Armed and Dangerous

May 11, 2004

[floatleft][/floatleft]Armed and Dangerous is the story of 4 unlikely thieves that attempt to pull of the biggest heist of all time. They plan on stealing the fabled Book of Rule in the midst of a grueling war. Roman, the character you play as, has formed this band of thieves called the Lionhearts. The Lionhearts are made up of Roman, the criminal mastermind, Jonesy, a Scottish mole miner with a knack for demolitions, Q1-11, a former killer robot in King Forge’s army turned aware by his love for tea, and Rexus, Roman’s foster father as well as doctor, sorcerer, seer, and sage. You have to command this band of misfits through grunts, goliaths, monks, giant war machines and a dastardly army of psycho robots.

As you play through the game, you will feel more like you are watching the newest Monty Python movie than actually playing a video game. The cut scenes have an over the top humor and carry the plot along nicely. My favorite scene is the French Solider scene.

Armed and Dangerous is billed as a 3rd person action game, but it’s really a 3rd person shooter and possibly even a squad based shooter since you can issue commands to the other members of the Lionhearts. It took me a few minutes to get used to the controls and I had to play the first level a few times before I could shoot anyone without having to stand still and carefully aim. Once I got used to it, it was bullet blazing mayhem. They say “Victory is yours in 12,000 bullets or less”, but since A&D thrives off the chaos of battle, I am not so sure I would use less than 12,000 bullets in this game.

[floatright][/floatright]The variety of weapons and bombs really add a sense of variety to your destructive missions. The word variety was really redefined in this game when it comes to the weapons. I don’t mean you have your standard fare military grade weapons either. You have wonderful guns like the Topsy Turvy Gun which turns the world upside down causing your enemies to fall into space and then fall to the ground with a nice thud. Another favorite is the Shark Gun which shoots out a baby shark who then grows to full size and gobbles up your enemies whole. You can’t forget the World’s Smallest Black Whole which you throw on the ground and watch your enemies get sucked into. There are also available power ups that you can pick up throughout the levels that make these outlandish weapons even more out of this world.

You will battle your way through 5 levels that are each packed with 4-5 missions. The levels don’t always follow a strictly linear path either. In some levels there are alternate paths to achieve the goal for that mission which creates a less lineal and structured feel. I think having less structured plots makes gameplay a lot more enjoyable.

Armed and Dangerous does sport a full Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack so those of you with well equipped sound systems will enjoy every last bullet and explosion as you bring down the house.

[floatleft][/floatleft]Unfortunately Armed and Dangerous doesn’t support any High Def resolutions like 720p, but since most people are still lacking HDTVs, I don’t think HD resolutions are a deal breaker just yet.

Armed and Dangerous is also Live enabled and has just recently had its first bonus mission released for download. The ability to get new missions from Xbox Live adds immense replay value to an already fun game.

Armed and Dangerous is a great 3rd person shooter that keeps the action hot and the humor on full tilt. Anyone looking to find a Brute Force style shooter (with improved gameplay) crossed with Monty Python and the Heist of the Book of Rule (yes I made that up) then A&D will surely be for you. Excellent work by Planet Moon and Lucasarts for delivering a solid title and at only $29.99 this title is a real steal.

Score: 5/5

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