Army of Two: The 40th Day continues the story of our two heroes Rios and Salem which have found themselves in the middle of a terrorist attack in Shanghai, China. The franchise is known for bringing new multiplayer features to the classic third-person shooter genre. 40thth Day improves on the first with the addition of several new options your partner and you are able to do, such as mock surrenders, grabbing the leader in charge of a surrounding soldiers and forcing them to drop their guns. Then you have the option of killing them or you can tie them up and do you try to save all the hostages or pretend you’re Keanu Reeves and shoot the hostage. What you choose will reflect the morality factor players must look at when playing the game which will affect the rest of the game.
There are key moments in the game when players will be faced with a bigger morality choice. An example seen in the demo is you have the option to kill your contact that helped you get your weapons and showing you the ropes, you only have two options, kill him for more money or let him live. After making your choice you are drawn out of the game for a few seconds as you see a comic strip portraying the future ramifications of your decision. If you want to know what my pick was, well I’m a fan of money.
Although it feels like there are less guns this time you can get pretty creative when designing the gun that suits you. New parts are acquired once you buy a new gun or get parts from playing the levels (finding them, getting them from doing certain missions within the level) and you can interchange parts with any other gun. It does provide a higher level of detail over the first Army of Two, there you had to buy parts for each gun you owned. Now once you purchase that Red Dot x2 it can be used it on any of your Primary guns. Players now have the option to create custom masks and armor via the Army of Two website which can be used in single and multiplayer. With all the preset icons and designs available plus being able to insert text and change the colors of everything you add, you can create some interesting gear.
Aggro still plays a big part in The 40th Day and functions the same as it did in the previous game. Shoot a lot with a gun that can gain aggro and watch the bad guys turn to focus on you. Sadly you can’t slip into the super aggro mode when you build up a max bar like you could in the previous and if an enemy doesn’t have line of sight to you he really doesn’t care about you. Found this out the hard way when my friend had a full bar of aggro and I tried to slip in from behind to cut off their reinforcement line. So keep that in mind when trying to take down a big group or one of those bosses.
The three biggest complaints I have with the weapon customization are these: You can’t hold down the direction button to scroll through the different part/skin options. You are forced to pressed left or right over and over again. I really dislike all the new “styles” you can apply to your weapons because I feel it’s too uniform. It feels like you slapped a giant sticker on your weapon and it doesn’t show off any of the details of your brand new weapon of doom. Lastly, my biggest complaint of them all, EA has given the option to customize your weapons in the middle of a mission instead of only at save points. Sounds good right? Wrong. Lets say you and your partner just spent about five minutes each customizing that weapon only to begin the map and run into a boss. He lays waste to both of you forcing you to restart the level. Now all that work you did on your weapons is gone unless you feel like doing it again. My friend and I decided to play the game on it’s hardest difficulty, so those save points can feel like they are years away.
As of right now, the online feels like it needs some work. Although EA has made some changes to the online, such as region-free play and an increased number of participants (up to 10). Games feel laggy, random disconnects and you may experience moments where players drop and the game reconfigures itself, which can take a couple of minutes. The four different game modes are Co-Op Death Match (teams of two square off against others), Control (awards points for capturing and defending randomly spawned points), Warzone (battle over various objectives like assassinate, defend and capture) and finally the newest game mode Extraction. In extraction teams of four fight 16 waves of increasingly powerful enemies as they progress to the extraction point.
I’m really torn when it comes to The 40th Day since I was one of the few that enjoyed the first game and I really want to enjoy this one. The new options for over coming groups of bad guys really helps to provide a nice change from one guy building up aggro, the other sneaks around and picks people off, rinse and repeat.
I love the new weapon customization in terms of the actual idea and being able to interchange parts but I absolutely hate it that you can’t save the game quickly once you exist the customization screen, at least to the point where it remembers what you did to alter your weapons. They should have stayed with the option to only customize at check points or toss up a screen before you get to a check point offering if you would like to alter any weapons. Between each level you will encounter extremely long load times before it loads up the next one. I understand that it’s loading the ENTIRE next level so it’s really just a pain when you die and have to restart. If you enjoyed the first game I suggest that you give this one a try to experience the story and all the new game features for yourself. If you didn’t care much for the first game or thought it sounded like a bad game then you’re probably better off skipping this one as well.