Army of Two is a third person shooter video game developed by Electronic Arts, released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, focusing on two mercenaries fighting through war, political turmoil, and a conspiracy from 1993 to 2009.
Focusing on cooperative strategies, Army of Two's main feature is the necessity to use coordinated teamwork to accomplish the game's goals. While the game is meant to be played with another human as a partner, a "Partner Artificial Intelligence"(PAI) is also included and programmed to follow the player's strategies. Dependence on a partner (whether human or PAI) is so pronounced that most objectives are impossible to complete without it.
The PS3 version of Army of Two is the first game for the console to be region-locked for online play. EA claims that the region-locking is to prevent network lag caused by players from multiple regions, and to prevent the Asian region console owners from playing the US and European version of the game, as the Asian version has been censored to meet certain requirements (notably, the shooting of already dead bodies in the game).
The story begins in 1993 in Somalia when Elliot Salem and Tyson Rios (the protagonists of the game) are in the U.S. 75th Ranger Regiment. They are tasked to work with Philip Clyde, private military contractor with the Security and Strategy Corporation (SSC), tasked with carrying out the assassination of powerful local warlord Abdullahi Mo'Alim. Clyde's overly condescending attitude and behaviour disgust Salem and Rios. Clyde makes Salem and Rios pull off the assassination themselves and clear out the extraction point without his assistance. After this mission, Philip Clyde invites Lieutenant Colonel Richard Dalton (CO for Salem and Rios's Ranger squad) to join the company for a desk job. He agrees, asking to bring Salem and Rios with him as contractors, and in the following year, the three enter the private sector. Salem and Rios begin work as mercenaries.
Salem and Rios are now working for Security and Strategy Corporation. After the 9/11 attack they are sent to Afghanistan to kill an Al-Qaeda terrorist named Mohammed Al-Habiib who seized a missile facility with Soviet M-11 missiles. They also need to blow up these missiles, destroy a chemical weapon stockpile, and find and rescue Brian Hicks, another SSC contractor who failed the same mission. They find and destroy the missiles then find themselves in an area filled with noxious gas. Salem comments on how poorly they are equipped for missions and Rios sees conspiracy in this. They find Brian beaten and poisoned in his cell and carry him to a safe area. They get back into the elevator and fight Mohammed over a missile station. After the fight Rios asks S3kshun8, his hacker contact to unlock a door to the chemical weapon stockpile. They blow it up and finish the mission.
2 years later, Salem and Rios are sent to Iraq. Their objective there is to rescue former squad mate Lt. Col Eisenhower, whose U.S. Army base was under siege by the terrorist leader Ali Youssef. They secure Eisenhower, but before the chopper arrives they are ambushed. Eisenhower bids them farewell before the chopper takes off, but it suddenly explodes in mid-air. Ali Youssef makes a radio transmission claiming responsibility for blowing up the chopper. Rios suspects a conspiracy behind Eisenhower's death, thinking he was singled out – Salem dismisses this, saying he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just before entering Ali Youssef's oil facility, Rios asks S3kshun8 to investigate the ambushes and try to find their source. Salem and Rios eventually reach Ali Youssef, and kill him at his helipad.
Aircraft Carrier, South China Sea (2008)Edit
The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Constellation, has been seized by the "Abu-Sayaff" terrorist organization. Returning from an unspecified mission after Iraq, Salem and Rios are redirected by SSC and tasked with liberating the aircraft carrier from terrorist control. They parachute onto the deck and meet up with Philip Clyde. They clear the deck of hostiles and disable the remaining jets to prevent escape. Salem notes that the crew left behind one life boat, which could be useful. Salem and Rios soon stumble upon Clyde and a Terrorist collaborating by a computer. Clyde flees, but Rios retrieves his USB flash drive. He sends the information on the drive to S3kshun8 for analysis, and refuses to tell Alice what's happening until he hears back from him. S3kshun8 tells Rios that Clyde was responsible for leaking U.S. Troop positions to Terrorists. Salem and Rios then stumble upon the Captain. He tells them that there are stolen nuclear warheads on board, the engine room is booby trapped, and they are on a collision course for the city of Manila on the Philippine island of Luzon. Salem and Rios sink the ship and escape using the lifeboat they had discovered earlier.
Li-Jiang River, China (2009)Edit
After the Aircraft Carrier mission, Salem and Rios agree to quit from the company. On a special mission for their arms dealer Cha-Min Soo, they inadvertently make contact with Alice, and decide to pull off one last mission, because Salem needs the money. They are told to execute a head terrorist within "Abu-Sayaff" by detonating a bridge as his car crosses. They complete their objective, but find themselves under attack by the Chinese Military and wanted for murder. It is revealed that the U.S. Senator for Alaska, Richard Whitehorse, campaigning hard against a bill to privatize the military, was the one crossing the bridge. They assume Stockwell set them up, and agree to go public with the evidence they pulled off Clyde. Alice is kidnapped, however, so they head to Miami to save her and confront Stockwell. Cha-Min Soo lends them a large cargo plane and a pilot to take them there.
Miami, Florida, USA (2009)Edit
Miami, Florida is a hurricane zone. U.S. Air Force air defenses pick up the radar trace of Cha-Min Soo's aircraft and send up two F-15's to investigate. The two operatives notice the F-15's and then find that Clyde has murdered their pilot. They engage him in battle, but are interrupted when the U.S. Air Force shoots down the plane (due to the unresponsive dead pilot and sight of gunfire exiting the rear of the plane). Salem and Rios survive, and assume Clyde to be dead. They enter the Miami airport, where they are forced to engage SSC Operatives. S3kshun8 informs them of Alice's location, and they head on to rescue her. In the meantime, Cha-Min Soo radios them, furious that his plane up was destroyed. They tell him it was Clyde's fault, and Cha-Min Soo decides he will pay them to kill him. Rios tries to tell Cha-Min Soo that Clyde already died, but Salem stops him, thinking it will be easy money. Alice reveals to them that it was in fact Dalton who was the mastermind behind the plot, and he plans to kill Stockwell. If he succeeds, the bill to privatize the military will pass, and he will be even more powerful. Alice says they need to save Stockwell, as he is the only one who can clear their names. They make it to SSC HQ, where Cha-Min Soo tells them he hacked their helmet cameras, so he can see Clyde die with his own eyes. Salem and Rios are un-easy, as Soo will obviously discover their lie. They eventually get to the information department of the SSC Head-quarters, and acquire all the evidence necessary to clear their names. Ironically (and lucky for them), Clyde is revealed to have survived the crash. Salem roundhouse kicks Clyde through a window, presumably killing him. They then head to the roof where Dalton is attempting to escape in a helicopter. Rios uses a Stinger missile to destroy the helicopter and kill Dalton.
In the epilogue, Stockwell is revealed (on the news) to have turned himself in and served 3 months in jail. Salem and Rios call Alice and tell her that they have started their own PMC, named Trans World Operations (T.W.O.), and invite her to join them, to which she smiles at.
HOW TO PLAYEdit
The game allows weapon customization, bought with money earned as the game progresses. Such elements as new barrels, stocks, forend-mounted vertical grips, and extra-large magazines and ammo drums that can be swapped out to give the weapon a unique look and superior statistics. Other modifications include suppressors, a gun-shield, an under-slung grenade launcher, or an underslung 12-gauge shotgun.
A firing range feature was proposed that would allow the player to test out their newly customized weapon, however it was removed as it did not meet the developers' standards.
The original game boasted three different drivable vehicles: a main battle tank, and a hovercraft. Gameplay was designed so that one player would drive and the other would fire a secondary weapon like a ring-mounted XM312 heavy machinegun (jeep and hovercraft) or a 120mm cannon (the tank). The jeep and tank were removed from the final product due to "pacing issues" and the hovercraft was used only in the China and Miami levels.
Online Interactions Edit
(or "Versus" mode) allows up to four players, with two on each team (similar to the co-op structure of the main campaign). Both teams will compete over objectives on the map such as assassinating a VIP or destroying an objective in order to earn the most money for their side. At the same time, they will also be forced to deal with the opposing team in order to secure their objectives.
Multiplayer for the game is currently region-locked. Players with the European, American or Asian version of the game cannot play with each other.
There are 3 multiplayer gametypes: Warzone, Bounties and Extraction.
- In Warzone, the primary and secondary objectives are randomly generated and they may vary greatly. One team might need to get to a certain place and defend it, while the other team tries to destroy it, shoot down the chopper, blow up a jeep with its gunner, transport wounded soldiers to the extraction point, assassinate V.I.P's, etc.
- Bounty has the player hunt down the leader of the hostile forces on the map in exchange for a sum of money.
- In Extraction the objective is to rescue randomly-spawned V.I.P.s or P.O.W.s to a safe location.
Also every map contains cases of intelligence documents that the player can seek out for extra cash.
Character customization is not possible in the multiplayer portion of the game but the player can buy preset sets of weapons, upgrade the characters body armour and the amount of ammo he can carry. Players need to be careful while shopping though, since the team with the most cash in the end wins.
