Thursday, March 6, 2008

Gut Reactions Review: I got yo back homie!

(please note: im not a professional reviewer. Gut Reactions Reviews are based on first impressions of the first few hours of play and does not reflect the game on its entirety, full review may appear later)

So after work i ran directly into FutureShop and picke dme up a copy of Army of Two for the PS3. Why not 360? I think my 360 is on the verge of bricking, and i need an online game for my PS3. So why not?
plus 360 apparently has no local coop, and the PS3 does. = Win.

The game delivers on pretty much all fronts that i expected. The gameplay is alot more frantic and fun than i expected even from the videos. The graphics are absolutely top notch the whole way through, a couple blemishes but meh, i can forgive the occasional muddy lowrez texture. Especially when the framerate stays at 60fps and never drops.

The comradarie in the game is jus toutstanding, just about anything and everything youd want to be able to do with your partner (in the middle of battle, you gutter mind you) is available. From praising and smacking upside the head, to high level boosts, and even Coop Snipe

The unfortunate part is, the in-engine cutscene's do not reflect the rendered cutscene production values. Characters come off as stiff and lifeless, and the characters with no masks have no facial expressions (to my memory anyways), and the voice acting from anyone other than the two main characters, is quite cheesy or needlessly too macho for the persons own good. But you dont play COOP based games for the cut scenes, they are merely there to drive the sequences together, speaking of which:

one other thing that lowers my score on it, is the flow of the game. Going from scene to scene is just downright confusing as all hell. Somethings just happen and you dont know why, and you instantly zapped to somewhere else entirely, lets take the first training level sequence for instance:
you press triangle to vault over a fence arm, and your to push in the left stick to duck and walk under a fence. becuase im on a 480i TV i can barely ready anything text wise in the game so i was guessing my controls the whole way. i didn't duck but i did hold L2 to precise aim, and this apparently led me to complete the sequence as now i am zapped to the next segment, standing on a platform i should have reached on my own.

Some things are jsut dwonright confusing, the training level had me stuck, i tried for a good hour to get past the area where your supposed to sneak around the armoured guy and take him out from behin. He was no problem, getting past that fence was another issue all its own. it wasn't until i redid the whole thign and got stuck again, did i realize i was supposed to do some of the onscreen instructions in order to continue doing anything.
Excuuuuuuse me. Cut me some slack.

but once you get in the game, and get to customizing your weapons and armour, and the ability to pick your personality (i chose Salem, as he closely resembles me as much as this game could haha), the game REALLY begins to shine.

please though, do play this with a buddy. While the Ai controlled partner is sufficient, and actually adapts to your play style (if you constantly rush hell just eventually start staying behind on his own, vice versa, and many more), they do dumb mistakes that make you REALLY wish you had a partner sitting beside you or across the globe watching your back.

i really need to buy a second controller, when is that damn Dualshock3 coming out.

Army of Two, while not perfect, lived up to my expectations, not as the best thing to gaming, but a fun coop game to pass the time until MGS4 :)

Graphics: 8.9 (looks really good)
Animation: 7.0 (some stiff and lifeless characters)
Gameplay: 9.0 (COOP moves = Win)
Story: 7.0 (passable to drive the game)
Acting: 6.0 (voice work is mostly laughable, but Salem and the other dude rock as characters and totally save the game)
Fun Factor: 9.0 (the game is a total blast to play)
Overall: 7.9
Its a great game to play with buddy, on your own its pretty borish truth be told. Loners and misanthropes, watch out, as this title may not be for you.

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