Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Game Poster Image
Dissatisfying shooter with strong violence, profanity.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

While elements of Army of Two focus on teamwork and strategy, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

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.

Sex

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.

Language

The words "f--k," "s--t," and other four-letter curses appear regularly in dialogue.

Consumerism
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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written byBFRO50cal June 2, 2014

this game

i think its iffy but its a really good game my son says.
Parent of a 9 year old Written byDjdjdysujd D. September 4, 2017

Why the hek is it rated mature

This game is awesome yes it has a little swearing but if your kid is over 9 he has more than likely nows not to say the words and I recommend this game
Teen, 17 years old Written byJoe Stevens May 25, 2015

too much blood and swearing

This game will drop the f-word dozens of times as well as s-words. There are extremely violent take down attacks (stabbing people in the head, slicing their ju... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bydjnathan7 May 9, 2015

violent but not as bad as other games

i think it is an average game and it is very violent but there are much worse games out there such as Gta v, last of us, gears of war etc. I got this game for f... Continue reading

What's it about?

Set in a fictional Mexican town, ARMY OF TWO: THE DEVIL'S CARTEL focuses on a security mission gone bad. Mercenary outfit TWO has been contracted to protect an honest politician from a local drug gang during an election, but things go wrong when his convoy is ambushed. A series of twists and betrayals further complicates matters, leaving the game's two heroes to make some hard decisions about whom to protect and whom to kill. As in previous Army of Two games, players work as a two-soldier team (the computer controls the second mercenary when playing alone) that uses baiting and flanking tactics while cutting through both indoor and outdoor battle zones. Performing well together results in larger cash rewards for each kill, allowing players to buy and upgrade weapons. Unlike previous Army of Two games, this is a co-op only experience. There is no competitive online mode.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. What are some of the hallmarks of violent games you think are inappropriate for younger players? Have you discussed the sorts of things you don't want your kids to see in their games?

  • Families can also discuss the ethics of war. What distinguishes men and women serving in a government army from those working for a private military security contractor as mercenaries? Is there a fundamental difference between the things these soldiers do?

Game details

For kids who love Action and superheroes

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