Veteran Map Pack DLCEdit
On the May 27, 2008 edition of X-Play from G4 TV, it was announced that two new maps would be available for download on Thursday, May 29, 2008. It contains a new Co-op map (fighting and eliminating a dangerous Russian militia group based in Kiev's subway system), an expanded Versus map (China Canal Lock), a more dynamic and interactive environment, more destructible objects, and 6 new "secret" achievements. There's also an alternative ending to the game in which the players can take on Dalton in a more dramatic boss battle at SSC's Miami headquarters in which Salem and Rios have to lock him in a vault.
Implemented multi-player maneuvers include:
- Step Jump/Pull Up: One person stands up against a wall and holds his hands out while the other person gets lifted up. The second person can then reach down and pull first person up.
- Back to Back: Both players go back to back to cover each other's non-armored backsides. Unfortunately, it can only happen at certain scripted moments.
- Driving: In the Miami level the team can use a hovercraft that needs one player to drive and the other to man the machine-gun turret. The original game also boasted a Jeep with a gun mount and a Main Battle Tank, but they were eliminated by the developers because it slowed down the gameplay.
- Healing: When one player is injured, the other player must run over to him and either drag him to a safe area or heal him in that spot. Both players may shoot while one is being dragged, but during the healing only the injured player has the ability to fire at the enemies. The injured player also has a "bleed-out" bar, which limits how much time they have left before they die from their injuries. This bar decreases depending on the difficulty played at or if enemies continue to shoot them. Pre-release versions had the critically injured player's spirit running from a bright light while the still living character mashes buttons to perform CPR in an attempt to revive the wounded player.
- Aggro Meter: This is a pendulum-like gauge that indicates which player is the focus of the enemy's attention. Whichever player has the highest Aggro rating will attract all the enemies towards them. This allows the other player to become virtually invisible, and thus sneak up to enemy positions. If the aggrometer is full to one player they can initiate an "Overkill" mode, which the player with the most aggro goes into a fury doing x2, x3, x4 etc. shooting damage to the enemies, in this mode bullet time is initiated and the player cannot crouch, but doesn't have to reload either. The other player without aggro becomes transparent and moves faster, they are recommended to use hand to hand combat while in this mode. Both players have 15 seconds before all aggro is drained and both players are equal.
- Feign Death: If player one is about to die, he can fake his death. All the aggro will be transferred to the second player. Then player one can get up and attack enemies from behind (if walked past). Though this can be done multiple times, the same enemies will fall for it only once.
- Co-op Snipe: Both players get into a sniping maneuver to double their power or take out two targets at the same time. To ensure they fire simultaneously, an automated countdown will be initiated.
- Weapon Swap: Players switch weapons with each other to diversify their arsenal.
- Riot Shield: One of the players picks up a riot shield or a car door and both players hide behind it. While one player holds the shield, the other player has the ability to open fire at incoming enemies. The player that carries the shield also has the ability to hit enemies with the shield using melee attack.
- Parachuting: In some missions Salem and Rios will be traversing the skies via parachute. Then one player controls the parachute, while the other shoots targets on the ground.
- Army of Two was #1 on Electronic Gaming Monthly's list of "The Top 50 Original Games We're Looking Forward To."
- Pre-orderers of the PlayStation 3 version got a mini-book featuring concept art.
- Pre-orderers of the Xbox 360 version through GameStop / EB Games got special codes to download the Design Your Own Weapon Contest winners' weapons, the SAL-86 Long-Range Assault Rifle and the BST-V1 SMG. However, some customers used the codes before both weapons were fully available and were only able to unlock the BST-V1.
Army of Two: Dirty Money, written by John Ney Rieber and illustrated by Brandon McKinney, is a 2008 graphic novel which follows Rios and Salem through some of their earliest missions together working as private military contractors up to the War in Afghanistan in September 2001. The plot follows the corruption of the private military company that they work for as private military contractors. Rios and Salem work together as an 'Army of Two', trying to stay alive and uncover the conspiracy within the company that employs them.
As of August 31, 2009, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has Army of Two film listed as in development with a 2011 release year.
In a recent interview with variety EA Games label president, Frank Gibeau, stated that there was a planned sequel to AO2.
On March 12, 2009, Army of Two: The 40th Day was announced by EA Montreal and was released for PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable and Xbox 360 in January 2010.
- ↑ EA explains Army of Two's Regional Lockout
- ↑ "SSC Personnel Profiles" from EA
- ↑ "E3 06: Army of Two First Look" from GameSpot
- ↑ 'Army of Two' Won't Play Across Regions from G4 (TV channel)
- ↑ "Interview with gibeau" from Variety
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