Returning to us three years after the slightly weightier follow up to the original 2008 co-op shooter, Army Of Two: The Devil’s Cartel side-lines the originals’ leads - Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem - in favour of fresh faces codenamed Alpha and Bravo, a duo of operatives serving time in Trans-World Operations, working security detail for a Mexican mayor bent on crushing the country’s notorious drug cartels.
While spicing a series up through the introduction of new characters and real world issues probably seemed like a sound idea on paper, the move falls flat for the majority of the campaign because neither Alpha or Bravo are a patch on their (admittedly shallow) predecessors, reduced here to mentoring roles. Game mechanics remain much the same bar a few minor tweaks: the natural cover system has been replaced with a more traditional one and the Unreal Engine is eschewed in favour of DICE’s Frostbite, resulting in a remarkably less prettier game.
On the upside, fire-fights are as tight as ever, destruction has been ramped up to Battlefield levels of ridiculousness and the introduction of the ludicrous Overkill Mode - which turns you invulnerable and grants you infinite ammo - makes for some of the most enjoyable moments The Devil’s Cartel has to offer throughout the entirety of its feverishly twist-filled campaign. Army Of Two is not a bad game, but rather a functioning shooter that’s best served with a six-pack and a friend when all other options have been exhausted. Fist pump? Not quite.
Reviewed by Sebastian Williamson