You remember the original Army of Two, right? We won’t really hold it against you if you don’t, as the game wasn’t terribly memorable, despite its entertaining focus on two-player co-operative gameplay. Beyond that however it was mostly a rote modern shooter, with obvious cues taken from Activision’s Call of Duty franchise as well as EA’s Medal of Honor and Battlefield series’. Honestly we probably wouldn’t have much recollection of the game either, except that it includes one hilarious, memorable moment in which protagonists Rios and Salem have a short chat about the virtues of seminal hip hop collective the Wu-Tang Clan shortly after gunning down a few hundred Chinese soldiers. Those who played through this moment will recall how unexpected it was, and yet this instance was apparently setting a trend for the Army of Two franchise.
When Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel hits retail shelves on March 26, 2013, it too will feature unexpected nods to the world of hip hop, though unlike its predecessor The Devil’s Cartel wears its affection on its sleeve. In an announcement made this morning, EA revealed that not only would rappers B.o.B. and Outkast’s Big Boi create a theme song for the game, the two artists would also appear in Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel as non-player characters. “The duo will be appearing in the game as characters Charles “Chuy” Randall (Big Boi) and Anthony “Baker” Barnes (B.o.B) as T.W.O. operatives working alongside Salem and Rios to take down the Mexican drug cartels,” MTV reports, before stating that their new song (the preciously titled “Double Or Nothing”) will debut shortly after the beginning of next year as part of the game’s impending PR blitz.
That news is neat enough on its own, but in an effort to further appeal to the apparently large crossover demographic of Army of Two fans who are also into hip hop developer Visceral Games is also allowing giving select players a chance to play as B.o.B and Big Boi. Specifically, those who preorder Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel will receive access to a downloadable addition to the game dubbed the “Hit Maker’s Kit” which includes “a one-of-a-kind T.W.O.Contract mission that will allow them to play as Big Boi and B.o.B’s characters, as well as custom masks and weapon skins designed by the artists themselves.”
While this news isn’t quite as awesome as word of a new Outkast album might be, the group’s ongoing, seemingly-endless hiatus marks this as yet another instance in which fans will have to simply satisfy themselves with efforts from one half of the best hip hop group to emerge toward in the last two decades. Fortunately however, Big Boi’s solo work to date has been excellent, so if nothing else this should indicate that Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel will have a solid theme song. Hopefully the rest of the game can live up to this high quality standard.