Players: 1-2
Price: $59.99
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Developer: EA Montreal
Publisher: Electronic Arts
ESRB: Mature
Website: Army of Two

Imagine being on the frontlines in a war on terrorism. Bullets flying by your head faster than the word otorhinolaryngologist (yes it’s a real word, I looked it up) and explosions popping up more frequently than Britney Spears on TMZ. You prepare to present the grunt of your training when you are spurred on by watching your partner bombarding the other side with ammunition. Let the battle begin! Now imagine the same scenario, but this time you’re alone. This is the same feeling you’ll get playing EA’s Army of Two. Playing with a buddy enhances all of the game’s features while going at it solo highlights the game’s flaws. All gameplay centers around two-man missions, two-man strategies, and the fact that two heads are better than one.

The game follows mercenary protagonists, Salem and Rios, who are contracted to do military style missions, but without all the hassle of real army red tape. There are approximately six, but who’s counting. The tandem team eventually discovers that those who’ve provided the cash and assignments may not be who they seem. Unfortunately this plot, puzzling as it maybe, becomes quite predictable.

Even though EA coined this game “combat, camaraderie, and cash,” unless they manage to stuff each unit with a $20 bill, only one of the three prophecies will be fulfilled. The game’s biggest drawback is its less than stellar shooting system. Gunning down terrorists on the run is almost impossible to be accurate; and even stopping and aiming brews a cup of frustration. Relying on your teammate almost becomes a necessity rather than a perk. To add to the defamed combat, the enemies have life bars that sometimes never deplete until you throw your controller at your flatscreen. Once you find out that your TV will still run even with a crack down the middle, you’ll see that your enemies are still hitting you even though they’re out of sight.

The new co-op features that EA put into Army of Two are what makes this game unique and successful. The Aggro system makes enemies focus on whoever is doing the most damage and turn a blind eye on the other. Leading to one guy drawing all the enemy fire while the other one tiptoes from behind and shoots them in the back of the head. You can also tear off a car door and use it as a shield while your partner uses you as a mobile barricade. That is until you are hurt and your buddy has to heal you. Unfortunately healing you out in the open won’t be an option if you enjoy living so he’ll have to drag you to a corner while you provide the cover fire.

Ultimately, Army of Two implements enough innovative co-op gameplay to help mask its other deficiencies. If you’re the person that loves to play with a friend then pick it up. But if your quench is satisfied by online friends on Call of Duty 4, then I suggest not giving up your ass groove on the couch.

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