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File:Armyoftwo2 2.jpg

Army of Two is a 2008 third-person shooter from Electronic Arts, featuring two Private Military Contractors, Elliot Salem and Tyson Rios.

The story starts Salem and Rios as members of the 75th Army Rangers in Somalia, where they're ordered to assist a PMC named Phillip Clyde eliminate Mo'Alim, a Somali warlord. Following the completion of the mission, SSC CEO Ernest Stockwell offers Salem, Rios, and their CO positions in his company.

Salem and Rios get spiffy new armor, evil-looking masks, and a huge selection of weapons. They take missions from Alice Murray, and as the game progresses, Rios starts connecting seemingly disparate events, and the Army of Two start unraveling a plot of War for Fun and Profit that threatens their lives and the fate of the free world.

A major mechanic of this game is "Aggro", summed up as the amount of attention you currently have from your enemies. Bigger and flashier weapons garner more aggro, and therefore, more attention, allowing your partner to move around unnoticed, while smaller, quieter, and less noticeable weapons allow you to let your partner draw attention. Aggro is represented by a meter on one side of the screen; players enter Super Mode by maintaining their place with the Aggrometer buried on one side until Overkill is activated.

The sequel, Army of Two: The 40th Day, sees Salem and Rios travel to Shanghai, China for a seemingly simple contract and get caught up in a cataclysmic attack on the city. The game features numerous improvements, including massively expanded weapons customization, civilians to be rescued, moral choices and new co-op techniques like mock surrender.

A third game, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel, was released in 2013.

