X360, PS3 Saturday, March 22, 2008 | 11:29 AM

First 10 Minutes: Army of Two

First 10 Minutes: Army of Two

Army Of Two was released earlier this month on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, after being hyped up as THE co-op game. Here are the first 12 minutes of the game, with me and a friend playing through the second level of the game. The Afghanistan map has it all: action, Afghanis, missiles, suicide bombers and, of course, the Back to Back, so enjoy some co-op action, a bonus Q&A with impressions added soon.


XCN Q&A For Army of Two

Answered By:
Matt Turner, Associate Producer

· Can you tell us a bit more about the engine you're using in Ao2? What specific features does it offer?
Unreal Tournament 3 engine. It’s a great engine that is very versatile and easily customizable. I am not the best guy to ask about the features that are awesome, I just know that it works really well · Salem and Rios are wearing masks in the trailers that have been released so far, why did you integrate the mask idea into the game? Can the player customize or remove them? Do you feel that players could have trouble relating to masked characters? They look cool and scary. You can buy new ones. You can’t take them off. You see the characters faces in the cinematics.

· In previous interviews you stated that objects in the environment wouldn't be destructible because you wanted to focus on the AI driven enemies. What impact will this have on the game and how are you going to avoid making the same mistakes as your competitors (such as sending one enemy wave after another at the player from unrealistic locations)?
Smarter AI that is harder to kill, not just numbers. You have to use tactics to kill the AI not just run and gun. It makes for a better game-play experience where you have to think and are challenged by the AI as opposed to just having pretty explosions and trees that fall down.

· Recently EA released an Army of Two graphic novel – what connection is there between the novel and the game storyline? Will the reader learn more about the game's characters and the SSC organization?
The stories are directly tied together and the reader will absolutely learn more about the characters and SSC. It’s a great little book.

· Army of Two could be considered just another third person shooter, what really differentiates the game from its competitors?
AO2 is built for COOP from the ground up. Other games may have COOP features but AO2 is COOP. COOP is the game.

· Early videos suggested that there would be a strong comedy element. Is this still a feature, how does comedy fit into this type of action game?
Think of your classic Buddy-Cop movie. That’s how these guys relate to each other. It works really well.

· What downloadable content do you plan on releasing?
I can’t tell you but there is lots coming!

· Will there be a strong story-line to the game? Or is it more of a casual gaming experience?
The story is detailed, fun and engaging.

· How does the PAI mode ensure the game AI (particularly your team mate AI) avoids clumsy mistakes like walking into walls?
Complex Nav meshes and programming.

· Recently we saw many games abandoning offline console multiplayer in favour of online-only multiplayer. Why do you think this is, and will Army of Two allow us to play with a friend on the same console?
You can play split screen if you want on the same console. The reason people are going towards online multiplayer is because it is increasingly accessible and reliable. It also offers a better experience.

· The game videos seem to only demonstrate a small number of on screen enemies, will the game feature larger battles with many enemies on screen as well?
Yes.

· How does the ‘Aggrometer’ work? The red glow and the sudden transparency are kind of jarring, especially due to the somewhat realistic appearance of the setting.
If you are drawing the attention of the enemy you start to glow red. The more aggro you pull the redder you get. The opposite is when your partner is pulling the aggro and the enemy isn’t paying attention to you turn more and more transparent to depict heightened stealth abilities. We use it as a tool to help the players know they are pulling or shedding attention.

· With such a variety of skills and tricks to perform, what are the different moves and how have you kept them intuitive and easy to pull off?
We organically teach you and give you little prompts along the way. By the end of the game you don’t even realize you are doing them...

· Are there any new additions other than online play to add to the games 'replay ability'?
Versus mode will offer some and the game itself is highly re-playable.

· Many gamers are saying there haven't been enough co-op games this generation, is EA going to develop more co-op games after Army of Two?
There is definitely talk about it. There is nothing for sure yet.

· What changes or improvements have been made since Army of Two was delayed?
Lots of little things. The health system was reworked, the through the gun experience changed for the better, the lighting got a fresh pass and we cut a few things as well.

· The weapons in Army of Two will have a plethora of customisation options, are these primarily cosmetic or functional too (such as accuracy enhancement)? Are the multiplayer weapons customizable too?
The multiplayer weapons are not customizable. But all the upgrades in the campaign mode are completely functional in game. A barrel gives you more power, clip gives you ammo...etc. Even ‘pimping’ your gun gives you more aggro.

· How long is the campaign mode?
About 8-10 hours.

