Is the third time the charm?
The Army of Two games have been half-decent co-op experiences that were never meant to be taken seriously, almost like a popcorn flick with high octane action, ridiculous story and cheesy one-liners. The third game is no different in this regard, but does it take a backstep towards the more ridiculous?
The story in The Devil’s Cartel is a joke, sadly. It has a silly plot twist that anyone could see coming a mile off and quite annoyingly you don’t play as the same characters from the first two games, but are joined by them from time to time during missions. The pacing of the game is also just plain weird; checkpoints will pop up on screen at laughably bad moments and interrupt the flow of the game. Its buggy at times too with players not being able to advance through doors, vanishing weapons and so on.
Having said that, it can be quite amusing to see along with a friend…but for the wrong reasons of course. In terms of a co-op shooter, The Devil’s Cartel doesn’t do anything wrong…it’s just a very average experience with AI that love to be shot. You can also string kills together for an Overkill meter which when activated turns you and your partner invincible for a brief period; it’s a nice feature but ultimately makes the tougher areas of the game incredibly easy to breeze through, including the boss battles.
The campaign will last 7-8 hours and there’s little else to do afterwards, there’s not even a multiplayer attached. It’s also a very linear experience with no collectables of any kind to find, the only thing that you’ll come back for is to earn cash for different masks or completing the game on the higher difficulties, which isn’t worth it unless you’re trying to get all the trophies the game offers.
Visually, The Devil’s Cartel isn’t a terrible looking game but it looks pretty average overall. There are some bad textures and face models won’t move their lips when they talk, which is laughably bad for a game in 2013. The framerate is consistent for the most part though, it’s a shame about the bugs that make the game look worse than it actually is. Voice-acting is cheesy as you would expect from the series and the music is forgettable on the whole.
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel isn’t the worst game out there; there are times where I enjoyed it. But those moments are few and far between due to the glitches, ridiculous story and the campaign actually feels like it drags towards its short 7-8 hours conclusion. It may be worth a rent and a good laugh with a friend, but that’s all it’s really good for.