Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, the next entry in the Army of Two series of third-person shooters, has just been announced for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by publisher Electronic Arts. Game Informer magazine has put out a short video with commentary from the game’s developers and a a few snippets of game footage. Development this time will be handled by Visceral Games, best known as the makers of the Dead Space series. (Via Game Informer.)
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel’s gameplay is described as being along the lines of the previous games, a cover-based shooter with a heavy emphasis on teamwork between the two protagonists and, presumably, lots of weapon customization with the money you earn from completing objectives. The developers say the story will have a more serious tone this time- such a shift twas already noticeable between the original Army of Two and its sequel Army of Two: The 40th Day, so I guess this will take it further. I don’t know how hardcore fans of the series will react to that, though given where the plot of The Devil’s Cartel kicks off, with the two mercenary protagonists in the midst of the bloody gang warfare between Mexico’s rival drug cartels, it seems appropriate.
Speaking of the protagonists, this time they are not Salem and Rios, who starred in the previous Army of Two games, though apparently they will feature in the plot of The Devil’s Cartel in some unspecified capacity. Honestly, I thought the main characters were the most grating aspect of the original game, and while they were better in the sequel I can’t say I’d mind their absence. (And they’d be rather conspicuously inappropriate and out of place as the focus of a story that starts off in the midst of an ongoing real-life tragedy like the drug wars in Mexico.) How more devoted Army of Two fans will feel about it, I can’t say.
The game’s environments will apparently be more destructible this time, which is a good thing. The modern cover-based shooter can get very static- sit behind cover, pop up and shoot guys, crouch again for a few seconds so that your regenerating health can heal any adverse effects of being shot in the face several times, repeat- so I like things that force battles to be more mobile. It’s also sort of bad for my suspension of disbelief when the rusted-out frame of an old car or a suburban house’s drywall can soak up enough fire to shred an armored personnel carrier and be none the worse for wear, and when a game is heavily cover-based that gets harder to ignore because the gameplay is going out of its way to call my attention to whatever I’m hiding behind.
Or maybe all that is just a rationalization for the childish glee I take in games where everything breaks. I sometimes start up Crysis just so that I can smash vehicles into buildings and watch things come crashing down with physics set to Very High, so it’s entirely possible.
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel is scheduled for release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March of 2013.
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