The lights are on
Shanghai. Well, when you're playing Army of Two: The 40th Day, you'd
more likely think it is hell. That's not a bad thing either. The collapsing
city of Shanghai is way more interesting and explosive than any environment you
came across in the first game. Besides that, get ready for a very similar
experience that, thanks to a few small but welcome improvements, is a much more
appealing game overall.
again dawn the masks of Salem and Rios, the stars of the first game, but this
time, things don't go according to plan. As the duo finish up a routine job in
Shanghai, everything in the city falls apart, both literally and figuratively.
The reasons for this are left unexplained until the very end, but answers
aren't what keep Rios and Salem moving forward. They're in it to get out of
town, and it's your job, preferably with the aid of a buddy, to help them.
characters are just as light-hearted and funny as they were in the first game.
While some may have found them offensive, this time around they are more
sympathetic and remorseful, but not to the point of no humor.
also has the newest trend in video games in the form of moral choices. They're
amusing, and for some they'll be enough to warrant a second play-through, but
the addition is pretty shallow overall and not as fleshed out as it could have
your way through The 40th Day's seven chapters clocked in at about 6
and a half hours for me to complete. While this isn't much different from the
first game, the environments are much more diverse. You are in a single city,
but you'll go from zoos to hospitals to office buildings, but enemies generally
stay the same throughout, and you'll grow tired of them by the time the game
ends. Thankfully, there is an extremely flexible weapons customization system
to add that personal touch. You can customize many different scopes, stocks,
and barrels, and you'll be surprised at just how many options are available.
extras are sprinkled on top as well. For starters, you can personalize your
appearance with various masks, or create your own online. I already mentioned
the moral choices, but there are also hostages to rescue, lucky cats to shoot,
and radio logs to collect. Then there is the big head mode that everyone loves
multiplayer keeps the same flavor as the rest of the game, with every one split
in to groups of two, and only your partner can resupply you or revive you when
you need help. Playing a Deathmatch and coordinating with your partner well can
make things much easier, especially once you've learned the nature of each
modes are standard, but the co-op twist on things is definitely a plus. Control
has teams fighting over specific points on the map. Finally Warzone, ripped
straight out of Killzone 2, tasks both teams with completing constantly changing
objectives, whether it is by killing a specific player, stealing a package, or
planting a bomb. Overall, the modes are fun, but it definitely sucks that you
can't use the customized when from single-player.
going to buy The 40th Day, it's to play with a friend, whether
split-screen or online. When playing solo, the partner AI is surprisingly
smart, and does a good job of staying alive, choosing which enemy causes the
largest threat, and reviving you when you fall.
It can seem
smarter than some human partners at times, and you can give a few commands, but
the real way to play this is with a friend. Forming strategies and
communicating effectively is only possible with another human, so if you're
looking for a good solo shooter, The 40th Day isn't for you.
The aggro system
returns, and hasn't seen many changes from the last outing. In case you aren't
familiar with it, the system draws attention to the player who is more apparent
to the enemies, and is represented by a bar at the top of the screen or by the
glow that illuminates the louder player. The more shots you fire and enemies you
kill, the more your enemies begin to focus on you, allowing your partner to
sneak around and stealthily kill some foes. To instantly lose all that
attention, you can play dead.
is an interesting idea that makes it easier to work as a team, but it can take
you out of the experience as your glowing partner is being fired upon from all
directions, while you walk right in front of foes blinded to your existence and
easily eliminate them. Still, it doesn't break the game, and manages to make strategy
more enforced throughout the game.
your partner also aid each other in other situations as well as in battle.
Besides boosting each other to higher ground and other obvious things like
that, saving hostages can be done with one player sneaking up and grabbing one
enemy, while the other ties up the others. Also, either player can decide what
to do with the moral situations. It just depends on who manages to tap the
of Army of Two: The 40th Day comes from the awful appearance of
Shanghai. It's awful because the destruction has torn the city apart, and it's
a beautiful spectacle that is fun to watch. The sound isn't amazing (Nolan
North again!?), but the destruction on display truly makes up for any other
shortcomings in presentation.
Two: The 40th Day is a fun ride, but its short length is a disappointment,
and it's really only worth buying if you're into playing with a buddy. The
destruction of Shanghai is a sight worth seeing, but be sure to have a friend
willing to help you through it.
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