Saturday, June 7, 2014

GAMER GIRL WEEKENDS: ARMY OF TWO - 40th DAY

If you had asked me a couple of years ago whether I would be as into shooters as I am my RPGs, I probably would have said no. As a woman with a very obvious lady moniker online I had so many bad experiences attempting to do multiplayer that I kind of just gave up. Single player stuff, that was more my style and since so many shooters often are more satisfying if you play multiplayer (CoD, Halo, etc) I just kind of stayed away. And then E came along and wanted to let the gamer flourish. Plus he loves gaming, why not try to game together? Some of my favorite date nights haven’t included Netflix, but rather our tv, an extra monitor, both 360s, and a multiplayer game. The same goes for spending times with the girls playing round after round of Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer. It’s fun when you can play your favorite games with a friend.

However, we starting to run out of ideas for new games to play together. We have gone through the Gears Trilogy. We have done Halo. We have played CoD, Borderlands, Fuse, and more. We may be running out of ideas. Every time we head to GS we scour trying to find a game to play together. Army of Two: the 40th Day looked interesting so we gave it a go after playing the most recent one in a demo.

IIt begins off with what seems like a simple job for two private military contractors named Rios and Salem who work for TransWorld Operations. A simple job, yeah right. And then everything disintegrates around you as Shanghai’s buildings begin to fall apart, aircraft falls from the skies, and the streets are full of panic. Rios and Salem have to stay alive and find out who is behind all of this.

I really enjoyed the modding system for weapons. While I was a little disappointed that my secondary gun had to be a pistol, I did love the variety of options I had for playing with the other two choices. Not only could I change the way it looked with skins, but everything is customizable from grips to magazines to barrels. You can add soda can silencers and a screwdriver bayonet. Some things are definitely more of an aesthetic, while others can be quite useful in game. I may not need to throw diamond encrusted grenades, but I did mod my sniper rifle to its fullest.

But as crazy as those diamond hand grenades may sound there is a point to it all. Army of Two works with an “Aggro” system which means that between the two characters one of you is going to be drawing their attention and fire (not hard to do with a blinged out gold AK) while the other sneaks around and flanks. I chose weapon choices that were low in agro while E chose all of the craziness.

And that was the thing. This game was made to be played with someone. In order to save hostages, you snipe together. At times one of you can mock surrender while the other has guns blazing away. If one of you takes an enemy officer hostage, the other can tie up the remaining baddies. If one of you gets hurt, the other can drag you into safety before healing you. It’s a great thing really and we had so much fun shouting out tactics to each other…okay maybe not shouting since we were on the same couch, but you get the idea. Heck during down time Rios and Salem can play rock, paper, and scissors and cement their bromance even more. The enemies use the same tactics as you do and didn’t always feel like predictable AI.

I really enjoyed the setting, though I wanted to interact with more than I could. A few environments stick out (the zoo) as leaving an impression. Though to be honest we didn’t roam about a whole lot which is where I am sure all the collectibles are. In fact though you can pick up radios that will further the story, we haven’t listened to any of them. That doesn’t mean that the story isn’t interesting. I really love the morality aspect of the game. Not only does it come into play with hostage situations (which may hurt or harm you later in the game depending on how you deal with the situations), but there are times in the game when you must make a morality choice.

Seems like a pretty easy thing right, you both make a choice…let’s say it is to save a tiger instead of shooting it and thus perhaps ending its life in a cage in an abandoned zoo. But not all good choices have a happy ending. Maybe the tiger gets out and kills someone else. Maybe it’s an innocent, but then again maybe it is someone not so innocent. While we thought we were choosing the moral high ground, quite often our choices usually ended up tragic and I have heard that the other choices sometimes have happier endings. It does make me want to play it again just to choose a different path and see where it leads. Granted it is not Mass Effect level morality choices, but it added to the game quite a bit for me.

Overall its been a great game and we had enough fun that once we both play through our new little collection of two player games, we will probably pick up the latest one.

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