EA has announced a new Army Of Two sequel, and if the press release is anything to go by the publisher is intensely excited about it. Dubbed Army Of Two The Devil’s Cartel, the upcoming title is described as “gritty,” a “fan favorite” and the latest entry in “the definitive co-op franchise.” Sounds great, right? Let’s hear about the game’s plot:
Developed by Visceral Games, the award-winning creators of Dead Space, Army of Two The Devil’s Cartel re-sets the series that pioneered the co-op experience with a more intense, mature and grittier tone. Players will find themselves on the deadly streets of Mexico as Alpha and Bravo, two operatives working for Tactical Worldwide Operations (T.W.O.), a PMC outfit that drops them in the middle of a drug war conflict for an assignment full of corruption and deceit. With the ability to unleash the power of ultimate destruction, players will need to work together as their objectives unravel, allegiances begin to blur and they face off against a ruthless opposition.
So, essentially it’s quite similar to past Army Of Two games, only with a ripped-from-the-headlines plot that inherently adds an extra dollop of grittiness to a series centered on two hyper-masculine dudes killing ambiguously ethnic bad guys while finding time to express jovial hints of the macho affection they share for one another. We’re pretty okay with that — especially if the game is peppered with hilariously out of place references to the Wu-Tang Clan — but remain somewhat wary of the justification EA and Visceral Games use to explain why The Devil’s Cartel is such a necessary addition to the Army Of Two franchise.
“We wanted to refresh the Army of Two franchise for a new generation of action gamers, and at the same time, stay true to the core concept that really made the first two games fan favorites,” said Visceral Games’ executive producer Julian Beak. “With meaningful, seamless co-op gameplay at its core and explosive new tag-team features, gamers will have to work together tactically and strategically as they push through a city dominated by one of Mexico’s deadliest drug cartels.”
That reads like typical PR hyperbole, and while we’re necessarily comfortable with such pabulum, we wish EA would have simply said that it sees the Army Of Two series as another cash cow waiting patiently to be milked of its potential profitability. That is what the company is going for here, despite its claims that the new Mexican setting and anything-but-novel co-operative gameplay gives The Devil’s Cartel some kind of special status among other shooters. “It’s a game that lets you shoot jerks in the face alongside your best pals,” would make a perfectly suitable tag line for this title, and honestly that sentence makes us far more psyched for this thing than any of the words in EA’s official PR blast.
Bizarrely specific gripes aside, Army Of Two The Devil’s Cartel is scheduled for release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms in March of 2013. Expect it to bear the now-standard $60 price tag, and with the game’s expanded focus on character customization, it’s quite likely that The Devil’s Cartel will see a sizable amount of post-launch DLC offerings. So, again, pretty standard stuff for the Army Of Two franchise.