TGON’s Couch Co-Op Collection: Army of TWO

Here we are again for another couch co-op installment! Here today we’re going to be discussing a game that my buddy and I focused on for many a night. Hushed shouts of “Cover me!” and “I’m goin’ in!” filled the air as we were running and gunning for hours. I’m talking of course about Army of TWO, the first (and best) in a three game trilogy released on the PS3 and XBOX 360 and is rated M for Mature. Let’s dive in!

Army of TWO
Army of TWO – Photo Source: Kotaku.com

Army of TWO follows two men, Elliot Salem and Tyson Rios, and their transformation from soldiers to mercenaries. This game, released in March of 2008 by the development team at Entertainment Arts Montreal, places our heroes in a variety of dangerous locations like Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. As expected when dealing with money, things aren’t always what they seem. They find themselves unable to simply follow orders without questioning the underlying motives a bit, which lands them in a whole heap of trouble. Your task is to run and gun your way through treacherous terrain and come out safe and sound with your partner at your side.

Salem and Rios back to back
Salem and Rios back to back – Photo Source: IGN.com

How to Play

Army of TWO really embodies the concept of couch co-op game-play. So much so, that if you choose to play solo you have an AI character that acts as your partner. You NEED a partner to successfully pass these levels, so playing with a real human is definitely preferred.  The two of you will traverse war-torn streets and buildings pushing towards whatever objective the level has for you. You’ll be facing tons of enemies, so make sure to seek cover behind whatever you may find.

Co-op use of a riot shield
Co-op use of a riot shield – Photo Source: IGN.com

One unique concept this 3rd person shooter has included is aggro. Aggro determines which of you the enemies want to kill more, and will shift their focus toward whomever has the higher rating at that moment. This is perfect to help set up a flanking attack, provide distraction for a sneaky infiltration, or even to draw fire from a wounded ally. There are also a few points in the game where you and your partner are forced back to back, and are attacked by enemies on all sides! If your partner dies, you lose, so make sure to get them back up when they’re downed. Teamwork is paramount in Army of TWO, which is really why we choose couch co-op games in the first place, isn’t it?

Back to back
Back to back – Photo Source: IGN.com

Characters

The only characters you get to use are our buddies Salem and Rios. While that seems a tad dull for some of us who like being able to make choices about who we pick as to affect game-play, there is a fun mechanic that will satisfy those customization desires… Weapon customization! As the game progresses, and you earn a bit of cash, you can purchase new weapons and attachments to customize them with. New barrels, stocks, magazines, and more will help you create the perfect load-out for each mission. You can also choose to purchase additional masks to wear, though the ones you’re given are already bad-ass!

Salem and Rios looking bad-ass!
Salem and Rios being bad-ass – Photo Source: IGN.com

Highlights

Army of TWO makes couch co-op a central part of many mechanics. One of my favorite aspects of the game is the co-op snipe opportunities. You and your partner set up and tag two enemies to snipe, and start a countdown. If successful, you can take out small groups without ever being noticed! You’ll find yourselves having to rely on each other as you’re forced into back to back shootouts, teamed up with only a single riot shield, or dropped in via parachute while attached to each other. You can even choose to feign death if you’re drawing way too much aggro. This will, of course, send the enemies after your friend but it DOES help keep you both alive long enough to take everyone out!

Parachute Assault
Assault via Parachute – Photo Source: IGN.com

Overall

There are few other games I’ve played with the level of couch co-op integration that Army of Two has. You’ll get all the action of your standard 1st person shooter with a little more emphasis on your character positioning via the forced 3rd person view. The weapon customization options do wonder for making you feel you’ve got the right gear for each level. If you’ve got a buddy that enjoys shooters, then pick up Army of TWO. Check out the trailer below if you’re interested!

Have you ever played the Army of TWO series? Let us know your favorite game, or just how much you hated The Devil’s Cartel like the rest of us. Let us know what other couch co-op games you want us to check out! Click the following links if you’d like to check out the EA Montreal team, or the Army of TWO page!

 

 

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Author: Rudy Leustek

Rudy is a performer, with a focus on singing and acting. He has recently taken to writing through blogs and other posts. He spends the rest of his free time "nerding-out" on a variety of different things. Follow along, and enjoy the ride!

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