The original Army of Two truly made for a fun co-op experience, and the sequel improves upon that in many ways. While it is incredibly similar to the first game, it does enough to differentiate itself from the original while keeping the things that did work the same.
On a technical level, the game is pretty impressive. The environments are incredibly varied and the amount of destruction is shown off amazingly. This is one thing that stands out about this game over the original; each level feels less generic and full of unique things that help them stand out. The destruction feels overdone at times, but it is a nice touch in certain levels.
The game’s story is pretty basic, although it takes itself a bit more seriously than it did in the first game. Shanghai is nearly in ruins, and both main characters (Rios and Salem) are trying to get out of the city alive after a job goes bad. Along the way, there are morality choices that can be made that impact the game’s story and inevitably the ending. With three possible endings, these choices definitely make the story seem less tacked on and more involved this time around.
Gameplay is pretty much exactly the same as in the first game, with a few added things that improve the game a bit. The gunplay is excellent and truly satisfying, and it never seems to get old. The controls themselves are solid as well, giving the player enough options without feeling convoluted. One small problem with the controls is the A button, which is used to do too many things. You could try to revive your partner, but end up jumping over cover and getting shot down my enemies. It leads to many frustrating moments.
Like the first, co-op is huge in this game, being the main selling point and all. You can play through the entire game by yourself with an A.I. partner, or in co-op. The A.I. is actually really good at handling itself and does fairly well in combat, but the main draw is the co-op. Playing through this game with another person makes it a completely different experience, and although it still is a lot of fun solo, the co-op makes it a lot more enjoyable (and quite addictive).
There are many moments in which teamwork is important. To tie in with the morality system, there are moments when you can (or have your partner) take a bad guy hostage from behind which signals the other guys in the room to put their guns down. From there, you can either execute them or tie them down, which works in with the morality system. And if there are hostages involved, you could try and save them to boost your morality. All of this plays into the game’s story, as mentioned above.
And then there is the multiplayer, which is pretty generic. You get a handful of modes, most of which never stand out or leave any kind of impression. The one mode that does stand out is Extraction, which needs to be downloaded separately and is only available to those who have pre-ordered the game for the first month. This mode plays like Horde mode in Gears of War 2, or Firefight in Halo 3: ODST. You need to try and survive as long as possible facing off against wave after wave of increasingly difficult enemies. It can be very fun with the right people and will test your skills at the game immensely.
One downer is the game is incredibly short, like the first, but it does have a lot of replayability. Those who want to get all of the endings have plenty to do in multiple playthroughs, and once again, the co-op makes the experience almost feel entirely different.
Overall, Army of Two: The 40th Day is a truly enjoyable action game that, while not original in any way, is still a ton of mindless fun. And sometimes, all you need is a friend and a mindless action game to waste the day away.
Pros: Incredibly satisfying gunplay; solid controls; addictive co-op; plenty of replay value; fantastic level design and set piece sequences; Extraction mode is a blast
Cons: Aside from Extraction, the multiplayer is generic; can be finished in 5-6 hours; having the A button do almost everything is annoying