Ever since I watched the demo that was shown off at Gamescon I have been dying to get my hands on the latest installment in the Army of TWO series. The announcement that Visceral Games was taking over development and the fact that the game will be using the Frostbite 2 engine showed me that this series was making a huge push to be considered a top flight title. Luckily for myself and gamers the world over we didn’t have to wait until the March 26th release date to get our first taste of all the co-op goodness that is Army of TWO. Earlier this week on PSN and XBL the demo for The Devil’s Cartel was released and after joining up with a friend across the country and suiting up I must say that I am even more excited to get my hands on the final product. While the demo itself is only about five to ten minutes long the action that ensues throughout shows that this is going to be the most epic and intense game this series has seen to date.
Not only does this demo give players a chance to play through one of the games missions but it also gives us a chance to dive right in to the revamped weapon customization options as well. We are given $60,000 to use to upgrade the 4 available weapons with add-ons such as stocks, barrels, sights and much more. Once players have decided how to outfit their character it is time to unleash hell upon the overmatched foes that we meet as we make our way to the rooftop of the drug lab that serves as our backdrop. During our ascent of the building it comes very apparent that this is going to be a heart-pounding adventure from beginning to end. As the bullets fly and the world around us starts to crumble Frostbite 2 shines in all its glory as the particle effects and realistic destruction immerses the player into battle bringing the experience to entirely new level. The gunplay has been improved and sharpened making the game feel more like the more recognizable 3rd person action games we have become accustomed to while the game is still able to carry that signature Army of TWO flare.
Back from the original is the ability to activate Overkill mode. Overkill puts players into an invincible state and gives them unlimited ammo for a short period of time to allow them to mow down even the biggest and most deadly of enemies. It’s the slight improvement and nod to the series’ core that makes the demo feel like this could not only be the best game the series has seen to date but also a legitimate early Game of the Year candidate. As if this wasn’t enough the demo gives us one last taste of the insane moments we can expect as the final portion of the mission splits our duo up sending one traversing the rooftop on foot while his partner lays down cover fire from a mounted gun aboard a helicopter. It is in these final moments that we get to see the true power of Frostbite 2 at work. Gas Tanks explode and gunshots tear apart the atmosphere in such grand fashion that it is very easy for a player to become distracted from the true task at hand, which is making sure their teammate reaches their destination safely.
If anyone is questioning whether or not this game is one that is worthy of being added to their collection then I would highly recommend downloading and playing through the demo with a friend. After experiencing the teamwork, amazing graphics and intense moments that are there to be had those questions will undoubtedly fade away and give way to anticipation and the desire to make this title a must have.