PS3 Previews: Army of Two: The 40th Day Preview

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Army of Two: The 40th Day Preview

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Scheduled release date:

TBA

While the original had its fair share of drawbacks, the concept had plenty of potential. Army of Two utilized a cooperative style of third-person shooter gameplay, and although the technicals weren’t 100% sound, EA is using that first title as a learning experience for this sequel. The 40th Day should feature many, if not all, of the enhancements and upgrades that we require, and in looking at early screenshots, you’ll recognize the obvious differences. Instead of the standard and clichéd war-torn setting, we’ll be dropped into the ravaged city of Shanghai, which suffers from a seemingly endless assault of bizarre disasters. This immediately presents the player with a very different atmosphere, and one that should prove to be more immersive and dynamic. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this threatened environment is the fact that Shanghai hasn’t fallen yet…but it’s in the midst of destruction. That’s the level of intensity we can’t wait to experience, and it likely features the flair and panache we missed in the original game.

Beyond the environment, GameSpot’s recent hands-on session tells us that The 40th Day will also boast a revamped and refined set of controls. The word “fluid” caught our eye; it’s due to the new automatic cover system EA will be implementing, likely as a nod to games like Gears of War. This mechanic seems to be one of the more popular systems in the world of third-person action games, so it’s no surprise to see it play a significant role in this sequel. Not only can you smack your shoulder into an obstacle to gain cover, but you can also sprint low to the ground (again, very similar to GeoW), and the team has added a nice little feature, which lets you slide towards cover. You hold the sprint button down and when you’re heading towards a new cover spot, you release the button a moment before you reach your destination, and the character will slide sharply into position. How cool is that? We also hear that EA has revamped the aiming; your reticle will lock onto enemies easier than before, which seems quite similar to a regular lock-on mechanic.

Obviously, though, the focus will remain on the cooperative teamwork. Those of you who are still enjoying Resident Evil 5 are aware of some of the co-op moments between Chris and Sheva, and you can expect something similar in The 40th Day. In this case, the two main characters are Salem and Rios, and you two will have to work together in order to become successful in the field. It’s not just about backing up your buddy or teaming up in order to take down the baddies (two guns are always better than one). It’s also about taking care of business on your own for the purpose of the greater good: one example in the GameSpot hands-on came when EA showed off a scene where both Salem and Rios had to snipe a couple enemies that were holding a civilian hostage. However, because only one of the characters in question was close enough to make a positive identification, the other player had to wait for his buddy to clarify the situation. When he got the clarification – i.e., which dude to shoot – he carried out the command with deadly accuracy. Teamwork, fellas.

And if you’re going to be working together so closely, you’re going to have to stay in the loop at all times. In this day and age of freakishly effective electronic technology, why shouldn’t we have an on-screen hub that continually relays field information to both Salem and Rios? It’s called the Co-Op Playbook and it pops up on your screen to dole out helpful details that will assist you in settling on a plan of attack. You can label certain enemies, which comes in handy because it appears as if the lower-ranking soldiers aren’t quite as stable as their superiors; if a high-ranking officer goes down, the regular ol’ foot soldiers might turn tail. This is an awesome strategic addition to the game, as the two of you can attempt to make an example of the highest ranking enemy facing you, thereby rattling the rest of the opposing forces. What we need more of in games is a mental effect; in the chaotic, hellish world of war, a human’s frame of mind can be a determining factor more often than not. Our only question is, how far will EA take this concept…?

We don’t yet have a release date for Army of Two: The 40th Day, but we’re hoping it makes it out before the end of the year. It’s coming to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PSP, so even handheld aficionados will get a shot at the co-op-based action. If it does come out for the holiday season, the competition will likely be very stiff, but we think EA has really worked to provide us with a worthy sequel. If you’ve got a willing buddy, The 40th Day could end up being the perfect selection.

3/23/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (17 posts)

LegendaryWolfeh
Monday, March 23, 2009 @ 10:05:41 PM
Reply

Wow, even PSP, wonder if there'll be cross-play for PS3 and PSP

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 23, 2009 @ 11:04:52 PM
Reply

I never played the first one, anyone recommend? I heard it wasn't fantastic. Are they going forward with the movie about this game?

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somethingrandom
Monday, March 23, 2009 @ 11:54:47 PM

It was fun, but the AI was kind of stupid, making the hardest difficulty nearly impossible without a split-screen buddy. One time when I needed to be healed by my partner, he dragged me only partially behind cover, then started spinning in circles dragging me like a lunatic. I had to shoot the guys that were advancing on us while he did this. Somehow I survived.

Last edited by somethingrandom on 3/23/2009 11:55:40 PM

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tlpn99
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 @ 1:08:41 PM

The first one may be worth a purchase now should be plenty of 2nd hand copies floating about in bargain bins or the pre-owned section if your type of shop has this.

It was not a bad game, I only traded mine in as I had clocked it and needed the money.

I will be getting the sequel more than likely.

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Bugzbunny109
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 @ 3:43:17 PM

The first one was astounding. I loved how EA utilized the co-op feature. I wish it was a tad bit longer though.........

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Fatcat3788
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 @ 4:08:28 PM

If you have someone to play with you split screen then this will be an awesome experience. If you don't have someone I would say pass. Co-op is what this game is based on. It is how it is supposed to be played.

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thepill
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 @ 6:03:36 PM

Go ahead and pick it up, it was fun as hell. I really expected very little from the first game, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had playing this game. I loved the way you could draw fire away from your buddy, and flank EFFECTIVELY, unlike most games.

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Wage SLAVES
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 @ 6:40:23 PM

RENT. I own it but I must say there's plenty of other games that are better. If you havent played BioShock or something else get that.

However, I did enjoy it. There were just too many things that coulda been improved. Sequel should be better.

Last edited by Wage SLAVES on 3/24/2009 6:40:49 PM

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thepill
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 @ 7:37:31 PM

But you can get it for next to nothing now!!! BUY BUY BUY

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somethingrandom
Monday, March 23, 2009 @ 11:50:40 PM
Reply

Oh, but I hate trying to run in Gears of War and getting stuck on cover.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 @ 1:17:55 AM

I don't just hate trying to run in GOW, I hate the game :)

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Random_Steve
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 @ 3:07:36 AM

yer, i played it at my mates house. great game, just really anoying. not that it mattered, i was so crap i could find where the enemies were on horde mode lol

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Vivi_Gamer
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 @ 4:12:22 AM
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im not fond of these games which macho men in raped with armor, the visual style just looks tacky, also they run so slow which really pisses me off. i played the 1st one for a day, and got my money back the next day.it just wasnt good. so i doubt ill be pickign up this oone either.

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Tim Speed24
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 @ 7:35:24 AM
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I liked the concept and the armor cladded bad-ass, take-on-the-world feel the first game had. But the guns felt light and the game play was a little boring.

I hope they fix some of the rough areas and polish the SP and I'm in.

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slugga_status
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 @ 9:31:49 AM
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first one had a good concept but descent gameplay. If they fix it I'll pick it up

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KidCallaway123
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 @ 12:17:09 PM
Reply

For all of its faults I still really enjoyed playing the first one co-op with my cousin... I can't wait for this one to hit the stores. Maybe they will offer a vertical split screen as an option this time. This is one game I would consider dropping $60 for... I can't say that about too many games.

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racoon
Thursday, July 02, 2009 @ 9:00:16 PM
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the co-op on this game is great but i think this time they'l make it better

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