-cheek. When you’re trying really hard to be all tough-guy bad-ass and you still come across as an immature douchebag, you’re doing something wrong. Then you’ve got the obligatory one-liners and needless warnings about bad guys coming your way. The music could be better, as it also errs on the generic side, as does the majority of this production.

Okay, so there are two dudes, as you might expect. This is a cooperative-based shooter, after all. The two heroes are fittingly called Alpha and Bravo and while the developers promised us an edgier, even more enthralling story and partnership, we basically get exactly the opposite. We get a predictable, clichéd, stereotypical action game with all the expected components. Now, for the record, none of those components are especially poor and in fact, several of them are good. The problem is that I think gamers (and critics) have long since gotten bored with this formula. Yes, it works but we’ve done this before and as for the rest of it… ‘yawn’

You gun down countless cartel baddies, typically wandering through dirty Mexican villages, all the while exhibiting borderline painful “bro” traits. The story is a throwaway script as far as I can tell, as you never really care about what’s happening, where you’re going, or even what you’re trying to do. You constantly live in the present, moving from one gunfight to the next, wondering when things will finally get interesting. The worst part is that if you’re not playing with a human buddy, the AI is just plain dumb. You drop the ball in the one area where the game is supposed to shine? I know it’s designed for two human players, but still.