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Army of Two: The 40th Day is a third-person shooter video game that is developed by EA Montreal and published by Electronic Arts for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Portable. It is the sequel to Army of Two. Army of Two: The 40th Day shipped on January 12, 2010 in North America and January 8, 2010 in Europe.
Army of Two: The 40th Day focuses on two-player cooperative play and employs a cover system. It features Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem as combatant partners who, with the assistance of their handler Alice Murray, must fight to survive and prevail over invading forces that have engulfed Shanghai, China in a devastating man-made disaster. A demo of the game has been released on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.
Game play will be further enhanced such as being able to feign surrender in order to outflank the enemy, using human shields, and automated covering. The refined controls now only require one button for any particular action. Melee has been mapped to a face button, and rifling through weapons can be done with one hand. There will also be a sprint function in the game. Partner AI has also been revamped to be more responsive and intelligent allowing the player to direct their partner into performing specific actions such as stealth kills or feigning surrender.
More weapons and upgrades will be available, adding interchangeable upgrades between weapons, such as adding the barrel of one assault rifle to another. The "pimped" option returns with new camouflage schemes. Weapons can now also be obtained from downed enemies, increasing the player's arsenal to four weapons (up from three in Army of Two). Bullets will be able to penetrate weaker materials such as wood and sheet metal.
Army of Two: The 40th Day expands on and refines the cooperative play featured in the original game. Unlike in Army of Two, where cooperative moments were primarily predetermined at particular intervals in the game, in Army of Two: The 40th Day, players can use co-op moves at any time. For example, players can mock surrender or setup simultaneous sniper shots. This is in addition to using Aggro as a mechanic for tactically engaging enemies in the midst of combat.
Aggro is a system that allows two players to tactically control the target of their enemy's attacks. Aggro is measured by a HUD element that displays which player the enemy characters are currently focusing on. By performing aggressive actions, such as firing one’s weapon, a player generates aggro and in turn causes enemies to focus more of their attention on that player. While one player has Aggro the other is being ignored and as a result can then freely perform actions such as flanking. In Army of Two: The 40th Day, additional non-aggressive actions can affect aggro. For example, by performing a mock-surrender the enemy combatants will focus all of their attention (and aggro) on the player that is surrendering.
In Army of Two: The 40th Day players are forced to make moral decisions that affect the story of the game. At pre-determined points in the game players will be presented with a choice, for example whether they should overtake a security guard and steal weapons or vacate the premises. The decision is not a vote between two players. but instead either player must decide while the other player is forced to accept the ramifications of that decisions regardless of what their preference was. The outcome and presentation of these morality moments takes the form of comic panels created by the popular artists Chris Bachalo and Jock.
Dynamic & Variety In GameplayEdit
EA Montreal has taken steps to ensure that the gameplay in Army of Two: The 40th Day is more dynamic than the original. This includes the environment, where some objects, such as wooden walls and crumbling mortar can now be penetrated by bullets. Likewise, there are now noncombatant NPCs that players will be forced to engage with. Players can simply ignore these civilian NPCs and allow them to be killed by combatants (or their own fire), or alternatively players can decide to deliberately rescue them. This sort of interaction can also occur in specific hostage scenarios where players must use coop moves to successfully overcome the situation. This is distinctly unlike the original Army of Two, where the enemies existed in the world solely to attack the player. There is also a lot more variety in characters, as there are more than twice as many different types of NPCs in Army of Two: The 40th Day, when compared to the original game.
Multiplayer mode in Army of Two: The 40th Day has received significant changes since the original. These changes included region-free play client-server connections (as opposed to the original Army of Two’s client-to-client connections), and an increased number of participants (up to 10).
Army of Two: The 40th Day maintains its focus on co-op play by requiring that players play in a partnership. Partners are a source for ammunition and are able to revive their fallen team mate. There are a total of four multiplayer game modes:
- Co-op Deathmatch pits teams of two against other partnerships.
- Control awards points to teams for capturing and defending randomly spawned points.
- Warzone has players battle over various objectives.
- Extraction is a game mode where teams of four fight waves of increasingly powerful enemies in order to progress through areas of a map with the goal of reaching an extraction point.
Background & StoryEdit
Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem begin Army of Two: The 40th Day a year after the story of the original game ends as self-employed private military contractors who run, with the aid of Alice Murray, their own private company called Trans World Operations (TWO). They are engaged in a routine mission in Shanghai when things go very bad. A competing PMC attacks the city, causing mayhem and destruction and threatening Rios and Salem’s survival. Amidst their efforts to survive, Rios and Salem will also have the opportunity to take up missions in order to earn money.
The story finds Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem as self-employed private contractors, who along with Alice Murray run Trans World Operations (TWO). Their second mission as the newly formed company takes them to Shanghai where they are tasked with meeting a contact named JB. Upon meeting him it is revealed that he was once an SSC Operative. JB leads them to a back alley where their gear and weapons have been stashed. They then proceed with the second part of their mission in the form of planting locator beacons throughout strategic locations in Shanghai. After planting the last of the beacons and an encounter with overzealous security guards they regroup on a rooftop of a building.
Following a sequence in which JB's fate is decided, a cut scene triggers showing the city of Shanghai under attack as buildings are bombarded and chaos reigns down below. Rios and Salem escape the rooftop and ascend the building encountering groups of mercenaries that have specifically targeted them. They manage to contact Alice who informs them that she is alive and is trapped in the South African Consulate. They set course for the consulate, dispatching waves of mercenaries through toppled and burning buildings as well as encountering civilian hostages. Rios and Salem discover Alice being held hostage in an office. After freeing her, they fight their way to the main hall of the consulate where a cutscene triggers a helicopter crashing through the building and subsequently creating a hole on the floor for them to escape.
