Army of Two
Ready to bling your digital gun collection?
Preview by (Email)
June 6th 2006
The Basics: Built from the ground up to showcase both next-gen visuals and cooperative gameplay Army of Two promises over-the-top action-filled gameplay scenarios "ripped from current day headlines." Big selling points you should note are the ability to customize your weapons and play through the entire game with a friend (or if you're a loner a computer controlled buddy). These missions can't be completed alone.
What we think: An original game from Electronic Arts? Wow. A short behind-the-scenes video of the still in production game began with Dwight Eisenhower during his address to Congress where he warned about the dangers of the military turning into a business; from this, we quickly saw recent headlines showing how private military contractors account for a large percentage of the troops currently in Iraq. Apparently, the player will be a contractor for one of these private military corporations, but you will not play the game alone! The entire project has been designed with cooperative play in mind! Obviously multiplayer via Xbox Live, or system link is the primary idea but Electronic Arts said that the computer AI will be able to keep up with the player offline.
Clips from the trailer and the game reveal that the two contractors wear very heavy armor akin to the pair of Los Angeles bank robbers who held police at a stand still for hours several years ago. At one point, we watched as one of them shrugged off small arms fire before turning to fire a large weapon that looked similar to an M16 with some type of added upgrade. Electronic Arts didn't say anything about customizing the characters to match your personality, but every gun in the game can be upgraded and given a touch of "bling" to match your desires. Examples other journalists noted included diamonds, but during our presentation we only heard examples of bigger barrels and larger clips.
We were curious about how well the computer AI will play with a human player, but were told that anything a player can do the computer can also do. So if you fail to perform your duties, you may find that your computer-controlled AI partner won't trust you to perform the next time around. However, the computer will attempt to match and complement your play style since you will be able to function as a two man army. There is no ability to switch from one character to the other while playing. An example was given of how fallen players can be rescued with CPR/medicine; Electronic Arts said the computer AI would be able to perform this action just like a human.
Graphically, the game reminded us of Mercenaries in how the characters moved about, but Electronic Arts has promised full destruction and next-gen visuals worthy of the Xbox 360/PS3. Vehicles and events are tied to the two man concept. We saw one character driving a fork-lift and the other firing from an extended platform hoisted above the fork-lift. Explosions and enemy deaths looked equally entertaining.
Voice recognition means that you can give orders to the computer (or to a friend online), even if the two of you are separated by a distance in the game. An example was given of a sniping mission where two targets must be taken down at the exact same moment; using a microphone you can tell your compatriot to fire in sync with you. Interestingly, the computer controlled character used a lot of swear words... apparently the developers at EA have been playing their fair share of Halo 2 online lately.
Electronic Arts is hoping to ship the game sometime in 2007, and given how far along the clips of gameplay looked we're inclined to believe them.
Also in development for the Xbox 360