I have been a little on the slow side when it comes to giving my thoughts on the various games I’ve played over the last couple of months, so I’m taking the shortcut with a quick round up of the last three titles that I tackled on my trusty old XBOX 360.

Army of Two: The 40th Day (2010)

Army of Two: The 40th Day is a third-person shooter video game developed by EA Montreal as the successor to the original Army of Two release. As with the last game, the focus is on two-player cooperative play and employs a pretty well thought out cover and distraction system. It features Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem as the two protagonists (who also fronted the original game), combatant partners who, with the assistance of their handler Alice Murray, must fight to survive and prevail over invading forces that have engulfed Shanghai, China in a devastating terrorist attack.

I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed this game. First off though, if you’re playing it with an AI partner then you’re missing the whole point. Army of Two is made to play with a friend over XBOX Live and with Ryan in tow, the two of us blasted our way through a very satisfying and action-packed campaign that had a great deal of depth in terms of gameplay elements, the correct difficulty level, an intriguing story and just delivering on plain old explosive fun.

There are a variety of very customizable guns to select from, a lot of varied mission objectives, pretty decent if bloody graphics, an excellent musical score, and the addition of some silly ‘bro actions like high-fives, rock paper scissors, not to mention a lot of wisecracks and one-liners, makes for quite the addictive gameplay as you battle through horde after horde of enemy soldiers.

A very satisfying and enjoyable third person shooter to play, especially if you have a willing buddy to join you online!

army of two the 40th day screenshot

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_of_Two:_The_40th_Day

The Lord of the Rings: War in the North (2011)

Another game that I picked up purely for the cooperative play, Lord of the Rings: War in the North is your run of the mill action RPG that sees you control one of three characters in a group tasked with taking out a dangerous enemy that is slowly conquering the North in Sauron’s name. The story cleverly intertwines with the original Lord of the Rings story and your paths will often cross with the more well known characters as you go on your quest business.

Each character is of a different class, Eradan being a human Ranger with stealth abilities, Farin a dwarf Champion with excellent melee abilities, and Andriel a Elven Loremaster who makes use of magic for her combat abilities. As you progress through the game and defeat enemies and complete sidequests you receive XP and ability points which you can then use to uprade your characteristics as well as build up a skill selection via the abilities tree.

The varied enemies that you face and the gorgeous landscapes makes for a very enjoyable journey and the game itself delivers a compelling storyline and some memorable battle sequences.

The cooperative aspect makes the gameplay particularly enjoyable and combining all of this with some great visuals and a really fantastic musical score does make for a very worthwhile game to pick up if you are a fan of action RPG – and even more so if you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings fantasy realm!

I certainly enjoyed it and can easily recommend it.

lord of the rings war in the north screenshot

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings:_War_in_the_North

Just Cause 2 (2010)

I was a huge fan of the original Just Cause sandbox action game that hit the PlayStation 2 a couple of years ago and needless to say I was quite excited when I finally got around to picking up Just Cause 2. The story boils down to special operative Rico (who you play as) entering the tiny nation of Panay in order to track down a fugitive agent as well as cause some much needed chaos in order to shake up Panay’s new dictator regime which seems intent on breaking all ties with the United States.

Armed with your parachute, grappling hook and a variety of upgradeable weapons, you are let loose on a huge island nation that features just about every landscape imaginable, from barren deserts and snowy mountain tops, to big cities and tropical forest villages. As in the first game your primary trick is your grapple gun, which you can use to launch yourself into the air, jump from vehicle to vehicle, catch faraway enemies and pull them down, and scale insanely high structures. The acrobatic aspect of the gameplay is its biggest strongpoint, as you skydive out of helicopters, hook onto a plane and then drop off on top of a speedboad kind of thing. It’s an absolute adrenaline rush in other words.

There are hundreds of locations to discover and attempt to complete by finding collectable upgrades, assassinate arm colonels and destroy military property. Each time you cause a ruckus you alert the authorities and as you cause more and more chaos, the response gets heavier and heavier. The range of vehicles to hijack and make use of is astounding, and includes a full range of two wheelers, four wheelers, boats and aerial craft!

The story missions are particularly entertaining and combined with an engaging storyline there is very little not to enjoy about Just Cause 2. The voice acting is strong, the musical score sublime and the graphics particularly good, especially the gorgeous landscapes, weather effects and time of day sequences you’ll experience during the course of the game.

Brilliant location designs, a massive world to discover and almost guaranteed non-stop action makes for a really enjoyable sandbox title that will keep you occupied for hours and most certainly entertain you.

Highly recommended!

just cause 2 rico in a helicopter screen shot

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_cause_2