Video game: The war on drugs

Entertainment,Greg Prince

Drug cartels have plagued the Mexican government for years. These vast crime syndicates funnel tons of illicit drugs across the U.S. border while terrorizing Mexico's northern states with violent slayings.

It seems a bit questionable to craft a game that makes light of this horrific situation, especially since it implies the country's government can't do it on its own. However, "The Devil's Cartel" could at least get gamers interested in the politics of an ongoing real-life news story.

"The Devil's Cartel" is amazing fun provided you have a friend to play with. Running around the streets of generic Mexican towns gets old pretty quick when your teammate is just computer-controlled. At least the artificial intelligence for your Bravo is halfway decent: He actually helps out in firefights by getting kills and draws fire so you can flank enemies.

The third "Army of Two" game at least knows it has flaws. The developers use that to their advantage by writing in some amazing jokes. Also, while there is plenty of violence, it's taken to an absurd level so it's not quite as offensive. Getting kills fills the overkill meter, which when activated makes you and your partner invincible for a short period with unlimited explosive ammo and grenades.

'Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel'
» System: Xbox 360, PS3
» Price: $59.99
» Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

There are a bunch of customization options: guns, outfits, tattoos and some super-sweet masks -- and you can even create your own masks.

The story is a little on the weak side. Alpha and Bravo join the TWO organization as new recruits. Things go south after their protection detail in Mexico gets ambushed. With many of their fellow operatives dead, they vow revenge. While the voice acting comes across a bit stilted, the cut scenes look great -- and all those customization choices show up in the cut scenes.

Great co-op games are few and far between, but this one hits most of the right notes. Too bad online play is locked by a code. If you can get a friend to join the fight, this is definitely a game to play.

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