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Army of Two

PUBLISHED: 16:01 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:11 05 October 2010

Publisher:Electronic Arts
Price:£49.99
Format:Xbox 360 (also on PS3)
AGE RATING:18+
This two-player dose of teamwork and tactics pits you against some of the world s m

Publisher:Electronic Arts
Price:£49.99
Format:Xbox 360 (also on PS3)
AGE RATING:18+
This two-player dose of teamwork and tactics pits you against some of the world's most notorious warlords, criminals and terrorists. Taking on the roles of a couple of muscle-bound American mercenaries, it's up to you and a friend to rid the world of these evil ne'er-do-wells in a series of frantic encounters involving an impossibly large number of heavily-armed enemy combatants. It's all terribly tongue-in-cheek, of course, but the nauseating bravado and asinine banter of the two lead characters may leave you uncomfortably concerned. It's the War on Terror dressed up as a videogame and told through the prism of a couple of hi-fiving gung-ho idiots.

Games like Gears of War and Kane & Lynch: Dead Men already offer cooperative gaming but Army of Two's take is somewhat different. If still requires one player to lay down suppression fire while the other flanks a target to take it out from a more opportune angle, but this time they pull it off with something called 'Aggro'. The noisier, more noticeable the gun a player is using or the more rounds they are firing the higher their Aggro meter will climb. The player with a full Aggro bar will draw the attention of any nearby enemy soldiers, enabling the other to move around as if they were invisible. Money earned from these brash encounters can be spent on improving your weapons by purchasing new barrels, magazines and ammo but to really give the opposition something to look at you can plate guns in gold and encrust them in diamonds. Why? It creates more Aggro, obviously. (We're not making any of this up, honest!)

In a game that starts in Somalia and moves swiftly to a post 9/11 Afghanistan all this boorishness can often come across as being in pretty poor taste. The enemy is smart enough to make using Aggro an often tiring necessity for survival, but when you're standing back-to-back and gunning down terrorist after terrorist in slow-motion and then press a button that makes you play air guitar you have to wonder about the game's ethics. Two hard rockin' Americans can rid the world of evil, and they can do it while acting like drunken jocks, it seems. It's just not amusing, nor are the necessary tactics that compelling to justify the arrogance. If you're looking for a sensible videogame interpretation or commentary on the War on Terror, then this certainly isn't it.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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