Tropes used in Army of Two include:
  • Action Girl: Alice proves she knows how to handle a gun in The 40th Day.
  • Action Survivor: The sequel will feature the protagonists trying to get away from a disastrous terrorist attack on Shanghai while they happen to be there on another mission. On the other hand, they aren't your normal bystanders.
  • Anticlimax: There's no real buildup to the final boss of The 40th Day, and in fact, he's not even a boss fight, just a Sadistic Choice in human form. Most people agree that 40th Day is better than the original on most points but a lot of people also really hate the ending of the game.
  • Armor Is Useless: Subverted, certain enemies are so heavily armored that they are invulnerable from the front by bullets. The player(s) themselves certainly are much more durable when wearing better armor later in the game, and as compared to the Mooks.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The M134 minigun. Awesome because of its high rate of fire and intimidating appearance. Impractical because of its spooling-up time, which is longer than most of the windows of fire you'll have.
  • Ax Crazy: Phillip Clyde.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Salem and Rios go back-to-back once per mission to fight a small wave of Mooks.
  • Badass: Salem and Rios try, but they come off more like fratboys than anything else a few times though.
    • Largely agreed, but possibly except for in the cases of the trope above and during Overkill mode.
    • Surprisingly enough, they come off remarkably close to what one would actually see in a high-espirit unit like Marine First Force Recon. Read Generation Kill; Evan Wright's account of the Marines of 1st Recon in Iraq cuts very closely to how Salem and Rios act, especially their banter. Being aware of this is, for some, the single biggest piece of evidence that the game may be a Stealth Parody.
  • Bash Brothers: You play as two, pretty much.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Salem is not 'little', but Rios is distinctly taller and heavyset in comparison. The usage of intellect in reference to the trope is arguably reversed - Rios is stated to be a more moral and thoughtful person than Salem, the latter being mostly concerned with getting paid and spending it.
  • Bling Bling Bang: You can actually "pimp" your weapons with gold and chrome finishers, diamonds, etc, to increase Aggro. The sequel allows you to put camouflage paint on your weapons to decrease it, but the bling option is still there and reaches its extreme with diamond-encrusted frag grenades.
  • Blown Across the Room: Certain guns are apparently powerful enough to knock enemies down even if they haven't depleted their Hit Points.
  • Bottomless Magazines: invoked whenever Back-to-Back Badasses occurs, or when Overkill is activated.
  • Broken Pedestal: Rios' old mentor Colonel Ferrel becomes one of his main antagonists throughout Dirty Money, having all of his skill and none of his morals. When they first fight each other Rios has his first and only case of Selective Slaughter.
  • Bullet Sparks
  • Bullet Time: Only when Salem and Rios go back-to-back or during Overkill in the original. In the sequel, you get a few moments of it during Co-op Mock Surrender.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: During the China mission in the first game, while a chopper full of troops is landing, Salem asks Rios about his favorite Wu Tang Clan member.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Rios tends to sway into this realm during Army of Two, and is mocked for it by Salem.
  • Cool Guns: All the entries appear in Army of Two.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Clyde drops them repeatedly. The dialogue of the game was supposedly this in general, but most of it was cut.
  • Cutscene Boss: Dalton is not fought in the original, instead being quickly and anti climatically offed in the final cutscene. EA did later release a free DLC expansion where you do fight him head-on, though.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Salem and Rios are Immune to Bullets and capable of several other feats of awesome, but only when you're not controlling them.
  • Darker and Edgier: The 40th Day seems to be going down this path, with a darker tone, moral decisions, and recast voice actors for our protagonists.
  • Deconstructed Trope: The second game deconstructs morality choices. Every time you make a choice when the game prompts you, you are shown a flash-forward of events influenced by this choice, events that Salem and Rios will, in fact, never come to know of or even suspect. The positive or negative morality of the choice you pick often has little direct bearing on these events. It's possible a choice that seems like the decent thing to do will lead to the suffering of others, being a bad person could lead to a favorable outcome for those involved, or the result could be completely neutral.
    • Examples: 'Kill the Contact;' Kill him or spare him, its your choice. If you kill him, you get paid, he dies. If you don't, you don't get paid, and he is later killed while on vacation.
    • 'Free Guns;' The bad one is to rob a guard station, causing the guard who comes in to die accidentally. The other is to leave the guns, then the guard sells them to the terrorist.
    • The decision with Brezhnev; The bad ending is to take the $75,000 bribe, and have Brezhnev kill the secret KGB agent. The "good" one is to shoot Brezhnev non-fatally, and then the agent shoots him. Then, her true mission of killing "political dissidents" is revealed. Next, she goes to a hospital, and shoots Brezhnev's wife and is about to shoot his child when Brezhnev shoots her. "Good" decision my ass.
    • Some of those decisions do work out the way you'd hope they would, sort of. Not having the kid die to get you the sniper rifle means he goes home and rescues his parents. He's a bit traumatized, but they're safe. And sparing the tiger has it escape to kill a couple of robbers.
