Seems like you can use anything for your advantage, including taking off car doors for cover
Dec 14, 06 at 8:06pm
Army of Two Preview
Set in the near future, Army of Two puts you in control of a mercenary team to do paramilitary operations for governments. You will be able to play co-op with a friend, or go through the campaigns in single player mode, giving orders to your partner. However, unlike other games, the AI will decide whether to listen to your orders, based on previous encounters and how well you have been controlling your team.
Your team consists of Tyson Rios, an older, more experienced soldier, and Elliot Salem, Rio's reckless trainee. Throughout the game, you will guide these two through several operations in which teamwork is the only way to succeed. The game will remember and curve the game based around past actions. The way Rios and Salem react to their situations will depend on how you solved past problems. If you don't make good decisions, your partner will not listen to your orders, making it harder to work together.
Rios and Salem will have to work together to maneuver around obstacles and help each other get through a myriad of puzzles to finish their objectives. Also, when a soldier is down, you will have to help them out by carrying them on your back or moving them out of battle to revive them. Other challenges will be timing and communication, such as rappelling down a wall, where one player will have to act as a counterweight as the other is lowered. Also, the player will have to control both Salem and Rios for such activities as two-man sniping, two-man parachuting, and the ability to share customizable weapons.
All in all, this game looks to bring a main focus to teamwork, while delivering a solid storyline base. EA wants to stress that "Co-op is no longer a mode, it's the game." It will surely be a must have for fans of the genre.
Not much has been announced for multiplayer, however, be sure to expect online co-op modes (1-2 players), as this title is perfect for it. There is no word yet on any death match type modes. Make sure to check back for updates.
Next Level Gaming's Official Army of Two Video Game Preview 5/25/2006 7:32:01 PM Posted by David Johnson
"E3 2006 – Developer Demo: Army of Two. It's the Dynamic Duo, Military Style!"
Thanks to the great folks at EA, who took wonderful care of Team NLG at E3, Mike and I had a chance to see a behind doors developer playable demo of the upcoming EA title, Army of Two. Now, you've all heard of Army of One, the US Army's slogan. In this game, you and another soldier make up an Army of Two. Together, you are the newest Dynamic Duo. No capes this time--holy BatCrap Batman!--just a boat-load of weapons! You're not alone soldier, not anymore. Mike and I instantly fell in love with this title, even though we didn't get any hands on time. In fact, we liked the game so much it was our official runner-up in our NLG Game of the Show Awards. Had we been able to actually play the game ourselves, it might have bumped Gears of War from the top spot.
In Army of Two, you can play along with a friend or with an AI soldier--what EA calls an Intelligent Partner (PAI). Army of Two takes AI to the next level. Intelligent is the word, as this AI solder is not a emotionless zombie who mindlessly follows your directions into death and destruction with no concerns for his own life and limb. Think back to games such as Ghost Recon, where you can command your fellow AI troops into a multitude of life-threatening situations, while you hide behind cover like the coward you are. Sorry, I mean the coward I am! Hell, AI characters are expendable right? Well, it doesn't quite work that way in Army of Two. Your AI accomplice has attitude, personality, and intelligence. To add icing on the cake, you can utter commands to your PAI soldier using voice recognition by way of a headset—how cool is that? If you command your AI soldier into harms way, he will disobey your order and give you some back talk as well. You think you're the boss? Your PAI will remind you of your past mistakes and will take control and order you around. He even has a conscience. In part of the demo the two happened upon a disarmed hostage. He was clearly in the surrendered position. The demoer raised his gun sight to target the hostage, and the partner immediately said "Hey man, we don't do that. We DON'T shoot unarmed hostages." The demoer left the sight pointed on the hostage and his partner said more forcefully "Lower your weapon". He still didn't lower the sight, so his partner aimed his gun at the demoer and said "If you don't lower your weapon I WILL kill you!". At that point, the demoer felt it best to go ahead and stand down. It was a good choice.
Mike and I sat in amazement, as we watched two of the developers continue the demo the game by going through a number of one and two-player scenarios. In one of the scenarios we watched in one-player mode, the human player tries to command the PAI soldier into danger, but the soldier says something like, "Are you crazy? I'm not going down there!" In another scenario, both players are on a double- assassination mission. Each has to take out an enemy official with their sniper rifles. Once they both have their targets in sight, the human player orders the PAI soldier to shoot on his mark. The AI soldier interrupts and says, "No, we are going to do this on my mark." The demoer then says "Cool it, we're going on my mark." The AI guy actually said "No, YOU cool it, we're going on MY mark," and counts down to fire. After both targets are taken out, the AI soldier says something like "If you want something done right, do it yourself. The last time we went on your mark you botched the entire mission!" Working with the PAI is what sets Army of Two apart from your everyday third-person shooter.
