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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While elements of Army of Two focus on teamwork and strategy, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.
This game uses a glamorous depiction of gun violence to make it appealing. However, it also touches (lightly) on the ethics involved in private military contractor work and promotes co-operative, team-based play.
Positive Role Models
The game's protagonists love being soldiers for hire and frequently compliment each other on their kills and other acts of violence. Suffice to say they don't make great behavioral guides.
Ease of Play
It's a straightforward third-person shooter with a thorough tutorial mission. It should prove pretty easy for experienced players working as teams. Even playing alone with a computer-controlled partner isn't too hard, since he can be counted on to come and patch you up should you go down. Multiple difficulty levels allow players to tailor the level of challenge to their liking.
Violence & Scariness
Players spend all of their time engaged in bloody, frenetic gun battles. Handguns, rifles, machine guns, and grenades are used to dispatch hundreds of enemies, with bright red bursts of blood exploding from their bodies. Heads occasionally disintegrate from headshots, and the camera swings around to highlight close-range kills that depict a knife being jabbed into an enemy's neck or torso. There is occasional torture.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A female soldier in the game is shown wearing a low-cut top and tight pants while her male counterparts are dressed head to toe in body armor.
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The words "f--k," "s--t," and other four-letter curses appear regularly in dialogue.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The story involves a drug-dealing cartel, so expect references to narcotics. One level actually shows some marijuana plants and cocaine in the background.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel is a third-person shooter, with stylized violence carried out by two-player teams. The bulk of the game is gunplay, with players tasked to shoot down hundreds upon hundreds of Mexican drug cartel enforcers in bloody and gory combat. Players will also see vicious, cinematic knife kills and a small amount of torture. Part of the narrative is devoted to the ethics of mercenary armies and the bonds of the men and women who join them; but it's mostly just testosterone-fueled guys getting a thrill from visceral combat.
Is It Any Good?
Army of Two has never been overly innovative, nor has it offered deep ideas for players to chew on, but this third entry is particularly uninspired and shallow. With the exception of a new "overkill" meter that allows players to become extremely powerful and more or less invincible, combat feels much the same as the previous game -- save that the series' memorable, cinematic back-to-back team sequences are sadly absent. A finicky cover system and some frustrating glitches -- we encountered an especially egregious one that literally erased our final boss battle victory -- don't help much.
The new heroes, meanwhile, are bland soldier-of-fortune stereotypes -- men with no real back story and whose only interest seems to be bloody combat. The story occasionally touches on meatier issues, such as the morality of mercenaries and the camaraderie of soldiers, but never to any real satisfaction. It might make for an okay time-killer played with a pal in the same room over a weekend, but don't expect much more.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.