Destruction comes in twos with ‘The Devil’s Cartel’

Joe Llorin, Features Editor

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Trans World Operations (T.W.O.) is back and badassier than ever in “The Devil’s Cartel,” the third installment in the “Army of Two” series, which was released on March 26.

The player assumes control over either Alpha or Bravo, two new T.W.O. recruits who lead under Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem, the main protagonists of the past two games. The T.W.O. are sent to La Puerta, Mexico to serve as bodyguards for Cordova, a politician who aims to bring down La Guadana (“scythe” in English), a local gang terrorizing the city. When the operation becomes personal, Alpha and Bravo, with the help of fellow T.W.O. operatives, take it upon themselves to restore La Puerta back to its former glory.

Unlike the majority of today’s shooters, “The Devil’s Cartel,” like its predecessors, forces players to abandon the run n’ gun play-style and rely on good old-fashioned teamwork. The game revives “Overkill mode” from the first game, which allows players a limited time in which they are invincible and overly powerful. Equipped with infinite ammo and exploding bullets, “Overkill mode” gives players the occasional stress relief that they will need after dealing with hoards of enemies.

Furthermore, although the campaign features breath-taking cinematics full of explosions and gunfire, it is overly repetitive to say the least. It seems that once you enter a room, you eliminate a hoard of enemies to enter another room and once again get rid of a seemingly never-ending amount of enemies, making the game feel like nothing but a circle. This wouldn’t be so bad if you had allies, but remember- it’s called “Army of Two” for a reason. Facing wave after wave of the Cartel, you’ll soon realize that your AI partner is anything but competent, so make sure you bring a friend for this long and aggravating ride.

Adding onto this pain is the clunky gameplay mechanics. Although the characters you play as are supposedly expert soldiers in top-tier physical condition, the speed at which they “sprint” is sorry to say the least and in combination with multiple enemies firing upon you at once, gameplay can get hectic fast.

Competitive multiplayer was also removed from the game in order to “focus on a richer co-op experience,” which can turn off any new fans of the series and any gamer in general, considering multiplayer is the blood that drives the video gaming industry these days. Only the hardcore fans of the series should be willing to shell out the full $60 for the game.

On the contrary, the game’s customization features are what drives the series. From customizing your own character’s mask to taking your average assault rifle and “pimping” it out, it’s the portrayal of one’s persona through their character that helps keep the headache that the campaign will cause at bay. There aren’t many things in life that feel better than shooting someone with a shiny pink AK-47.

Although the game decimates itself in multiple ways, “The Devil’s Cartel” serves as an overall acceptable staple in the thin packet of third-person shooters. The game’s clunky and unpolished gameplay mechanics paired with the lack of multiplayer and how fast the game can feel stale may be too much to pay for with a $60 price tag. Although the customization options are wonderful and the cinematics are appealing and exciting, even longtime fans of the series might want to consider renting this game.

Rating: 3/5