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Army Of Two: The Devil’s Cartel Review

What would happen if you asked a pubescent American farm boy (let’s, for the sake of argument, call him ‘Jeb’) to design a videogame? Probably he’d want some kind of shooter – something violent.

Losing hurts Jeb’s self-esteem, so he’d also want it to be easy. It would never punish Jeb for anything. Probably it’d just shell out XP no matter what he was doing: dying, having his buddy scrape him back up off the floor, murdering people, setting them on fire, shooting off their limbs and enjoying the way their blood sputts into the road.

And Jeb loves money.

That’s why every mutilation Jeb commits would be rewarded with dollars to buy more effective tools for the task. Probably, Jeb’d want some familiar mechanics in there, too.

He’d want a cover system of some kind, along with a lot of small walls to camp behind along the way. He’d want mounted turrets all over, first to lay siege to, then to turn on the enemy. He’d like a snap-to-target aim that makes missing all but impossible, even when your target is hidden from view by smoke or flying, dismembered limbs.

In fact, even shots fired into clear air should mysteriously hit nearby targets, killing them dead and rewarding Jeb, because that makes Jeb feel special. Missing, on the other hand, makes Jeb angry and when Jeb gets angry, Jeb storms up the hill to throw rocks at the cows on the high prairie.

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Jeb thinks death should be fun. Which is why, after stabbing a man’s throat out with a knife, Jeb enjoys the joke that Alpha and Bravo share about it. They’re funny, Alpha and Bravo. Jeb likes a bit of bromance to counterpoint the brutality.

Jeb also likes boobs. He’s never seen one in real life, but, if he were to make a game, he would put in a character who owns an entire set. He likes girls with guns, but the strength that implies threatens Jeb. That’s why Jeb would have Alpha and Bravo come save her. Jeb likes it when she’s grateful.

Jeb would also like something nice to look at as he wades through the quagmire of blood, guts and shitty writing.

He’d prefer she came back later on and led the way so he could look at her bottom.

Yes, Jeb would like that.

But, thinks Jeb, appropriate combat attire might spoil his view so, while he’s happy to have Alpha and Bravo clad in enough plock to stop a belt-fed mortar, he’d rather she wore something less suited to battle than it is to others studiously gawping at her tits.

Perhaps when she’s not around, thinks Jeb, Alpha and Bravo could make a joke about which of them wants to bang her the most. It’s just as well, isn’t it? That Jeb is just an imaginary 13 year-old and not an actual game designer.

Were he to get hold of a budget and a green light for such a thing, the outcome would potentially be among the most offensive videogames ever created. Hello Army Of Two: The Devil’s Cartel.

There are other problems too. Of course there are. Problems beyond Army Of Two: The Devil’s Cartel‘s failure to understand why it’s okay for Marcus Fenix’s brand of self-aware humour to manifest after chainsawing a Locust in the face, but not okay to apply its own hamfisted variety to its many dalliances with sadism.

Its worst offence, perhaps, isn’t even its failure to understand that if we’re to enjoy a game, we have to like who we’re playing as to some small extent and that these death-for-dollars scum aren’t it.

It’s just so boring. Level after level trundles by with nary a single memorable moment, our quest to find one only drawing further attention to broken mechanics and a checklist feature set. Here is a game that has literally no ideas. Okay, it has one.

Every kill builds your Overkill gauge which, once filled, makes you completely invulnerable and your bullets explosive.

Even on Hard difficulty the game is easy (when you die, your buddy just picks you right up again), add in Overkill and you could probably finish the game blindfolded.

The lack of challenge only adds to the boredom. In every way, Army Of Two: The Devil’s Cartel is an embarrassment to videogames.

Not just boring, but exactly the kind of ‘violence for violence‘s sake’ dross the anti-videogame lobbyists dredge up at the arrival of each new atrocity.

Jeb offered to say somthhing in its defence in this last paragraph, but he‘s too busy eating soil. Which leaves you with us, and we have nothing positive to say beyond the fact that if you put the disc in, it works.

Score: 4/10


One comment on “Army Of Two: The Devil’s Cartel Review

  1. kingsley higgins

    Making everthing that is ment to be in this game to make it fun sound like its only there to make the game louzie…seriously bad review guys.

    P.s – i like killing ppl and is only made better by making a joke and im not 13 – *23*

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