Last week EA surprised us ever so slightly with the reveal of Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel. For the past few months we had known that a new AoT game was likely a thing due to a series of rumors and hints, but the lack of Salem & Rios in the leading roles and the March 2013 release date were otherwise unexpected. Despite holding their yearly Summer press event, EA decided to keep details on Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel to a minimum but thankfully a few details has arisen thanks to Game Informer.
As always Game Informer has the scoop on never before seen games as their latest issue delves deep into The Devil’s Cartel. Besides stating the basics such as how the team at Visceral Games Montreal is aware of the mixed history the series has received so far there are some rather intriguing tidbits and some downright depressing ones.
Perhaps the biggest element about The Devil’s Cartel, at least to the fans of the series, is that Salem & Rios aren’t the main characters in the game. After going on countless merc ops over the years it appears that both Salem & Rios have decided to embrace their roles as the owners of T.W.O. (Tactical Worldwide Operations) as both will play a part in the narrative of The Devil’s Cartel but won’t be on the battlefield. The involvement of Salem & Rios in the cartel focused narrative of the game wasn’t explained but quite a few tidbits were revealed about Alpha & Bravo – the new protagonists of The Devil’s Cartel.
If you were hoping for a lot of expanded character for Alpha & Bravo then you may be out of luck. Visceral Games Montreal hasn’t totally thrown character development out the window, but as per Game Informer revealed both characters will never be called their real names – thus they’ll have the rather dull monikers of Alpha & Bravo from start to finish. The poor name decision isn’t a hint at both characters having a mysterious and untold past as both will have a rather straightforward backstory laid out. A so-called born leader, Alpha is a battlefield vet that was recruited by Rios to join T.W.O. Alpha’s battlefield expertise is a somewhat stark contrast the slightly younger Bravo who only served one tour before dropping out to become a hired gun.
I’m sure there’ll be some sort of vet vs. hot head angle in The Devil’s Cartel, but one thing that won’t be happening is neither character will dish out high-five upon killing twenty-five guys. In an attempt to go along with the “grittier” story neither Alpha nor Bravo will high-five each other and things in general will be kept to a realistic yet slightly action-packed attitude. The grand tale of The Devil’s Cartel obviously follows the drug cartel battles that are happening in Mexico right now so gamers can expect to see things like massive gang battles, entire families being slaughtered as a “message”, and bodies hanging in the streets to serve as a warning to others.
It’s obviously too early at this stage to know whether or not Visceral Montreal are indeed giving us a mature game that has substance to it, but the team has already gone on record to say that Alpha & Bravo won’t be able to fix the entire situation in a perfect Hollywood movie sort of way. So with that known and the element that players will have to make tough morale decisions, it seems like The Devil’s Cartel won’t be a completely juvenile action experience.
Visceral Games Montreal isn’t redesigning the entire gameplay foundations of AoT, but they do seem to be fine-tuning quite a bit. Obvious improvements are being made such as making the A.I. partner more aware during battle so as to be more impactful when they’re not on the defensive side of things. In addition to that little nugget of info, the cover system has been tweaked so gamers actually need to press a button to end cover and can also break out of cover animations if they desire.
No mentions have been made of major game enhancements so the combat aiming and enemy reactions could be similar to what we saw in AoT: The 40th Day. However, one big change that has happened in The Devil’s Cartel is that the Aggrometer has been ditched in favor of a new feature called Overkill. Now this is where things start to sound a bit generic as Overkill will allow gamers to slow down time in which players deal more damage. Of course when Overkill mode is triggered the game has a different atmosphere as the audio is different and the game is given a sepia tone filter. Haven’t we seen that before in other action games?
Pessimism aside concerning the implementation of Overkill, the mode does encourage tactical team play so it’s nice to see that The Devil’s Cartel hasn’t become some kind of arcade shooter. It does seem like Overkill will play a big part in the game as Overkill points can be used to upgrade weapons to improve things like the recoil on weapons. The concept of Overkill may sound a bit mixed right now but I’m sure we’ll get a better look at it once Gamescom kicks off next week.
That’s the bulk of the key info that Game Informer was privy to but there’s still a lot we don’t know about Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel. Things such as how big the set-piece moments will be still remain a question as to whether Visceral Games will truly take advantage of the Frostbite 2 engine to allow tons of destructibility. We even don’t know who’s voicing Alpha & Bravo so despite their somewhat cliché character basis some life may be injected via their voice-actors – just like it was for Salem & Rios. I’m sure some of our questions will be answered next week once EA kicks off the debut demo for Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel during their Gamescom presentation.