· Why are there only 4 players in the multiplayer mode? Could you shed some light on how this will work? And what other modes do you offer other than co-op in multiplayer mode?
All multiplayer modes are Two vs. Two. They are objectives based maps where the two teams are competing against each other to complete the objectives to make money. They can kill each other as well as the NPCs that are in the environment. The team with the most cash at the end of the time limit wins.

· How many weapons does the game feature?
30.

· Is the graphic and texture level reduced during online gameplay?
Not it in the least.

· Is a release still planned for Germany and will it be a cut version of the game?
Nope. Sorry.

Thanks for your time!

First 10 Minutes
Download: WMV | MP4 | AVI

All comments

Commented on 2008-03-22 12:54:25
I wanted to like this game so much especially after spending £45 buying it. I was so bitterly dissapointed, I took the game back the next day and only got half my money back for trade in price. I joined EA forums and have been slagging them off ever since.

I hate you EA, I hate you dammit.
Commented on 2008-03-22 13:05:10
im playing this game split screen with bro, now on last mission.....the game is pretty good, i didnt like it much when i first played it but the mroe I played the more i started to like it
Commented on 2008-03-22 13:15:46
All your bandwidths are belong to......


there are none for the taking :P. I guess its peak time in europe.
Commented on 2008-03-22 15:03:06
Thanks for the QA.
Commented on 2008-03-22 15:24:50
not my cup of tea, but to those that like co op i could see them liking it
Commented on 2008-03-22 15:40:40 In reply to chewbacaattack
Posted by chewbacaattack
All your bandwidths are belong to......

there are none for the taking :P. I guess its peak time in europe.
Not right now.. Downloading with 2.85MB/s.. :P

Edit: saw the video.. Aiming with a analog stick is a bitch huh? lol! CGI looked nice, rest was kindof medicore imho.. Average shooter with lots of GoW style cover-gameplay..
Commented on 2008-03-22 15:44:01
The game is great. Sure, it doen't have the best graphics, but it adds lots of new fresh features to the genre. I like the idea of agro and all other tactical elements (go behind a shield, back on back fire etc.). I would say Gears still provides better visuals than Ao2, but i like the setting and storry of Ao2 much more. The pre-rendered cutscenes are the coolest cutscenes i've ever seen.
Commented on 2008-03-22 16:48:45
hmm.. game looked horrible. CGI, animation and aiming itself were overally quite bad in my opionion. The game is supposed to be fun with co-op mode but what I saw that video it didn't look fun.
Commented on 2008-03-22 17:03:50
To bad the DLC will probably be the other half of the game, and they will charge you a ton for it.
This game is rteally fun on coop, but the biggest grip is how short it is.
Commented on 2008-03-22 19:27:05
Short game but it was fun while it lastest! Did some missions split screen and others online.
Why do most Unreal engine games suffer from texture popping? Its happenes all the time during the game! Gets annoying :(
Commented on 2008-03-22 20:17:18
EA proves to me once again to never buy their games.
Commented on 2008-03-22 20:37:07 In reply to indigo0086
Posted by pistonbroke
I wanted to like this game so much especially after spending £45 buying it. I was so bitterly dissapointed, I took the game back the next day and only got half my money back for trade in price. I joined EA forums and have been slagging them off ever since.

I hate you EA, I hate you dammit.
please
Posted by Kadajj
hmm.. game looked horrible. CGI, animation and aiming itself were overally quite bad in my opionion. The game is supposed to be fun with co-op mode but what I saw that video it didn't look fun.
explain
Posted by indigo0086
EA proves to me once again to never buy their games.
why

I'm not that big of an EA fan but I'd like to know the reasoning behind the hate for this game assuming you've played it.
Commented on 2008-03-23 00:48:02 In reply to Contra
I picked this game up first day it was out, and played it through with a friend. While it was fun, game-play wise, everything else sucked. Story was bad, characters were forgettable and totally unlikable. And Aggro? WTF, I think the devs play way too much online games instead of spending that same time to sit back and re-evaluate their game.

I just really hate how the game tries to make itself look cool but instead you get a humorless pile of trash. You get the feeling it was made by a bunch of geeks that never step foot outside their basement Again, while its saving grace was the co-op and gameplay, it's just not enough to make this game a keeper.
Commented on 2008-03-23 01:29:31 In reply to willdabeast
Posted by willdabeast
I picked this game up first day it was out, and played it through with a friend. While it was fun, game-play wise, everything else sucked. Story was bad, characters were forgettable and totally unlikable. And Aggro? WTF, I think the devs play way too much online games instead of spending that same time to sit back and re-evaluate their game.

