Release Date: March 26th, 2013
Developer: Visceral Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: [Reviewed: PlayStation 3], Xbox 360
Genre: Third-Person Shooter
Rated: M for Mature
When Salem and Rios first made their debut, it was one of the greatest tag teams since Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Well, not really, but you could definitely label them as the “Bad Boys” of co-op! EA brought the action to your living rooms and placed the story in your consoles to play and bare witness.
When The 40th Day released, the gameplay was just as fun, but not quite as much as the original. EA heard your complaints. And one thing that must be noted here, EA listened. With a game changer in mind, Visceral Games and EA Montreal introduces Alpha and Bravo, both newly employed by T.W.O (Trans World Operations).
Alpha and Bravo, who can also be subbed by two of hip-hop stars, Big Boi and B.O.B. (Chuy and Baker), have both done a phenomenal job with the voiceovers, creating a unique likeness between the two in-game characters. The chemistry and humor doesn’t skip a beat! Prepare to run into Salem and Rios, train a bit, then take it to the streets.
In this installment, “The Devil’s Cartel ” pits you in Mexico against a drug cartel that goes by the name La Guadana. The cartel is one ruthless group that will leave you on the edge of your seat as the story progresses.
You’ll catch on immediately to use cover for most of your transitions. Attempting to take an enemy down straight forward is suicide in which you will severely pay for. The element of surprise, flanking and of course agrro serves as your best interest.
If you’re not playing solo, team work means everything when playing with a friend on online. A.I. will support you throughout the campaign, however when you join random games, there are chances that players will leave you behind, die and force you to a restart checkpoint. Communication is vital!
While you lose a handful of team interactions such as back to back and rock-paper-scissors, you gain a few new features; one of which is TWO Vision. Two vision will allow you and your teammate to sync up and determine the best visual route available for flanking or maneuvering.
Double Overkill is also introduced, allowing both Alpha and Bravo to use max Aggro at the same time. Not only does time slow down, but when used together, the length of Overkill is increased.
If you want to go the extra mile and truly experience everything that The Devil’s Cartel has to offer, spend that “easy” earned cash and visit the armory. Find the weapons that fit you and customize it to your liking. You can tweak anything from the individual parts to the skin of the weapon. You even have a camera that allows you to change gameplay from third to first person when viewing enemies through your scope.
As for your player, You can customize every part of his mask, switch out tactical gear and tattoos, giving them a unique identity to your liking. There are also a few Signature outfits and mask you can wear if the price is right! Skull Candy has some gear you can wear. Issac and Carter from Dead Space 3 also lends Alpha and Bravo their masks for gameplay.
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel genuinely delivers everything gamers seek in a co-op experience. The action never slows down and the cartel never lets up.
One minor issue that you’ll take notice of is the length between checkpoints. While some objectives may seem shorter than others, in longer objectives, you’ll find yourself much further back than expected.
Another issue was the A.I. sticking a few times. I was forced to restart a checkpoint due to my partner becoming immobile after a few cutscenes.
Graphics are amazing as the engine switched over from Unreal Engine 3 to the new Frostbite 2, recently used in EA’s Need for Speed: The Run, Medal of Honor: Warfighter and Battlefield 3.
If a great co-op title is what you’re looking for, you’ve found it; with A.I., fluid mechanics and an awesome story to back it up. The Devil’s Cartel is easily one of the best games to release this year. Visceral Games has truly raised the bar on how to create a lasting impression.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5