We all love bagging an established title at a bargain price. However, getting huge savings on a game that's only been out for a fortnight is another thing entirely! Simplygames.com are are offering the PS3 version of Army of Two: The 40th Day for 29.89; well over a tenner less than most high street retailers, and £4 cheaper than the nearest online competitor (Coolshop - £33.89). Unfortunately, Xbox 360 owners will need to shell out an extra fiver for the privilege.
Army of Two: TFD sets out to emulate the peerless cooperative gameplay pioneered by its predecessor, but also to atone for the sins of its father. The gameplay mechanics, graphics and artificial intelligence have been completely overhauled since the original. Aiming is tighter, the cover system is intuitive and the AI is capable of outsmarting overconfident players. Most importantly, the improved level design has a new focus on providing loads of opportunities for flanking, sniping and co-op manoeuvres (which make tactics and teamwork a lot more important than the size of your diamond encrusted shotgun). The addition of scopes and bayonets to the comprehensive weapon editor further expands your tactical options.
Trust me: you'll want to make sure you've got a good friend to watch your back. The campaign has been designed from the ground up for two player co-op and provides a whole mess of unique 'I can't believe you just did that!' moments. New manoeuvres such as hostage taking (which forces enemy squads to surrender), mock surrendering and an enhanced appreciation system make for one of the finest dedicated cooperative experiences available on the console that's always best shared with a mate. Plus, you won't want to celebrate a successful gunfight by slapping the virtual ass of an AI character, will you. Will you?
Salem and Rios are still the jovial, fist-pounding, chest-bumping, butt-slapping power couple we've grown to love, but the tone is a lot darker this time around. Frequent moral choices force you to actually witness the long term consequences of your actions in graphic detail- and the 'good' choices rarely pan out the way you'd expect (often causing my co-op partner and I to fall out more than once!).
Don't get me wrong; there are a couple of issues that get in the way of the fun every once in a while. TFD has a nasty habit of checkpointing you right before lengthy unskippable cutscenes that you'll end up watching over and over and over again. It's also a little unstable, though the PS3 version is a lot more reliable than its Microsoft counterpart. Oh, and the EA multiplayer servers are up to their old laggy, buggy tricks again. Don't expect a consistently stable online multiplayer experience any time soon!
Ultimately, Army of Two: The 40th Day is a capable, polished shooter that improves on its predecessor in almost every respect. Sure, it's short; but multiple endings, binary morality choices and a whole mess of collectibles will ensure that you play it through more than once. Frankly, if you've got a spare thirty quid (and a friend) then you could do a lot worse than hitting the link and saving yourself a bundle!