Army of Two: Devil’s Cartel is the sequel to 2010’s The 40th Day. But this time, instead of stepping back into the shoes of Salem and Rios, you don the controls of TWO’s newest operatives: Alpha and Bravo.
Army of Two is first and foremost a “bro fest”. By that, I mean it is designed to play with a friend, not on your own. Of course, you are more than capable of playing it alone, and commanding the AI partner, but let’s face it, you can’t shout “Revive me bro!” at a computer.
The first thing I noticed when booting up the game is that the controls feel a little stiff. But after a few minutes of playing it is easy to adjust too. The controls are mapped as you would imagine, Left Trigger to aim down the sights, Right Trigger to Fire, pretty much your typical 3rd person shooter controls. The only issue I had was I kept pressing the grenade button when I wanted to sprint, but I put that down to playing Dead Space 3!
The co-op mechanics are much like the previous games in the series, though one noticeable difference is the removal of the aggro bar. Although the system is still in place, there is no visual indication of the effect your wild gun slinging is having on your opponent. This being said, there were only a few key moments where it was truly needed, either for myself or my co-op partner to draw the heat in order to take down a mounted gun-toting loon.
As is the signature in the series, gun customisation has returned, but it feels a little more watered down. In the previous entries of the series, anything was available providing you had enough cash, the system has been adjusted slightly, meaning you unlock more items as your progress in levels, which is gained by accumulating cash. Alas, I did not get my signature gold and diamond encrusted AK-47… which is probably for the best! I can’t help but feel this move is an attempt to add extra replay value where it just isn’t needed.
The ability to customise your masks is still there, along with a collection of presets that you can buy (with in-game cash, not micro-transactions). Some of which you might recognise, such as Isaac Clarke from Dead Space.
An added feature in this sequel is a move called Overkill. By working as a team with your co-op partner and helping one another out you fill up your Overkill bar, when activated, time slows and you have infinite ammo and grenades, with which you can decimate your enemy, laying waste to anyone in your path.
The Devil’s Cartel is not the shining beacon of next gen graphics, it doesn’t match up to Battlefield 3, or the Final Fantasy series, but it holds it’s own. Graphics don’t make a great game, the end product is so much more than what it looks like. Don’t get me wrong, the graphics aren’t bad, they’re just not amazing, but it’s not something that impedes gameplay at all.
I wouldn’t say Davil’s Cartel has much in the sense of replay value. If you’re an achievement/trophy hunter, or you like to 100% your games by collecting everything then you may wish to play through again, but after the story is complete, everything is revealed, so there isn’t much more to do.
Overall, I would say Devil’s Cartel is a decent game. A little short, but great fun with a friend. If you are a fan of the Army of Two series, then it is a must, as the story is pretty good for a shooter. Fans of the series will probably be a bit shocked with the direction the characters take, but with the addition of Alpha and Bravo, the series can start anew and continue going strong with any luck.