They flee through the hole and wind up on the outside of the building where Alice instructs them to get on an elevated platform as she lowers them via a crane. They eliminate countless waves of mercenaries as Alice lowers them to the bottom of the building. A quick exit is created as a bus crashes through a wall. Rios and Salem exit through the hole in the wall and encounter more mercenaries as they traverse a highway. After eliminating the last of them, they escape through a utility door beneath a tunnel. Rios and Salem push forward through the streets of Shanghai encountering more mercenaries and civilian hostages. They make their way to the entrance of the Shanghai Zoo where they encounter a zoo employee who guides them via television monitors and speakers.
Rios and Salem rescue a trapped zoo worker who leads them to an exit. After departing the zoo, Rios and Salem are contacted by Alice, who has found safe haven, and informs them to locate a communications tower to hopefully signal for help. Rios and Salem march forward, traversing rooftops as they eliminate enemy waves. They finally reach the communication tower only to discover an empty room. They decide to continue forward and jump to an adjacent balcony. The balcony suddenly gives way and Salem plummets down to the ground and is knocked unconscious. Salem awakens 24 hours later in a hospital. They are met by Dr. Wu who asks for their help in evacuating the patients. After restarting the generator, Rios and Salem encounter more mercenaries. They fight past them and meet up with a small boy named Chin who guides them through the hospital.
Rios and Salem proceed through the halls of the hospital eliminating mercenaries as they go, and eventually meet up with Dr. Wu. They reach the reception room and defend it from waves of invading mercenaries. Once the opposition was eliminated, they exit the hospital and take a shortcut heading toward the mall. Rios and Salem fight their way through countless waves of mercenaries as they head for the mall. They fight off as many enemies as they can, but are overwhelmed and captured. Rios and Salem awake in the mall, stripped of their gear and weapons and separated in custom holding cells. They are freed by a mercenary named Breznev who leads them to their gear and weapons. Breznev informs them that he has secured three bombs that, if placed in strategically marked locations on the upper floor, will destroy the communications center down below.
Rios and Salem plant the bombs as they encounter more mercenaries, and ultimately destroy the communications center. Breznev leads them to an exit, and they go their separate ways. After exiting the mall, Alice once again communicates with Rios and Salem and informs them that she managed to convince a pilot to fly them out of Shanghai, but they must reach the extraction point quickly because of the heavy enemy presence. Rios and Salem fight their way through the Bunds, encountering heavy waves of mercs. As they near the extraction point, Alice informs them that the pilot will not land the chopper until they destroy two anti-aircraft guns. After doing so, they reach the extraction point only to have the chopper shot down and destroyed. Alice is presumed dead at this point.
Rios and Salem bunker down to rest, and, realizing that there is no escape, decide to exact revenge on the man responsible for this nightmare; They decide to kill the leader of the 40th Day Initiative, Jonah Wade. They track him to a Chinese temple that is heavily fortified. If the player saved all of the civilian hostages, they will appear armed and ready to back up Rios and Salem. If the player did not save enough civilian hostages, then Rios and Salem must take on the enemies alone. The pair infiltrate the temple and eliminate wave after wave of mercenaries until they reach the inner sanctum. Rios and Salem blast their way through a large door, and finally come face to face with Jonah. Jonah delivers a monologue justifying his actions as a violent social experiment to force the world to turn back from the moral decay that is destroying it. Jonah is holding a device which he claims is the trigger for a nuclear bomb located in the heart of the city.
He offers Rios and Salem a choice to make an "Act of Sacrifice" by having one of them shoot the other, or choose to kill him and his invading force, which will detonate the bomb, killing 7 million people. Choosing to kill one's partner will lead to Jonah revealing that the bomb was a hoax and you kill him anyway. Choosing to kill Jonah leads to the bomb still being a hoax but the invading force continues to plague the city. Killing one's partner ends the game with an epilogue where the surviving partner laments for taking the life of his friend. Killing Jonah ends the game with an epilogue where Jonah quotes the Holy Bible as his inspiration for his actions in Shanghai.
A predominant feature in the Army of Two series is the ability to customize weapons using money that is earned in-game. As the official Army of Two blog describes it, "it's like Lego with Guns […] every part of your weapon is customizable and interchangeable with parts from other weapons.” The changes to weapons are not only for appearance, but also affect the performance and the amount of aggro that they generate. Some weapon characteristics that can be changed are handling, accuracy, ammunition capacity, and power. Rios and Salem wear ballistic masks as part of their combat gear. By logging into the Army of Two: The 40th Day website, the player can create custom designs that appear on their masks in both single and multiplayer.
Weapon Design ContestEdit
Like for the original Army of Two, a community-oriented weapons design contest was run for Army of Two: The 40th Day. The contest challenged fans and enthusiasts from North America, Italy, France, and the UK to submit an image and brief description of a weapon that they designed. Two weapon designs were chosen as winners and will appear in the game for those players who have a saved game present on their game console from the original Army of Two. The winning entries were chosen on August 6, 2009. The winning entries were the AS-KR1 "The Ass Kicker" Rifle (submitted by the AngryJoeShow) and the "Grand Pinger" Sniper Launcher (submitted by Uberblargh).
- Army of Two: The 40th Day official site
- Army of Two: The 40th Day announced
- Enlisting in Army of Two: The 40th Day - Big trouble in big China.
- Army of Two: The 40th Day Gamoholic Link
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