I just really hate how the game tries to make itself look cool but instead you get a humorless pile of trash. You get the feeling it was made by a bunch of geeks that never step foot outside their basement Again, while its saving grace was the co-op and gameplay, it's just not enough to make this game a keeper.
so gamplay means squat now?...HAHAHA, ok, i want whatever this guys smoking!!
Commented on 2008-03-23 02:38:37 In reply to KORNdog
Posted by KORNdog
so gamplay means squat now?...HAHAHA, ok, i want whatever this guys smoking!!
Maybe you should read the entire post since you bothered to quote the whole thing. I never said gameplay meant squat. But if a game makes you hate everything else about it, especially the main characters, then that alone won't save it. Next time read the whole thing and think a little before you crawl out of your hole you emo.
Commented on 2008-03-23 02:58:53
Either you guys suck, hehe, or that didn't look fun at all. Just waves upon waves of enemies coming. And what's with the suicide bomber rushes, frickin' hilarious and stupid!
Commented on 2008-03-23 09:10:24 In reply to Contra
The VOIP doesn't work whilst in game (PS3 version), its all choppy and broken (its not my connection or anyone elses, its the game), yet in the menus, the VOIP works fine, a co-op game without VOIP is unforgivable and just plain stupid. All the guns sound the same......shit. When the guns are fired you get a constant yellow cross out the end of the barrel instead of a flash effect, which makes it look crap. The run animation is crap, the cover sytem is crap, the character models are crap, the story is crap, the back to back part is crap and interrupts the games flow. The level design is crap.


I could do this all day, but I think you get the point.
Commented on 2008-03-23 17:44:26 In reply to willdabeast
Posted by willdabeast
Maybe you should read the entire post since you bothered to quote the whole thing. I never said gameplay meant squat. But if a game makes you hate everything else about it, especially the main characters, then that alone won't save it. Next time read the whole thing and think a little before you crawl out of your hole you emo.
i did read it, but thanks for the reminder anyway. and i was going on this

while its saving grace was.... gameplay, it's just not enough to make this game a keeper.
that to me comes across as saying the gamplay was great, but it isnt enough to keep it. hence you thinking gameplay means squat. you essentially praised the gameplay...the most important aspect of a game...and yet decided the game was crap for other reasons (characters and story)...WTF...what i'd like to know is your feelings on gears of war? or halo? did you like those 1 dimentional character filled, storyless games? or is it that you have double standards and only feel that way towards army of two? it'd be interesting to know.

as for the emo comment....HAHAHA. what are you 7?
Commented on 2008-03-23 20:35:48 In reply to willdabeast
Posted by pistonbroke
The run animation is crap, the cover sytem is crap, the character models are crap, the story is crap, the back to back part is crap and interrupts the games flow. The level design is crap.
lol lol lol The storry is one of the greatest things of this game. No other shooter like Vegas, CoD4, GRAW or whatever provides a deeper storry than Ao2. It's like one of those conspiracy movies, but with a cricitcal topic of our time (private millitary companies). And again, the prerendered cutscenes are amazing and many scenes looks like real (for example when the jeep drives along the runaway or the plane behind). The masks give both characers a very cool look. I like both characters much more than those stupid Gears of War gays like Marcus and co.
Commented on 2008-03-23 21:21:06
Ugh... I really wanna watch this!! What the hell is up with these download rates? Its been like a week and a half AT LEAST since I've been able to watch anything on this site >.<
Commented on 2008-03-23 23:20:12 In reply to KORNdog
Posted by KORNdog
that to me comes across as saying the gamplay was great, but it isnt enough to keep it. hence you thinking gameplay means squat. you essentially praised the gameplay...the most important aspect of a game...and yet decided the game was crap for other reasons (characters and story)...WTF...what i'd like to know is your feelings on gears of war? or halo? did you like those 1 dimentional character filled, storyless games? or is it that you have double standards and only feel that way towards army of two? it'd be interesting to know.
I've played Halo and GOW and while they have their faults it was a "lacking" factor than a "distracting" factor. I enjoyed the characters from GOW especially Cole. And at the very least didn't have suicide bombers that would run wildly at you, flailing their arms with bombs strapped to their chests. Some may find it funny as to how campy it is, but that's them. In any case, I've replayed through those games many times already but there is ZERO reason to do so with this game.

