Gears of War is one of the most successful third-person shooters franchise on the market because it offers one of the best action experiences. Although Gears of War provides a great experience that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t see any Gears of War clones on the market. Speaking of Gears of War clones one game has caught my attention and that is Army of Two: The 40th Day because it reminds me of Gears of War. Although Army of Two: The 40th Day isn’t great as Gears of War it was still offered an interesting gaming experience on PlayStation 3 and on Xbox 360. PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions didn’t achieve huge success but now we have PSP version. Will the PSP version of Army of Two: The 40th Day achieve better success than other versions remains to be seen.
Army of Two: The 40th Day didn’t achieve huge success on the gaming consoles such as PS3 and Xbox 360, and the same goes for the PSP version as well. It could be better if the game was just ported from PlayStation 3 to the PSP with same gameplay mechanics but instead, developers have changed the entire concept so you won’t be able to recognize this game. Instead of third-person action shooter, we got a shooter that is using a top-down camera that really reminds me of arcade games from the 90’s. Is this Army of Two: The 40th Day that we knew? No, it looks like something very different but luckily this version follows an exact story like PS3 and Xbox 360 version. This means that you’ll play as the two original protagonists from Army of Two: Rios and Salem. The story takes place few years after the end of original game and Rios and Salem are now running their own private military organization known as TWO (Trans World Operations) with the help of the Alice Murray. Story starts in Shanghai with Salem and Rios on a mission that goes wrong. As soon as they manage to complete their mission, city is attacked and their goal is to survive and find out who’s behind the attack. Due to the hardware limitations of PSP you won’t see havoc all over the place like on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 version so you won’t get that look and feel and adrenalin rush that you need.
Besides the lack of adrenalin rushes this game is also using a locked top-down perspective that makes it really hard to view your environment and your enemies. It might take you some time to adjust to it, but that’s not all. Besides a weird camera, this game is using weird controls as well. For example in Army of Two: The 40th Day you use left analogue nub to move your character and face buttons to aim your fire. This is confusing and it knows to be quite ineffective if you’re trying to hit a certain enemy at a different angle. In addition, there’s auto-aim feature but it does a poor job since in order to be effective you have to be really close to your enemy. The only way to survive and make progress in this game is to work together with your partner but that’s a lot harder than it sounds. You can give orders to your partner so he can follow you or wait, but he doesn’t even do that right. Your companion will often get stuck so you’ll really feel like you’re on your own on the battlefield. You can change the role of your partner between aggressive and defensive but that doesn’t help either. Your partner will stand in front of the enemy while taking hits or he will hide behind cover and shoot you in the back while he is trying to hit the opponents. Although AI is bad in this game, cutscenes and voice acting are great while graphics look average with mild cartoonish style.
Bottom line, Army of Two: The 40th Day isn’t a great game. The game has many flaws such as confusing controls and horrible AI of your partner. Although playing single player campaign on your own can be frustrating experience you will be able to somewhat enjoy this game in co-op campaign via Ad-hoc.