What about weapons you say? Weapons in Army of Two are extremely customizable with a number of attachable upgrades. Not your everyday stuff either—we are talking a cornucopia of weaponry gadget goodness! Some of the top of the line weapon upgrades were blinged out in platinum plated loveliness!
Remember the final scene in the movie Meet The Smiths? Both Mr. (Brad) and Mrs. Smith (Angelina) stand back-to-back and maneuver in a circle while firing their weapons? In Army of Two, you can command your PAI to stand with you, back-to-back and get your gun on just like the Brad and Angelina. The AI soldier also gets down on one knee as you shoot in a standing position. And as you turn your sight to take out multiple targets, your partner will also duck down out of the way of your swinging weapon. This was a very cool combat feature to see and I'm sure to employ.
In two-player mode, you have the ability to issue some harsh words to your partner, if he puts you in danger. One of the funniest parts of the demo was when one of the players caused the ceiling of a building to fall on his partner. The partner frees himself of the wreckage and promptly gives his boy the finger and barks out some choice words that I can't say in this review, much to the enjoyment of those watching the demo.
Army of two is shaping up to be a one-of-a kind breath of fresh air for a genre that stands ready for a change. The game is due out sometime in 2007 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Army of Two - GotNext Ready to bling your digital gun collection? By: Ross Fisher
The Basics: Built from the ground up to showcase both next-gen visuals and cooperative gameplay Army of Two promises over-the-top action-filled gameplay scenarios "ripped from current day headlines." Big selling points you should note are the ability to customize your weapons and play through the entire game with a friend (or if you're a loner a computer controlled buddy). These missions can't be completed alone.
What we think: An original game from Electronic Arts? Wow. A short behind-the-scenes video of the still in production game began with Dwight Eisenhower during his address to Congress where he warned about the dangers of the military turning into a business; from this, we quickly saw recent headlines showing how private military contractors account for a large percentage of the troops currently in Iraq. Apparently, the player will be a contractor for one of these private military corporations, but you will not play the game alone! The entire project has been designed with cooperative play in mind! Obviously multiplayer via Xbox Live, or system link is the primary idea but Electronic Arts said that the computer AI will be able to keep up with the player offline.
Clips from the trailer and the game reveal that the two contractors wear very heavy armor akin to the pair of Los Angeles bank robbers who held police at a stand still for hours several years ago. At one point, we watched as one of them shrugged off small arms fire before turning to fire a large weapon that looked similar to an M16 with some type of added upgrade. Electronic Arts didn't say anything about customizing the characters to match your personality, but every gun in the game can be upgraded and given a touch of "bling" to match your desires. Examples other journalists noted included diamonds, but during our presentation we only heard examples of bigger barrels and larger clips.
We were curious about how well the computer AI will play with a human player, but were told that anything a player can do the computer can also do. So if you fail to perform your duties, you may find that your computer-controlled AI partner won't trust you to perform the next time around. However, the computer will attempt to match and complement your play style since you will be able to function as a two man army. There is no ability to switch from one character to the other while playing. An example was given of how fallen players can be rescued with CPR/medicine; Electronic Arts said the computer AI would be able to perform this action just like a human.
Graphically, the game reminded us of Mercenaries in how the characters moved about, but Electronic Arts has promised full destruction and next-gen visuals worthy of the Xbox 360/PS3. Vehicles and events are tied to the two man concept. We saw one character driving a fork-lift and the other firing from an extended platform hoisted above the fork-lift. Explosions and enemy deaths looked equally entertaining.
Voice recognition means that you can give orders to the computer (or to a friend online), even if the two of you are separated by a distance in the game. An example was given of a sniping mission where two targets must be taken down at the exact same moment; using a microphone you can tell your compatriot to fire in sync with you. Interestingly, the computer controlled character used a lot of swear words... apparently the developers at EA have been playing their fair share of Halo 2 online lately.
Electronic Arts is hoping to ship the game sometime in 2007, and given how far along the clips of gameplay looked we're inclined to believe them.
EA showed of a number of good games behind closed doors. Some were better than others, but one game that they were particularly proud of was Army of Two, a co-op tactical shooter they have planned for 2007. Although they only showed off a small amount of gameplay, what they revealed was intriguing but at the same time questionable.