Apparently, game play is the only important thing to you, and while I said that it was this game's saving grace, that only meant that the gameplay wasn't pathetic like everything else in the game. Even then there were a lot of flaws. The way the enemy had unbelieveably good accuracy at ranges where you couldn't even see them on screen. How aggro builds up and gets released, and how little weapon mods affect them, how you can't use cover anymore in overdrive mode, how the fact that every goddamn door, lever, and switch needs two people to operate even though it contributes NOTHING to the enjoyment of the game. The back to back was cool at first but it should have simply stopped there. The constant re-use of that just made it really really annoying, and it's not challenging even in the least.

as for the emo comment....HAHAHA. what are you 7?
Thanks for trying to insult me when I wasn't trying to insult you in the first place. You can also look at it like, "...think a little before you swagger out of your mansion you rich guy." Doesn't sound so bad does it? I can't help it if you think the world hates you.
Commented on 2008-03-23 23:59:21 In reply to willdabeast
Posted by willdabeast
The way the enemy had unbelieveably good accuracy at ranges where you couldn't even see them on screen.
This is exactly why you have to consider coop, even when you play alone in career mode. You have to consider when using aggro, when using your comrade. Maybe this is not the right game for you and you are better with a less sophisticated gameplay like CoD4.

How aggro builds up and gets released
What exactly don't you understand? This is totally easy. You get aggro when you are firering on enemies and get the attention of your enemies. You lose Aggro when you command your comrade to fire at the enemies, but yourself do not fire and keep hidden.
Commented on 2008-03-24 00:22:57 In reply to Milhouse
Posted by Milhouse
What exactly don't you understand? This is totally easy. You get aggro when you are firering on enemies and get the attention of your enemies. You lose Aggro when you command your comrade to fire at the enemies, but yourself do not fire and keep hidden.
That "How" was not a question of how it worked, but a statement of they way it works as is made obvious of the fact that I pointed out that weapon mods have little effect on it. I have not tried the single player mode so I don't know how it works in that case, but regardless the system is not good. Even with high aggro weapons, mods on my low aggro weapons, my friend has to unload a freaking clip just so I can nail one or two people. The meter moves way too much for silenced weapons. I got a damn hi-tech silencer on my gun and am completely behind the guys when my friend runs out of ammo has to reload and next thing I know I got 5 guys nailing me while I dive for cover. Something I could have done just simply staying in cover and use small bursts for headshots when they pop their heads up out of cover. So much easier to do.

Another problem is if you get too close you will gain aggro no matter how much your friend is firing, but there are way too many areas where you're required to make use of that mechanism and yet it's these narrow-ass hallways and you're supposed to sneak by?!? The game wasn't hard but there were only limited points in the game where aggro was even remotely useful.

I am no longer going to reply to you guys anymore cuz you guys seriously lack reading comprehension. Your comment about how the story is so great apparently tells me you haven't been out much or are way too young to be even playing this game in the first place.
Commented on 2008-03-24 01:14:11 In reply to willdabeast
Posted by willdabeast
Something I could have done just simply staying in cover and use small bursts for headshots when they pop their heads up out of cover. So much easier to do.
Enemies do often blindfire, so it's not that simple like in Gears of War.
I really don't understand you. There are always some lacks you can complain about, especially if you want to find somthing to complain about. The Weapon upgrades are certainly no rocket sience and simply for the sake that you can waste your earned money. But beside this fact, the aggro system works really well for me.

Another problem is if you get too close you will gain aggro no matter how much your friend is firing, but there are way too many areas where you're required to make use of that mechanism and yet it's these narrow-ass hallways and you're supposed to sneak by?!?
In most of those narrow corridor there are some assets like container or somthing other where you can stay in cover. And if you go behind your comrade or vice verca and one of both is fireing, it's absolutly logical that both get aggro. Sorry, but what a stupid conclusion.

Your comment about how the story is so great apparently tells me you haven't been out much or are way too young to be even playing this game in the first place.
What are you talking about? Tell me what's wrong with the storry and tell me what game provides a better storry. Maybe you are too stupid to notice that the storry is not just to fight for money.
Commented on 2008-03-24 08:58:40 In reply to Dangerous
Posted by Dangerous
im playing this game split screen with bro, now on last mission.....the game is pretty good, i didnt like it much when i first played it but the more I played the more i started to like it
I played it through on split screen with my brother over easter.
It is THE coop game, really. It looks great, aiming and shooting is fun,
gory animations are fun (for example shooting into face),
environments are nice and best of all are jokes.

It isn't dead serious as RSV or GRAW.


BTW we finished all yellow bosses by firing rockets on them.

Pimped weapons are fun too and look great on the heroes
(I had a golden stinger attached to my back, etc.)

About the game


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