Xbox 360 Review: Army of Two: The 40th Day

Rios and Salem return for an action-packed sequel…

Private military contractors Rios and Salem are an Army of Two. When they’re caught in the middle of a series of terrorist explosions in Shanghai, they need to work together to survive and stop the terrorists

While I enjoyed the original Army of Two, I felt that it never really met its potential. It was a solid idea to make a game where co-op was more or less necessary to ensure victory, but the AI and level design let the game down. The sequel tries to fix all that, but what is the end result?

It’s actually quite surprising. The 40th Day is much more enjoyable and believable than its predecessor with a much better story, better use of the characters and a great setting in Shanghai. In terms of gameplay, it hasn’t changed that much but it does feel more refined and polished. The aggro meter still exists which draws enemies’ attention to whatever character is doing the shooting, allowing the other player to strafe and surprise them. It’s pretty difficult to do solo, so I would recommend playing this game in co-op either locally or online.

Weapons can be changed and bought at anytime away from combat which helps if you have the spare cash. The game also gives you moral choices to make which has different outcomes like killing someone who helps you at the start of the game or let him live. It’s a nice addition and gives plenty of reason for a second playthrough to see the other alternative outcome. It may not be the most innovative idea, but it works well within the game.

Enemy AI feels much sharper this time around, but they can still be morons thanks to the aggro meter. I was able to take my non-aggro player and pretty much walk up to an enemy and shoot him before he even noticed me. I have tried playing the game in solo, but it just doesn’t work as well and it’s not as enjoyable. So if you do pick up The 40th Day, make sure you either have an extra controller and someone to play with you, or Xbox Live Gold. There is a multiplayer component which is also quite fun, but it doesn’t offer anything new to the genre and sadly for achievement whores, requires a lot of input to unlock everything.

Visually, The 40th Day is much better than the original game. Character models look detailed and the game runs fairly smoothly. On the other hand, the explosions that rock Shanghai at the beginning of the game are disappointing to look at, but the physics engine is impressive. Voice-acting is brilliant as is the script which is full of one-liners and great dialogue.

The Verdict

Army of Two: The 40th Day is a much better game than the original, but it does seem to suffer from the same problems as its predecessor. This is a game that can more or less, only be played with someone else if you want to get the most out of it. The campaign is better and multiplayer is fun, but I’d only recommend this to those who enjoyed the original or prefer co-op style games.