  • Double Agent: Phillip Clyde works for SSC and gives troop positions to enemy forces, causing massive casualties and forcing the US government to hire PMCs.
  • Escort Mission: Two in the "carry them to safety" vein: SSC Op Brian Hicks and Alice Murray.
  • Everything Is Online: So s3kshun8 can hack it. This is borderline subverted at times; for example, s3kshun8 can't hack a digital keypad, he has to take the model number and find the manufacturer's back door code, but this sort of thing probably wouldn't be online in reality either.
    • In that case, wasn't it former Russian military hardware? In which case, he probably could dig it up either online or in a Magical Database.
  • Faceless Goons: Inverted in that Rios and Salem are the Faceless Goons.
    • The dehumanizing aspect of this trope has been noted by the developers, who have, in The 40th Day, made Salem and Rios push their masks up when out of combat to humanize them to an extent.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Salem and Rios start "Trans-World Operations" in the ending cutscene.
  • Game Breaking Bug: The "Chapters of Deceit" DLC for The 40th Day has its achievements bugged. If you have any of the online multi-player achievements that came with the game, you will be unable to get the same number of DLC achievements. See here for more info.
  • Gun Accessories
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Salem and Rios, arguably, but there's a lot of Ho Yay.
    • Consider that at the end of The 40th Day, Salem and Rios don't stop to think about the possibility that Jonah could be lying, so despite the fact that there is no nuke, killing Jonah means they're willing to consign millions to their deaths for each others' sake. This is played distinctly as The Power of Friendship, not apathy.
  • Honor Before Reason: Rios exemplifies this in the original. In the sequel, this part of his personality has apparently been beaten out of him via Plot.
  • Infant Immortality: In The 40th Day, our antiheroes meet a kid in a hospital, who assists them. He asks them if they want him to try and get a sniper rifle. If the player(s) say "yes", he gets shot while he's jumping up and down in celebration. This would have slightly more impact if he wasn't flagged by the enemy AI as hostile, and they didn't sometimes shoot straight through him with no effect before the script says he needs to be hit.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: A chief mechanic in the second game. Though, one would think the mercenaries would catch on after the first couple of times. ...if, you know, they survived it long enough to report.
    • The real Fridge Logic is that this is a war crime. Justified, though; the mercenaries don't take prisoners and would execute anyone actually surrendering, thus negating the point of it being illegal.
      • The whole point of surrendering in the second game isn't to actually survive the encounter through non-lethal means, but to give the bad guys a moment of "what do we do now" while your partner maneuvers into position to kill them. Given that Salem and Rios are partially responsible for the missile attacks on Shanghai, they're way beyond caring about war crimes anyway.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: The last half of the final level takes place in the SSC Tower.
    • Not to mention that there are hardly any moments in the game where you're going downhill. The levels are almost entirely flat or uphill.
  • Karma Meter: The 40th Day introduces two Karma Meters, one for Camaraderie (your ingame relationship with your partner, improved by complimenting them or doing silly stuff with them, reduced by shooting them or expressing disapproval with their actions), and one for Morality (your treatment of your enemies and allies - for example, shooting a surrendered enemy reduces your morality, while any enemy defeated non-lethally increases it).
  • Kill It with Fire: The sequel will have an enemy that uses a flamethrower. There is also at least one opportunity for you to use one also, presumably after you kill him and take it.
  • Leet Lingo: Everything s3kshun8 says is rendered in leetspeek, making it very difficult to understand for most people.
  • Meaningful Name: The Senator who supports the bill to privatize the military thus supporting the PMC that's deliberately getting US soldiers killed to increase its own profits is Senator Richter. The good-guy Senator trying to stop it is Whitehorse. Ernest Stockwell owns SSC, a company whose stock is doing well.
  • Mask Power: You can choose which one to wear in the first one, and the sequel is set to let you design your own.
  • Mega Corp: Halfway through the Iraq mission, SSC purchases Black Mountain Industries to become the largest PMC in the world.
  • More Dakka: And the more dakka you have, the more dakka you get. You can even cause your guns to have less dakka if you want to get less dakka back.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The China and Miami missions take place in 2009.
  • No-Gear Level: A segment during The 40th Day forces you to pick up guns from people you kill as you go along.
  • No One Could Survive That: Phillip Clyde survives going down with an airliner. He may have also survived getting kicked out an office tower window, but the sequel has announced he won't be returning for it.
  • Noodle Incident: Subverted; the panda incident sounds like it's going to be one of these at first, complete with Salem saying "I didn't think that was even possible with a panda." The last line of the dialog, however, abruptly confirms that it's exactly what you're thinking it is.
  • No Party Given: Neither US Senator involved in the issue of privatizing the US Army is identified by party.
  • One-Man Army: Well, a two man army, but still....
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: Happens when either Salem or Rios max out their aggro. Example below:

Rios: It's time for the Tyson Rios Show!

  • Psycho for Hire: Phillip Clyde really wants to tell you about all the cool shit he wants for Christmas. He also has the habit of carving bloody smiles into the people he kills in Dirty Money.
  • Ragdoll Physics
  • Rape as Drama: Implied; in the first game, when Alice is being asked what was done to her by the SSC operatives aside from the bullet wound, her answer is, "You don't want to know."
  • Rare Guns: The M134 Minigun, just as man-portable and self-powered as it was in Predator, and the Desert Eagle.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The game is frequently criticized for having its protagonists act like fratboys. Anyone whose seen Generation Kill or is familiar with actual mercs (or even high-morale military units) knows that it's not that far off. Yes, even down to the Ho Yay.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Rios and Salem, respectively.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In The 40th Day, just try not to laugh when Salem and Rios discuss the panda incident.
  • Region Coding: Played straight with the Xbox 360 release of the game, but zigzagging with the Play Station 3 release. The original intention was to have the Play Station 3 version use regional lockout as well, but when a group of angry gamers protested with threats of boycott, EA was somewhat forced to eat their words. They still managed to get regional lockout into the multi-player segments of the game tho- like it or not, you're going to have to play multi-player in your region.
  • Rule of Cool: Not many PMCs employ battalions of bemasked, heavily armored soldiers, but damn if its not awesome.
  • Sadistic Choice: In the ending of The 40th Day, Jonah's confronted with an extremely angry Salem and Rios. One has to kill the other or he'll set off a nuke his men have placed in the city. Extremely effective because we've learned by then that the entire purpose of the attack is an experiment to see how people will react. This conceals the fact that Jonah is lying, because it's perfectly in-character for him.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Overlaps with Screw The Money, their Mission Control asks them if they want to let the authorities handle it legally, but they decline as they know the Big Bad is currently in the process of killing witnesses and destroying evidence inside the HQ.
    • Also an option in The 40th Day, in some circumstances. The major choice you're offered in the demo is "Kill the ex-SSC contact or let him go". The consequences are shown to you immediately, but sometimes, you're exchanging a reward now for a reward later...
  • Shout-Out: When Salem goes into his 2X Damage Overkill, one of the lines he shouts is "GAME OVER, MAN! GAME OVER!"
    • Likewise in the comic Dustin, a former ranger friend, comments on Rios "Rocking the Skeletor," look.
    • Nearly every achievement on the 360. Some of the better ones:
    • Some of the mission titles are shout-outs, as well. Part of the Aircraft Carrier level is called "Somebody Set Us Up The Bomb".
    • May be a coincidence, but two of the parts you can use for the M110 KAC sniper in The 40th Day are the S-L42 Charon barrel and the RMS Jericho V6 stock. Charon and Jericho are two possible NPC followers in Fallout 3
    • In the same vain, one of the sniper rifle barrel upgrades in both games is the MGS Sniper-Wulf.
    • In the first game, the M92 pistol features a barrel upgrade called the "Samurai Edge;" this was the name of the custom 92's used by S.T.A.R.S.
  • Sniping Mission: Salem and Rios can "Co-Op Snipe" to take out two separate targets, or focus their damage on a single target.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Salem and Rios seem to have very little problem with killing a whole lot of people. Sure, the people they kill are bad guys, and trying to kill them, and they also happen to be trained soldiers, but... Rios is arguably the more heroic/idealistic one in the original. In the sequel, Salem is, from early trailers and the demo, more idealistic/heroic and Rios is just jaded and bitter, essentially trading positions.
  • Stealth Parody: One interpretation of the game's over-the-top action, oodles of Ho Yay and questionable depiction of foreigners. Preview articles for the first game made a point of talking about the amount of research they had done. Yes, that includes the tampons. Yes, that happens in real life.
  • Sticks to the Back: Your sniper rifle or RPG.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Taken to absurd levels in the sequel, where virtually the entire first level is various Shanghai buildings exploding. And a good portion of the second. And the opening of the third.
  • Super Mode: In overkill mode one mercenary becomes an unstoppable killing machine who never needs to reload and does double damage while the other one becomes invisible, also never needing to reload.
  • The Syndicate: Black Mountain industries in the backstory comic was involved in such dirty business as hiring out muscle to Chinese Triads, narcoterrorists, Kosovo paramilitary groups and shipping Eastern European sex slaves through New Orleans. Nice guys.
  • Tattooed Crook: Maybe not criminal, but certainly morally ambiguous; Alice, Salem and Rios all get significantly tattooed up after the time skip in the original game.
  • There Is Only One Bed Parachute, Because Their Employers Must Be Cheap: Naturally, more evidence for Ho Yay.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Inverted in that you play them.
  • Timed Mission: Destroying a missile and escaping the USS Constellation before it sinks.
  • Title Drop: Every bit as goofy as the rest of the game when it shows up.

"You two were amazing back there! Like of two!"

    • More subtle in The 40th Day, where Salem and Rios now wear gear embroidered with the acronym of their company, Trans-World Operations.
  • Villains Never Lie: There's no nuke.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Alice Murray and s3kshun8 again. Amusingly subverted in The 40th Day, where Alice still works with Salem and Rios and is supposed to fulfill this role, but because she is in Shanghai as its turned to rubble, she has no internet connection, gets the small amount of information she has by overhearing some guys talking while being held prisoner by the 40th Day, and can barely talk to the protagonists through her unreliable radio.
  • Walk It Off
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: Like all co-op shooters, if one half of the team dies, the game is over.