Army of Two

Interview: Not co-op for dummies

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The gun customisation feature - is that a reaction to the recent championing of user-generated content in the industry?

Ferriera: It was a little bit, it was the idea of adding persistence into a shooter. On the user-created side, the user isn't really going to make anything in Army of Two except for the stuff we have in game with the tools we have. There's no importing of items or stuff like that.

We want you to be able to identify yourself and that's a key when you're playing online, like you see a guy with endgame guns and tailor your gameplay to your equipment.

This ties back into any game where you have a persistent inventory like an MMO. It really makes you want to advance and it also expands the life of the game. If you manage to beat the game without buying everything you can go back and buy more.

You mention endgame content a lot; how linear is the game? How many times will gamers play through before getting bored?

Ferriera: The difference is in the replay value. Obviously the persistent equipment is one of them, but number two is with the agro and the AI. If two guys have similar guns and are both firing at the same time the aerometer is going to stay in the middle, it's going to play like a standard shooter and the AI's going to use tactics to do what they want to do.

Where as if you negotiate with the other player and get them to build the agro while you cut left, the game plays way differently at that point. If you play through with a shotgun rather than a machine gun, it's a completely different experience.

So every time you play with a new player it's a different experience. You'll probably be able to get maybe 75 percent of the new equipment towards the end and then there's that extra 25 percent which you'll earn through replay and whatnot.

Online is obviously a massive part of the game. How is the experience going to differ between Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, considering the former is a more integrated service?

Ferriera: The idea is to have the exact same experience on both. With the PlayStation Network the only difference that I see is that right now Sony hasn't implemented its Home stuff and achievements, where as on 360 we already have that.

Also the matchmaking and invite stuff - but you can still do it via the PS3 and it'll work the same and it'll have very similar menus.

It's the same experience and it should be just as easy to get online and set up a game on either.

Are PlayStation achievements something you plan to add later on?

Ferriera: I can't say for engineers and the people who actually have to implement it, but I'd love to have it. I think the achievements stuff is one of the things that really carried the 360 forward, it brought back the idea of the old arcade stuff like putting you name up on the high score. So if we could get it, I'd love to have it.

You mentioned earlier you have a real ex-mercenary come in and give advice?

Ferriera: Oh yeah. The best thing is when he came through the office and showed us all his photos of stuff. Everyone has their face blanked out because he doesn't want you to know who they are.

One of things I asked about was the medic stuff, and how he treated wounds when he got shot on the battlefield. One method was using tampons. I was like "Tampons?!" he said it's the best way to stop bleeding; put it in the wound, put a battle dressing on it and when you get to the hospital you're fine.

We incorporated that in the game. We took a lot of stuff he talked about, even in the weapon customisation system. He said "you know what? Sometimes you have to tape stuff onto your gun." A flashlight, a grenade launcher - whatever you can do to customise your gun. It's all stuff we've taken and integrated into our game.

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