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Army of Two

You wouldn't fancy their chances against a regular sized army - but you'd be wrong

Videogame history is densely populated with celebrated double acts. There's the Mario Bros, of course, Bub and Bob, and on a different note we have the exploits of the Max & Paddy-ish Kane & Lynch to look forward to. But never has a partnership been so crucial to gameplay as that of Rios and Salem - the titular Army Of Two.

Bearing in mind our insatiable appetite for co-op Live play on this mag, it's no wonder that everything we've uncovered on Army of Two marks it out for us as one of the tastiest titles of 2007 - not least because allegedly every bit of action in the recent Live trailer was in-game footage. Guiding the machinations of mercenaries (or 'contractors' for private military corporations) Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem as they become embroiled in "war, political turmoil and a conspiracy so vast it threatens the entire world," players will find, both in co-op and single-player (for which EA are boasting about the most sophisticated AI yet seen - yes, like every single game press release ever...), that they can't live without their partners - literally.

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Blammo Buddies
Whether it's rappelling down a building (in which case your buddy acts as a counter-weight) or standing back-to-back so your interlocking armour forms you into an unbeatable two-man living tank, every move you make in Army of Two is dependant on co-operation. Although, as is to be expected in such a close partnership, there's no love lost between Rios and his rookie partner. Your missions will be peppered with expletive-riddled bitchy cross-talk, made worse by the AI's learning curve - any mistake you make right from the start of the game will be remembered by the other character, and brought up at every opportunity.

Still, you've got a job to do, so if you or your partner gets the wrong side of a hail of bullets, a mini-game will begin in which button-mashing will force the injured soldier to 'run away from the light', while his buddy performs CPR the same way. It's yet another first in a shooter that's making a lot of bold claims at this stage - now we're impatient to get two pads bound to a playable version and see how much EA can deliver.

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