The shooter from the team at EA Montreal has returned for some co-op action once again, but will The 40th Day be able to entertain both veterans of the series and newbies?
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Money in the bank: Army of Two: The 40th Day sees the return of Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem, this time working for themselves under the "Trans World Operations" (T.W.O) mercenary business that they have created.When offered a job with nice pay, Rios and Salem ship off to Shanghai to deal with what should have been a free payday. However, things go wrong when Shanghai is brought under attack for no understandable reason. Barrages of missiles crash into the buildings of the Asian city, and a mysterious force takes the city hostage and brings China to the brink of ruin. Trapped in a sudden war zone, Rios and Salem are forced to fight their way out and find out why the metropolis was assaulted.
Just the two of us: The 40th Day is once again heavily focused on cooperative gameplay. You can play through the campaign alone (with an AI partner), locally (via split-screen) or online, but whatever option you choose you will always be fighting alongside a teammate, whether live or controlled by the computer.The first Army of Two had some situations where you needed to use the strength of two to get out of a jam (lift your partner over a wall, defend against enemies back-to-back, etc.) but The 40th Day takes that idea to a whole new level. Throughout the game, you and your partner will be forced to work together to survive. You will not only be boosting your partner over objects and battling back-to-back in specific situations, but you will also be required to work as a team constantly. The enemies you face in the game often work together, and to survive you and your partner must do the same. From covering each other when moving, attacking specific objectives, or splitting up to get a job done quicker among other things, The 40th Day makes a co-op experience truly engrossing and especially enjoyable if you have a quality teammate to work with. The co-op aspect of The 40th Day is a large focus in the game, and without it (say you could only play the game with an AI partner or without a partner at all) this franchise would not be nearly as popular or successful as it is today. However, there is one very slight problem with the local co-op in The 40th Day, and that is how the split-screen works when playing with a friend. While there are very few problems most of the time, at times when gaming the split-screen can make things a bit difficult to see, sometimes obscuring your vision. It is not a huge issue, considering the split-screen co-op is done quite well as a whole, but the occasional situation where you lose yourself can be a little frustrating.
Where am I going: On the gameplay end of things, Army of Two is mostly unchanged from its predecessor that released in 2008.Your two-man squad will move through a variety of environments throughout China combating against waves of opposition, as well as the occasional mini-boss that requires you and your teammate to work together to kill him. The shooting mechanics are still very well done and easy to grasp, and the game is very accessible to say the least. The movement in Army of Two is not so perfect though. Whether or not you are a veteran of the AoT series, when you pop The 40th Day in you will undoubtedly have a little difficulty grasping the movement in the game. Sometimes the way your character moves can be a bit wonky to say the least, and it certainly takes some getting used to before you are able to avoid running into walls or turning in directions you didn't want to. Overall though, the gameplay in The 40th Day is incredibly intense and engrossing, and for the most part you will not have any problems while gunning your foes down.
The world is your toy box: Returning in The 40th Day is the ability to customize and remodel your weapons to your specific needs. However, The 40th Day has vastly improved the customization aspect of the game and you will be like a kid in a candy store when you see the immeasurable amount of options at your disposal.Any weapon you buy can be customized (this time on the fly, at any time during the game) with everything from new barrels, stocks, silencers, increased ammo capacity, front-mounted shields, and even the ability to "Pimp" your weapon by making it gold with diamonds. In addition to store-bought attachments, throughout the game you will also find "Homebrew" attachments that you can put on your weapons for quick customization. You know that kitchen knife you just passed by in that house? That can be taped to your gun and used as a bayonet to maim enemies at close range if you choose. The sheer number of options that you can choose from is absolutely stunning and you could easily spend hours over the course of the game just altering the appearance of your armaments.
Something new, something old: For everything new you can play with in The 40th Day, there is also something that has gone mostly unchanged since the original.The graphics in the sequel to the 2008 shooter have not really improved since the first game, and if anything the visuals in The 40th Day look worse then Army of Two because the standards of graphics have risen since the original's launch two years ago. They are not horrible, and you will see some nicely detailed character models and moderately polished environments, but I have a strong feeling that the team at EA Montreal opted to work on gameplay rather then eye candy.
Rent vs. Buy: Army of Two: The 40th Day is a fine game and has many things going for it. In fact, it is easy to say that The 40th Day feels like the game the first should have been, which is not a bad thing at all.Excellent gunplay, wonderfully done cooperative gameplay, good voice acting and enormous customization aspect makes The 40th Day a very solid game overall. If you were a big fan of the first AoT and have somebody to play with, you cannot go wrong with renting this one and playing it through. I cannot recommend this game for full price, but as soon as this title drops to a slightly lower price I think it would be a good decision to pick it up.
Army of Two: The 40th Day is a fine game and has many things going for it. Excellent gunplay, wonderfully done cooperative gameplay, good voice acting and enormous customization aspect makes The 40th Day a very solid game overall.
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