Kotaku has just confirmed the existence of the oft-rumored “Army of Four”, via a press release from EA stating that the new game will officially be called Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Who gives a shit about Army of Two?” That’s a very valid point, but please bear with me here.
The release goes on to state that this new game will be more gritty and realistic. Uh…what? Army of Two didn’t exactly have a lot to really make it stand out from the crowd of co-op shooters. The facemasks and fistbumps were about all the developers could muster the first two times around, and those don’t exactly work as unique selling points to list in bullet point fashion on the back of a box. Well, those, and the rather juvenile attitude that the protagonists took to their mercenary work. Now, granted, none of it was funny or even enough to warrant a mild smirk from the audience, but it did give the games their own voice, for whatever that was worth.
Now EA is telling us that they realize that didn’t work, and they’re going to go Batman Begins on that ass. Uh huh. While they’re at it, they’re shifting development from EA Montreal, the very people who created this franchise for them, and giving it to Visceral. I realize that Visceral wanted to put co-op gameplay into Dead Space 2, and that they’re actively working on a fully-featured co-op campaign for its sequel, but what in the flying hell? It’s absolutely true that the first two Army of Two games really weren’t anything to write home to momma about, but is this really the answer? Make the games all “why so serious” and have the Dead Space guys do it, simply because they’ve proven they can make a big hit?
Am I the only one who remembers The Simpsons Game? How about Dante’s Inferno? A goddamn videogame based on a 600 year old epic poem that came across as a Michael Bay movie? Then there’s The Godfather game, which, really, do we even need to go into that one?
If you take away all of the Dead Space stuff these guys have done, the ONLY other game they’ve made that was any good was Everything or Nothing, and even that wasn’t exactly stellar. It was just the best non-GoldenEye Bond game that anyone had made. Notable, but not award-worthy.
So my main question to EA is: Why would you do that? Not so much in respect to changing the series and giving it to a new developer. More like…why would you even bother making a third game in this franchise? Nobody wants it, nobody asked for it…You took a chance with the first two, it didn’t work out. Just cut your losses and put your efforts and resources into something better. And no, I don’t mean the revamped Medal of Honor crap.