Mercenary madness: It takes two to tangle

CanWest News Service
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Big weapons and big odds combine to give mature game players a combat game worth playing in Army of Two for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Big weapons and big odds combine to give mature game players a combat game worth playing in Army of Two for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

This is a grown-up game, ultra-realistic and ultra-violent, with lots of shooting, enemies and swearing. So be warned, this isnt something for the 15-year-old gamer.

What it is is an innovative spin on action/shooter games. The premise is that you and a partner form a private army as a pair of mercenaries who for a price go into some of the worlds most dangerous areas.

The game is set in the recent past for some missions - going into Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq- and also in the future in areas of China and in the U.S. as you deal with terrorists and looting during a hurricane.

The spin on this is the co-operative play. Indeed, this is best experienced with a partner, either next to you on the couch or online, as you each take a role in defeating wave after wave of enemies. (There have been some issues getting online but they seem to have been resolved.) You can also play on your own and use a computer-aided partner who follows your every command.

This is key in most situations where you have to use strategy to overcome a foe, such as having to take them out from behind.

This is based on an aggro meter. You choose whether you or your partner will draw all the attention by being ultra-aggressive, which allows the other fighter to sneak up into another position and do the dirty work.

Army of Two has some very realistic graphics. The enemies move in a lifelike manner and there are lots of them. The backgrounds are rich and detailed: as you take advantage of the areas of cover, youll find theyll crumble to the ground as theyre pummelled by bullets.

The mechanics of switching weapons or dispatching your partner are well done and easy to navigate. You start off with some puny weapons, but since your goal as a private military contractor is to earn money for tasks, you shop with arms dealers to upgrade. When you get some cash, theres a lot to choose from.

Army of Two brings some fresh gameplay to the table in the use of a partner to outwit a legion of enemies, rather than just blasting away by yourself. Army of Two is a franchise that youre going to be hearing much more of in the future.

Geographic location: Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq China U.S.

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