Who am I to decide what makes a good game and bad game? I’m about to tell you that Army of Two: The 40th Day is pretty unimpressive as a game. But who’s to say I’m the correct person to say such a thing? It’s become pretty clear that I’m a Nintendo fanboy and that I’m very bad at First-Person and Third-Person Shooters (Army of Two is a Third-Person shooter), so why am I allowed to have a say on this particular game?
I’m Bitter and It’s Obvious
My opening paragraph may have given you some insight as to what I’m talking about and where I’m coming from for this game. I didn’t play the first Army of Two because it looked profoundly uninteresting and unnecessary. But I wasn’t the target demographic of “Yeah Bro!” I don’t like to play games with other people if I can help it, so when I get a game the first thing I consider is how much fun I can have playing it alone and how long said fun will last. The Modern Warfare games are good games for multiplayer, but the single player modes scream, “Rent Me” rather than “Day-One Purchase.”
Army of Two: The 40th Day returns with the same concept of the first; that of Salem and Rios (or whatever, it’s not like names mean anything to characters anymore for any game that has guns and grenades) are an army of two guys who must work together to be the biggest and baddest guys with guns in the entire world. Needless to say, they’re mercenaries, a profession that I also don’t see the fascination with since mercenaries are, by nature, hired guns with no emotion. If they display any emotion, they aren’t mercenaries anymore; they’re just chaotic one-dimensional characters with guns.
Obviously, I’m Still Bitter
Still, I’m digressing (perhaps something to talk about on a Let’s Think Deep article in the future). The point is, Stock Character 1 and Stock Character 2 must do…something that involves Shanghai. I don’t know, there isn’t a whole heck of a lot to keep my interest since, as I’ve said, I’m not big on these “Yeah Bro!” games. Anyway, the core gameplay mechanic revolves around the requirement of both characters being used while playing. The game is best suited for two-player co-op, but a single gamer can play along with a computer-controlled partner. A lot of the time it actually works better since the computer knows exactly what it’s doing this time around, so you can literally just sit back most of the time and let the game play itself. Naturally, I hate that, too.
Okay, so I’ll stop being grumpy for a bit and tell you what the game is doing well. Yes, it has made some major improvements over the first title in the series (good Lord it’s a series now). The multiplayer modes are still relatively forgettable, but the co-op campaign has some good stuff going for it. You will actually enjoy the story if this is your sort of game. I can step back and say that much with confidence: The campaign is enough to justify a rental rather than a pass. Just remember that you can rip through the game in one long sitting of six hours or so and there are few unlockables to keep you returning for more unless you want to get every mask possible for the duo or really like playing rock, paper, scissors during a tense fire-fight. Not kidding about that last part.
So yes, the game isn’t awful. You can find lots to like here, but can I stop for a moment and mention one of the big “features” Army of Two: The 40th Day is happy about? Okay, you ready? Morality Choices! Sigh. Sigh again, just for effect. I’m getting pretty sick of the morality choices in games since they seem about as stupid as “Punch this guy in the face or don’t, you have the choice!” These guys are mercenaries, since when do they have morals beyond “Highest Bidder Wins, Yo”? I’m still being unfair, and I realize this, but I don’t care about morality choices in a video game since that all breaks down to the level of what the developers feel is a morality choice and what I feel is a morality choice. Given the option, I would play the entire game without killing a single person, just because that’s what I would ATTEMPT to do in real life. I don’t have that option, so, morality choice denied. I can choose between shooting a tiger or not shooting a tiger, but not adopting the tiger or calling an agency that deals specifically with endangered species and having them deal with the choice. I’m a hired gun with a mission to do, why should I care about tigers?!
Okay, I’m a little all over the place here, aren’t I? You want a verdict? Parents, keep your kids away from this and all games like this as it will infect them with the worst case of Stupid that I can accurately identify. If you’re already past the age where you need to be protected from Stupid and Army of Two: The 40th Day looks fun, it probably is. A lot of people will find something to like here. The game plays well for as long as it decides to and if you enjoy it the first time around you’ll enjoy it again and again. If it sounded cool to you when you heard about it, then that’s all you need to know. It’ll be cool if you want it to be.