As aforementioned, Army of Two is for the most part a cooperative two player game. It is meant to be played with two friends whether it is online or side by side via system link. As the title suggests you play as a member of a two man team. You and your "colleague" are mercenaries for hire. The game takes place in the near future in a world that essentially resents the United States and is ran by corporate armies. You and your partner are experts in the business as American mercenaries.
Although the game is best enjoyed playing with a friend, EA has included voice command capabilities for those times you don't have a companion. The ease of using the headset to bark orders to your Partner AI (PAI) is still unclear, but the EA employee playing the game seemed to have no problems. There is a history, however, of sub par voice command systems that are seemingly bent on telling your teammates to do the exact opposite of what you want.
EA tried to make your partner more than just a walking gun by giving him a personality and an opinion. During the demo the EA rep pointed a gun a civilian, at which point his partner began ordering him to lower his weapon and even threatened to "drop" him if he did not stand down. There was another instance where he shot the ceiling out from above the PAI. After a few moments the computer climbed out from under the debris and continued to curse out the player.
Teamwork is obviously the focus of the game and it's very apparent even when playing with the computer. EA claimed that the PAI actually can remember previous events, pulling up a scenario that called for a team organized sniping. When the EA rep ordered the computer to fire on his mark, the PAI refused saying that he botched the last shot. It's hard to tell how broad the PAI's memory is at this time, but hopefully it will extend past missed sniper fires.
Small instances of teamwork were displayed when the PAI was revived via chest compression. They also showed off a case where the two helped one another climb through a hole in the ceiling from one floor to the next. That's not all; you can help one another rappel down the side of buildings. You can even tell the PAI to give you some ammo, who will then actually toss you a magazine so you can continue your firefight.
Perhaps one of the downright coolest features was gun customization. Obviously as a mercenary your pride and joy is going to be your weapons arsenal and EA did their best to accommodate. You will have the ability to spend money to customize nearly every aspect of your gun from the muzzle to the cartridge. What's more, you get to try it before you buy it at a virtual shooting range. All we need now is Xzibit to make a cameo appearance.
What's the Game About: As the title suggests, the premise of Army of Two is that you play as two members of a Private Military Company (PMC) and, in essence, you act as your own army. The PMC you work for sends you on missions all around the world. You're in the business of war -- and business is good.
What's New For E3: This is where the game is making its behind closed doors debut. And as the first title from EA's new Montreal studio, there are a lot of questions at this point. It's a brand new IP, it's a brand new team (made up in large part of former Ubisoft Montreal employees, including some of the Splinter Cell team) and it's something very different for EA. "The distance that separates us [from EA's home office of Redwood City] gives us a good deal of autonomy," said Alain Tascan, General Manager of EA Montreal. "We don't get distracted by all the politics."
The main gameplay concept surrounds the coop gameplay of the two main characters, Salem and Rios. Basically, it's all about working together to make your way through the game -- regardless of whether you're playing with the computer, a friend next to you (via split screen), or with someone online. Playing with the computer, the AI does a really good job of simulating a real life counterpart. It'll accept and respond to voice commands via the headset, it'll help you out when you're in need (tossing you a pack of bullets when you run out, for example), and yes, it'll even curse at you if you manage to piss it off.
What We Like: The visuals look great, even at this early stage, with lots of neat physics effects. One scene, in which you take out an aircraft carrier, looked entirely next-gen -- the ocean waves were unlike anything I've ever seen. When you do finally take out the aircraft carrier, it starts tipping its nose into the water -- and as you make your way to the top, everything from barrels to full size jets comes tumbling towards you. Finally, you make it to the front where you grab onto a rope ladder thrown down from your buddy flying above in a chopper. Other locations, such as dusty towns in Afghanistan and remote locales in Hong Kong, also looked great.
The coop gameplay is also far more interesting than the standard FPS, as it presents lots of situations where you need to think about the best possible way to deal with a situation. "I'm not going to sit here and pretend we've got everything figured out just yet," said Tascan, "but we do know that we've created some terrific gameplay experiences." From here, it's about turning those experiences into a cohesive whole.
What We Dislike: At times, the coop gameplay seems a bit forced -- the game relies on the buddy concept too much. Also, based on what we've seen so far, there's a tad bit of the Ambiguously Gay Duo going on -- it's two beefy guys sharing parachutes, doing lots of crotch level hoisting, and what not. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but just saying.