Army of Two: The 40th Day

Common Sense Media says

Bloody shooter provides plethora of moral choices.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game clearly glorifies military combat and makes it seem possible that two well trained men can take on hundreds of enemies and live to talk about it. However, it also makes the player think about what he or she is doing by providing several moral choices that will change the flow of narrative. What's more, one of the loading screen messages asks players the provocative question: “Who are you when there are no consequences?”

Positive role models

Players are told their protagonists -- a pair of ex-Rangers who have created their own private military company -- are generally good guys, but they clearly take pleasure in killing their enemies, smiling and joking along the way. They also have to make some fairly major moral decisions that will determine whether innocents will live or die and have the option of killing or tying up certain enemies. Consequently, how “good” our heroes are is in large part up to the player.

Ease of play

Fairly simple third-person shooter mechanics make getting into the swing of things pretty easy, and three levels of difficulty facilitate players of all skill levels. That said, the game slowly increases in challenge, culminating in a final chapter that will likely require multiple attempts, even for shooter veterans.

Violence

Bloody firefights are relentless. Players use a wide range of weapons, including rifles, pistols, shotguns, and grenade launchers to kill more than 1,000 enemies over the course of the campaign. Victims typically gush blood when struck with bullets. Head shots will often result in enemies’ skulls exploding, leaving naught but stumps. Players can also stab enemies with a bayonet and occasionally engage in hand-to-hand combat.

Sex

One scene features a man looking greedily at a captive woman. Many players will believe that she is at risk of being raped. Also, there is a short, humorous discussion about bestiality.

Language

Spoken profanity includes damn, hell, “s--t,” “f--k,” and more. The cuss words aren’t heard constantly, but players will encounter them in each chapter.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are discussions between the protagonists and other characters about drinking beer at the end of their ordeal.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Army of Two: The 40th Day is an extremely violent third-person shooter. It is filled with excessive blood and gore. Characters spurt blood and their heads often explode when struck by weapon fire. What’s more, an array of profanity is peppered throughout each chapter. The player’s characters -- Rangers turned private military contractors -- are presented as rough but essentially good men. They face difficult moral quandaries throughout the game that are left up to the player to resolve. Consequently, just how “good” they end up being and their reputation among civilians is in large part up to the player.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

The follow-up to Electronic Arts' extremely violent co-operative shooter about a pair of military men-turned-mercenaries, ARMY OF TWO: THE 40th DAY is set in a Shanghai that has come under massive terrorist assault. Our two heroes are caught in the middle and spend most of the game simply trying to survive and find a way out of the chaos. They climb up and down skyscrapers that are hit by airplanes and fall to the ground -- sometimes with them still inside -- and through streets crowded with the rubble of toppled buildings. They kill hundreds of terrorists along the way and are presented with several moral choices that allow players to determine whether to, say, save civilians or let them be shot. Like its predecessor, the game is designed from the ground up to be a co-operative experience (though you can play alone with a computer-controlled team mate), and allows players to join others either in local split-screen or online modes.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The original Army of Two was a commercial success but received lukewarm reviews from the press, who criticized the game’s artificial intelligence and middling co-operative mechanics. It seems Electronic Arts has taken these criticisms to heart, because the sequel is a fun, witty, Hollywood-style action adventure that outdoes its predecessor in almost every way. The co-op play in particular is terrific. Players must work together to provide covering fire and achieve flanking positions, and the creative level design -- one scene actually has players running across the face of a building that has toppled into another -- often lets each player forge his or her own path.

To top it all off it has an excellent blend of humor (the subjects of jokes between our two leading men range from Bruce Willis to bestiality) as well as some more sober narrative sequences in which the player must make hard moral decisions. Do you enlist the aid of a nearby boy to get a much needed sniper rifle lying nearby? Do you execute the man who led you safely through chaotic streets just because you were ordered? You might be surprised at how much this action game makes you think.

Online interaction: Players can play co-operatively or against each other online. Open voice chat is supported, which raises the potential for players to share personal information. It also means that players may be exposed to inappropriate language, ideas, and verbal abuse. Common Sense Media does not recommend online play for pre-teens.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the idea of private military contractors (PMC). PMCs are currently employed by various governments, including our own, throughout the world. Are they a preferable alternative to using army forces? Do you think that they are somehow more or less capable? Can you think of any moral or ethical issues that could arise from their use?

  • Families can also discuss the idea of presenting a player with moral choices in a game. Do you think choosing whether or not to, say, let digital civilians die in a game says something about the player? Or is it just a game with no meaning? How would you choose?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:January 12, 2009
Genre:Third-person shooter
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Army of Two: The 40th Day was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byladywing22 September 19, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Good for older kids, but not for tweens

My husband and I have played this game multiple times. It really is a fun game. Would I let a 7 year old play it? Absolutely not. But if my son were 15 or 16 I'd have no problem letting him get it as long as I was positive that he knew this isn't how you act in real life and that it is simply a game, made for enjoyment and entertainment. Nothing more.
Parent Written byPlague February 25, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Army of Two: The 40th Day

Very easy to play. The first Army of Two was much better, but this is just as good.
What other families should know
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old March 9, 2015
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Fun

Fun co-op and you are able to make it not a very violent game from moral choices and taking hostages

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools