Army of Two Interview with Matt Turner

Army of Two is one of my newest favorite games. Army of Two Assistant Producer Matt Turner took some time out to answer some questions from 2Op regarding the new third person shooter from EA. I have been pimping this game everywhere and I definitely think it’s a game everybody who has an Xbox 360 or a PS3 has to check out. Those of who follow the site know, I just don’t say that about any game.

2Op: Army of Two was originally set for release last November. What has the development team focused on in the months since then in terms of improving the game?

Matt Turner: A lot of fine tuning. We really wanted to focus on polishing certain aspects of the game to make it a tighter experience. One of our goals during our extra time was to improve the through the gun experience and make the guns feel more powerful in the hands of the gamer. As well as that we worked on the health system, the lighting and a few other carefully selected issues.

2Op: What differences can a player look forward to when playing either Rios or Salem? Are there any specific skill sets one has the other does not?

Matt: The difference is in their personalities and looks but as far as ‘special abilities’ or performance there is no difference. Rios is bigger. He is your more classic military boy who follows orders and executes by the book. Salem on the other hand is a lippy little punk who takes stupid risks and acts before he thinks.

2Op: The game is obviously focused around cooperative play. However, some of us are loners. What can be said to this in terms of SP? Will the game be as enjoyable in SP as it is in co-op? What can be said about friendly AI in AO2?

Matt: The game is at its best when played with a partner. It’s a pure coop experience. But the PAI can be quite fun as well. We really wanted to try and create a PAI that behaved as much like a real player as possible. He can take care of himself or you can order him around but the orders you have are more loose parameters rather than precise orders.

2Op: The use of tampons to close a bullet wound feature was one that a lot of people in the community really looked forward to. What was behind the decision to remove it from the game?

Matt Turner: It was a great idea and we loved it. But we felt that the mini game not only grew tiresome after the 8th, 9th, 10th times doing it but it also really took the player out of the combat experience and broke the flow of the game. The system we replaced it with works much better in the game as an experience. It was too bad and we were sad to see it go but the game is better without it.

2Op: How long would you estimate the campaign should take?

Matt: For an experienced 3rd person shooter player between 6 and 8 hours.

2Op: If you are playing online co-op with a friend and they get dropped. Will the game automatically switch your partner to EA or will it end the session?

Matt: If it your partner gets dropped you can seamlessly switch over to the PAI and continue playing. Or you can quit out wait from your partner to come back and restart from you last checkpoint.

2Op: How will the save system work? Reading in a preview on IGN, it said the game would end if one of you dies. Will it revert back to a save point or will it be literally game over?

Matt: The game doesn’t ‘end’. You just get a ‘restart from checkpoint’ and that’s exactly what happens. You start again at the last checkpoint you crossed.

2Op: Are all the multiplayer modes going to be 2 on 2? The game has a nice set of multiplayer modes. What mode should a player jump into first? Why was that your answer?

Matt: All multiplayer is 2 vs. 2. I would suggest doing ‘Warzone’ first. It is a variety of all the modes and a beginner get a feel for them all and maybe which one they would like to specialize in if they so choose.

2Op: If you play through the game and like some of the missions to play with friends, will you be able to choose that mission?

Matt: Yes, as long as they have played it too. Once you have played through the game you can start any one of the six maps whenever you want.

2Op: There was a lot of information regarding vehicles a while back. However, most of that seems to have removed. Are there still vehicle missions in the campaign? Will there be any vehicles in the multiplayer portion of the game?

Matt: Yeah, we kept the hovercraft sequences in the campaign mode so look for those. But we also but some of the vehicles we cut into the multiplayer mode so you still get a chance to drive them around.

2Op: One of the achievements is “Retirement savings plan” which asks a player to earn a billion dollars in the multiplayer mode. That seems like quite an accomplishment. For crazy achievement junkies, how many games will that entail on average (I know everyone is of different skill).

Matt: A good team can easily earn 2 million bucks in a single vs. match. So you do the math.

2Op: What is the framerate of Army of Two? Will the game’s performance be even across platforms?

Matt: Performance is very good across both platforms.

2Op: If I look for one thing when I open Army of Two and start playing, what should that be?

Matt: The Air Guitar.

Thank you to Matt and Electronic Arts for hangin with 2Op and talking about Army of Two.