Admitting the blindingly obvious – that they “pissed a lot of people off” with the first game – EA have explained why some of the humour in Army of Two went down like a lead balloon. The first game, despite having some interesting gameplay mechanics, became synonymous with being gauche and ham-fisted due to the protagonists’ tasteless attitude toward their prodigious amount of killing. When this violence included taking out people for profit, and in locations where real world conflicts were occurring like Afghanistan and Iraq, however, many found Army of Two left a bad taste in their mouth.
Speaking to Videogamer, EA Montreal boss Alain Tascan explains:
“The mistake we made was we thought that what is going to make a certain type of person laugh, is going to make everybody laugh. The reality is, you can laugh off everything but not with everybody.When we mixed killing in North Africa, killing terrorists for money and then fist pumping and saying something funny afterwards, in a place where real life our troops are dying, people just felt whatever the game is, this is wrong. You can’t do that. People from the left thought we were on the right; people from the right thought we were on the left. We were able to piss off a lot of people.”
“We got carried away. The reality is we have real recordings from mercenaries in the field, and let me tell you, we took ten percent in the first game of what was said in war. But it’s not like in the movies, it’s not appropriate. What we’re discovering, now that we’re a mass market entertainment medium, is, like movies, we have to filter. […] The new one I feel is still very funny, but at least it’s more Bruce Willis funny than Steven Seagal funny.”
It’s admirable to hear a studio of EA’s size coming out and admitting that mistakes were made; especially when it comes to the sensitive topic of real-life troops being killed in action. It is curious to learn that they only used “10% of what real mercenaries” actually get up to in the field. If that 10% equates to fist pumping and inappropriate remarks after killing people, we can only imagine what the real guys actually get up to.
EA’s Army of Two: The 40th Day launches tomorrow.