onStart – Army of TWO The Devil’s Cartel Preview

Posted by: 2/22/2013

Army of TWO The Devil's Cartel Logo

In Army of TWO The Devil’s Cartel Elliot Salem and Tyson Rios, the protagonists of the two previous games in the series, are taking a back seat and are non-playable characters in the latest entry into the third person coop shooter from EA – it’s time for some new blood!

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Previously the Army of TWO games were developed by EA Montreal and ran on Unreal Engine 3 but just as our masked anti-heroes, this has changed in The Devil’s Cartel. The third game in the series features two nameless mercenaries referred to as Alpha and Bravo who are employed by a private military contractor and have been hired to protect a high value political figure in the dangerous streets of Mexico.

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Army of TWO The Devil’s Cartel has switched to DICE’s Frostbite 2.0 engine which features destructible environments and is being developed by Visceral Games this time around. There has been a lot of change to the latest Army of TWO game which will be available on Xbox 360 and PS3 on March 26th and it becomes quite prevalent as soon as you start playing.

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We recently went hands on with The Devil’s Cartel at an EA preview event and were impressed with what Visceral was able to do with Frostbite 2.0 and the beloved ‘bro-shooter’. One thing that hasn’t changed is the vast customization of the guns, masks and character’s outfits as well as tattoo schemes. Players will earn in-game cash to spend on new masks, gun parts, tattoos and more. The EA representative walked me through the various parts of the customization screens and I could have used the entire preview to make some ‘sick masks’ as I ended up referring to the facial gear. If you liked customizing your gear in Army of TWO before, you’ll love it now.

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Gameplay was also improved and varied from the previous Army of TWO games as EA has done a good job of listening to fans and community. Visceral decided to keep what was great about Army of TWO and improve it but throw out what fans didn’t like. The Devil’s Cartel is all about big action, big moments and lots of carnage. As we made our way through the war torn streets of Mexico, after the mission to protect the VIP went south, it was time to dispatch enemies – lots of them.

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Visceral has decided to get rid of things like fist-bumping in game (it’s still there in cut scenes – don’t worry) or the back-to-back shooting sequences and switch them for destructible environments and a new feature called ‘Overkill’ – once the Overkill meter is filled by in game actions, players can trigger this overpowered mode and blast through enemies and environments which will leave any foes looking for their limbs – yes this is still an M rated game folks.

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Visceral made sure that The Devil’s Cartel will still be a competitive coop experience in which players will be rewarded and scored for teamwork and helping each other during the game as opposed to simply give Alpha and Bravo a score or kilk count which is nice to see in a world where competition can ruin a game experience.

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While I only got to see a small cross section of Army of TWO The Devil’s Cartel, I have to say I was surprised by how well Visceral Games was able to implement the coop shooter in the new engine and setting. The gameplay was unquestionably Army of TWO and fans of the series or the coop genre will be in heaven if the rest of the game turns out the way this vertical slice presented itself.

Army of TWO The Devil’s Cartel comes to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on March 26th 2013.

This preview is based on a hands on demo of the single player mode during a recent preview event.

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