With EA releasing the much-anticipated Army of Two this week, we figured it was time we stopped polishing our exclusive press kits and gave you some info about the game instead. TSA was founded as an Army of Two in fact, although we don’t do co-op, ‘cos the one time we tried we had a row about who would use the ‘dodgy’ controller. Alex said he’d take it because I needed all the help I could get, and that gave me the right hump. I responded by suggesting that his design skills reminded me of a particularly bad episode of Changing Rooms. Things got worse from there, so let me just say that Army of Two’s customisable weapons have got nothing on what Alex and I came up with.
Army of Two (AO2) is a third-person shooter, but what EA has done is make the co-op mode the game itself. Whether you’re playing with an AI partner or a real life chum(p), AO2 is all about using your two-man team to battle through the missions. Because AO2 has been built from the ground up to cater for this type of gameplay, we can expect to be able to use two-man strategies like never before. Not only will this ensure epic co-op firefights over the PSN, but you’ll be able to battle for bragging rights over who is the best man on the team.
The story behind AO2 promises to be thought provoking and bang up-to-date. It will have a heavy political bias, but will also tackle the issue of private military corporations. At TSA, we can think of a few good uses for such a corporation, most notably being the eradication of our next-door neighbour who mistakenly believes the section of road directly outside his house belongs to him. I’d like to Army of Two him, I can tell you. Anyway, throw in a few twists and turns and a smattering of conspiracy, and you’ve got a recipe for a decent story we can all ignore in favour of murdering enemies dead.
We’ve been down the AI-buddy road before of course, so how is AO2 going to handle things: Using something called Partner AI (PAI) is how. The PAI will be clever enough to interact with the player, but also to learn from their playing style. The PAI may take the lead to help out if required, or it may take a backseat and let the player lead and strategise. The adaptive nature of the PAI should mean that even in the trickiest parts of the game you won’t be left to fight alone.
There’s also an array of customisable weapons available, which can be shared with your partner both online and off. Fighting through the dynamic environments EA Montreal have lovingly crafted for us will be more fun than the Duck Shoot at the travelling fair.
Finally, there’s the part that most excites us here at TSA: How the game is going to work over the PSN. EA promise that we’ll be able to play the game with the PAI and seamlessly switch to a live partner as we progress. Presumably, we’ll be able to muddle our way through using PAI, and then call up Alex when the going gets tough, and hide behind barrels while he clears the way. EA haven’t actually said that, but it’s what I’m hoping for.
That’s Army of Two and it’s arriving this Friday. Remember, take a mate with you when you buy it: Never go shopping alone!
Sorry, that’s Army of Two: Never go into battle alone!