When Ridley Scott revisited Alien to produce a director’s cut, many fans were surprised that, rather than chuck a load of extra footage in, he actually cut a lot out. The resulting re-edit was tighter and scarier, turning a great movie into an even better one. And so it is with Army of Two. When we played it back in November, we found ourselves looking at a mostly fun game that had some serious flaws.
It seems that EA shared our opinion, announcing that the game was to be delayed a few more months to allow the team to tweak it. As with the Alien remix, these improvements mainly involved ripping unfixable content out. So the Dance Dance Revolution-style tampon stuffing minigames? Gone. Vehicular combat? Mostly gone (more on that later). Boring single-player gameplay? Definitely a thing of the past. Welcome to Army of Two - The ‘Director’s Cut’.
Despite the tinkering, the core storyline has remained the same, as Salem (Skinny, money obsessed thrill-seeker) and Rios (Burly quarterback, conspiracy theory nut), rip their way through 18-years worth of political hotspots, high-fiving their way to the plot’s incredibly obvious (and slightly abrupt) conclusion like a pair of wrestling fixated teenagers. Designed as a co-op experience from the outset, you’ll always have a partner, with the second character controlled by a friend or AI.
Much of the work done on the game since November has gone into improving the partner AI, and it’s made a huge difference to the single-player campaign. Although you still issue the same orders as before (aggressive and passive flavors of Go, Stop and Re-group) your pantomime-tough pal responds much more effectively than before, and by combining commands it’s now possible to place him anywhere you want. Now you don’t have to worry about your partner, you can finally relax into the pair’s juvenile camaraderie - to the point where you actually look forward to running up and chest-thumping your heterosexual life-partner after particularly cool shoot-outs.