Army of Two: The 40th Day


Key events

More Army of Two incoming

EA job listing outs possible sequel.

Another entry in EA's third person Army of Two co-op shooter series is in the works, according to a new set of job listings.

Army of Two, BFBC2 for Games on Demand

Plus, December XBLA line-up detailed.

Co-operative EA shooter Army of Two: The 40th Day and acclaimed EA FPS Battlefield: Bad Company 2 take top billing on Xbox Live this month, with both titles heading to the Games on Demand service.

Army of Two: The 40th Day - Chapters of Deceit

One of the pleasures of reviewing downloadable content is that the game itself is a known quantity. With no need to spend time on important, but not particularly interesting, nuts-and-bolts elements such as graphics and control, we're free to consider the game as an experience and as a narrative.

Sadly, for Army of Two, that doesn't work in the game's best interests. Two new campaign missions await in this rather pricey bonus chunk, but since few players will be hungry for more of the game's underfed story, it can only fall back on gameplay mechanics that were only adequate first time around.

Unlike the original game, which offered a cut-and-dried alternate ending for your download pleasure, these levels occupy a strange and confusing place in the story, with characters killed at the end of the game now brought back to life, and objectives once completed still to be tackled. They're classed as Chapters 8 and 9, and take up residence at the end of the level select menu, yet seem to take place somewhere between the hospital stage (Chapter 4) and the shopping mall (Chapter 5).

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Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 24

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 24

Dante shows everyone how it's done. Plus: Army of Two, Avatar, Darksiders, Dark Void, Saboteur.

The arrival of 2010 brings us into year three of Eurogamer's cross-platform development coverage, and with it the arrival of a brand new release that defies analysis. It's full 720p. It's a rock-solid 60 frames per second. It's literally the same game on both platforms. A great way to kick off the New Year.

Joining this new title are five other releases subjected to the rigorous Digital Foundry analysis. As per the norm, this feature is accompanied by an enormous mountain of bonus assets for you to check out for yourself.

Shots derived from lossless 24-bit dumps of the HDMI ports of the Xbox 360 and PS3, high-quality h264 videos, and of course our exclusive support for 1080p screengrabs (where the game offers it on PS3). In truth, I was close to binning this particular layer of support within the Face-Offs, but the fact that five of the six titles covered this month feature 1080p upscaling suggests the format might well be getting a second wind, so the coverage continues for now.

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UK charts: Just Dance defeats MW2

Ubisoft's Wii game comes from behind.

An unlikely champion has been found in Ubisoft's Wii game Just Dance, which has ended Modern Warfare 2's nine-week honeymoon atop the UK all-formats chart.

Army of Two: The 40th Day

From the duck-and-cover flanking gameplay, to making co-op a pivotal part of the design, to the bullish machismo of the main characters, the original Army of Two was a clear attempt to create an all-formats rival to Gears of War. That it only partially succeeded is probably down to the problems of trying to create something distinctive within the confines of a rigid genre formula, but there was certainly a promising shooter lukring beneath the slightly wonky control map, occasionally flaky AI and endless whooping fist-bumps.

It's to EA Montreal's credit then that despite a predictably quick turnaround time a great many of those grievances have been comprehensively addressed for the sequel. There's a welcome cosmetic overhaul, which makes the rather bland HUD elements more appealing and intuitive, and a general spit and polish to the graphics that results in more detailed and believable environments. The GPS overlay is more informative, weapon purchases and upgrades can be made at any time provided you're not in active combat, and there are lots of other small interface tweaks.

Anyone who played the original for any length of time will also appreciate the much simpler control scheme, which not only strips away the needlessly cluttered button layout of old, but allows you to do more with less effort. It's a bit silly that we had to wait for a sequel before a sprint function was added, but the ability to dash into the open, seamlessly vault over obstacles and roll or slide into cover with just one button compensates nicely. Aiming is also tighter and more fluid, transforming most confrontations into fast-paced action set-pieces rather than tiresome whack-a-mole wars of attrition.

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Army of Two was the videogame equivalent of cow-tipping: it worked better as a co-operative experience, it appealed almost exclusively to the most obnoxious parts of your personality, and when the dust settled you could bump fists, do a little air guitar and then get on with your life safe in the knowledge you'd been engaged in something you weren't entirely proud of.

Army of Two: The 40th Day

Shanghai fights.

EA had a choice to make with Army of Two - they could get Salem and Rios even more drunk on testosterone, inflate the swagger further and play it for laughs, or they could get them to turn up to work in downtown Shanghai wearing sensible shoes. They chose the latter, and it was probably the right decision, but despite everything, when you get to grips with the game you can't suppress a slight longing for them to go full-on Team America - charging into a controversial warzone with their ineffable bonhomie, clown masks, several nukes and a couple of catchy musical numbers.

EA will look into an SSX revival

Outcome depends on you, apparently.

EA Montreal trouser-wearer Alain Tascan has admitted there is a lot of love for the SSX snowboarding series at the studio, and said that a revival may be on the cards - particularly if the market (that's you) demands it.

Split/Second coming to the Expo

Mass Effect 2 and Army of Two 2 too.

Just imagine. Imagine a world where for just Ł6 you could attend a fabulous gaming show packed full of incredible games, organised by your favourite website and attended by all of your lovely friends. Wouldn't that be beautiful?

Last year, two cash-guzzling military types made a grand, shared-parachute entrance to the gaming world. Upon landing they did some high-fives, played air guitar on their AK-47s for a little while and bashed their skull masks together for no ostensible reason, before finally turning to those gathered to await their judgement. There was an audible intake of collective breath.