Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Review - "a bad case of sequelitis"
- Posted May 12th, 2013 at 22:25 EDT by Timothy Nunes
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The Devil's Cartel takes what made the original Army of Two intriguing and replaces it with quick and simple gameplay that doesn't require much skill. Together with a weak script, this shallow experience is only for the most devoted of fans and trophy hunters desperate for another Platinum.
- Engaging weapon customization
- Enjoyable cooperative play
- Aggro system is underutilized
- Useless cover system
- Wildly inconsistent design
(continued from previous page) ...through different means of executing those kills. After all of these negatives, though, it’s hard to look at this and feel like weapon customization can save a game from faltering.
If you're inclined to ignore my review and buy this game anyway, then please find a friend to play with you, online or otherwise; I recommend otherwise, so you both are only out $30 each. The online co-op works perfectly in terms of connectivity, but the splitscreen works just as well. When I say "works just as well," I'm keeping in mind both gameplay difficulty and how much the HUD covers the screen. The HUD in single player is already crowded by the Overdrive bar (when activated, Overdrive allows you to be invincible for a short time). The Overdrive bar arcs in two semi-circles around your character, so you can only imagine how convoluted the screen becomes in splitscreen. Even on hard, you can generally run through maps, forgetting about the simplistic and effective cover system, and, with average aim, take out everything in your wake--considering the rather annoying dialogue, the game's ease might actually help you get through it.
Amidst all of these flaws is one contradicting fact: the game plays well. Many games out there fail to have an experience that works this well. Like the last two games, Devil’s Cartel includes cooperative bonuses and combos that are rewarded for working together in tasks, like wounding then killing an enemy, which livens up gameplay nicely and motivates you to keep moving through the game. Together, the decision to make this game less tactical and the lack of difficulty unfortunately turn Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel into an arcade shooter rather than a tactical one like the series' original outing. Games like this have their place, and that place is not worth $60. Having a friend with common taste who’s willing to co-op with you nearly doubles this game's score, because Devil’s Cartel feels that much more entertaining playing with a pal.
Cooperative play, enjoyable gameplay, and engaging weapon customization are tossed together with weak difficulty and an almost-inappropriate cover system. Together with its lack of tactical necessity, The Devil's Cartel is hard to justify. Perhaps these mistakes will bring Visceral Montreal, and this game series, back to the drawing board, because the original idea was superb. Please bring a friend before you start this game, and do check the bargain bin before you buy it.
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