in come and Bravo.. Alpha; New characters and introduction of Frostbite engine help drive The Devil's Cartel to the forfront of modern age of video gaming.
The Army of Two boasts some very important pedigree. As an EA studio Army of Two pioneered the concept of co-operative campaigns and the nature of the game was very much focused on surviving together. The third episode in the franchise, The Devil's Cartel, now under the control of Visceral Montreal, sets out to reshape co-op gameplay and introduce some new and fun concepts.
The Devil's Cartel introduces two new characters, Alpha and Bravo. Those of you familiar with previous titles will be happy to hear that Rios and Salem do make an appearance in the game but reduced to background characters for the most part. The game focuses on the elimination of a drug cartel in Mexico mainly with the aid of over-the-top explosions and numerous encounters with hoards of Mexican rebels.
Visceral Games have endeavoured to try and make Army of Two a more serious proposition than may have been provided before with the inclusion of the Frostbite 2 engine and some gameplay tweaks that they hope will make the game a lot more fluid and somewhat realistic.
During our playtest it was obvious that the game really benefitted from using the new Frostbite engine. The environments are now more interactive as walls, crates, doors and other elements break and blow apart amidst the fury of the ensuing gun battle. The textures are cleaner and more realistic and the accompanying sound helps to bring it all together.
Gone is the visible on-screen aggro metre and is replaced by a new Overkill bar. The concept of Aggro still plays a significant role within the game but now it is more implied than activated. You can still take focus away from your partner by being more aggressive and drawing fire away from his flanking manoeuvre - making him almost invisible to the enemy.
The new concept of Overkill is brilliant and a lot of fun. It is akin to the old back-to-back moments in the previous games but is less scripted and a lot more gruesome thanks to Frostbite. Filling up the Overkill bar allows you to activate a short, slowmotion sequence that unleashes untold carnage on your enemy while obliterating them into a pile of body parts and blood-spray.
Devil's Cartel has brought the Army of Two brand right back into the modern age of video gaming. It maintains the essence of the original game by providing a strong challenge while making the game fun to play. The coop maintains the essence of the original game by providing a strong challenge while making the game fun to play. The co-op elements are as strong as ever and the Frostbite engine succeeds in making everything gel together.
.Army of Two: the Devil's Cartel will be released in March on 360 and PS3
KILL ZONE: Battle rages