I imagine that playing with two players is going to be a lot more rewarding, as you’ve really built it for that.
CF: I can’t argue with that. Every game I’ve played, even Rainbow Six Vegas it’s like, OK, single player story mode is fun, but I love multiplayer. I’m a co-op guy. I’m not big on versus mode. I really love playing co-op. I love playing co-op terrorist hunt and all of that kinda stuff. Even like in Gears [of War] I played co-op, I didn’t even play the single player, I only played when I could play with someone else... and I still never felt with any game, that I have to work with somebody.
Even with Rainbow Six I’ve played with guys who just run ahead, know the map, know the spawn points and kill everybody. I don’t need to work with them. Our game, you have to because, the guy who runs ahead and does that? He’s going to get all the aggro and he’s going to get slaughtered.
I feel like co-op has been really overlooked for a number of years. That last game I really remember enjoying co-op with was, like... Double Dragon II. Gears of War did do a decent job of trying to bring it back. Because if you set the difficulty to Insane, and the two of you were playing, it's kind of tough, and you're getting each other up and stuff... That’s pretty cool. But it is a simple, shallower layer.
CF: We’ve looked at all kinds of co-op
games -- we looked at any kind of multiplayer thing. We even looked at stuff like MySpace and
Facebook, of how people communicate to others, to say "this is who I am" and this is how they express themselves in the online space. And just
take lessons from that as we go forward, of the customization of
your message, to say "this is who I am." Changing the skins on that, changing
all of your customizable weapons. But I’ve always played co-op
games. My favorite would be River City Ransom, I love that game. (laughs)
Of course! There was actually a lot of co-op interactivity in that, where you could throw each other...
CF: And you got the moves. As you went, you could buy "Air Circus." At which point you could take the one guy, throw him in the air, he would spin and then you would do "Stone Kick" and knock the guy down... and as you actually advanced and bought new co-op moves... We thought about that for our game. But we decided that -- the possibility of unlocking new co-op moves -- we found that when the variety got too big, a lot of stuff didn’t get used. So we kind of picked what we liked best. If you look back at all the old [magazine] issues and the old movies, there’s a ton of co-op moves, stuff that even isn’t going to make it into the game for this first version, just because we don’t want to overwhelm people because we’re giving them something that is so different and so new.
What kind of stuff did you have to cut?
CF: Oh, wow. I’d have to think back and really dig through. But there were so many things. I think at one point we had maybe like 32 different white boxes of co-op moves. One was how to take a door. If you went to take a door, one guy would line up, one guy would actually go in an arc and choose. Then they’d both run forward and slam the door, and then there’d be an animation of them coming through the door and both aiming... we’d actually use police tactics and stuff like that. But then after implementing them and trying them we'd be like, "this is cool, but most people are just going to run and open the door. They’re not going to want to do this." So we tried to tie stuff to the core mechanics of like -- everyone’s going to open a door the way they know. We’ll put that in later on, we’ll add in something like that in the future. Let’s go with something that will affect the core, which is which is the player experience of the shooter, and how we can generate that cooperatively.
I was thinking of something humorous... these days, companies don't tend to put numbers on sequels as much as they used to. But if you did a sequel, would you call it Army of Two-Two?
CF: Yeah, Army of Two 2 would be a little weird. Well, you can't really call it Army of Three unless you made three player co-op. But you never know what the future holds. When the game comes out, we’ll see how well people respond to it. I personally think that there’s strong market for co-op now, and that people want that and I think that word of mouth will carry it far. Especially once people start playing it online and say “hey, you have to play this game with me, I want you to play this game with me. I want you to see the weapons that I’ve bought, I want to see how you play.” And then also, on the political side of like, "man, do you know what PMCs are doing overseas? Do you understand what’s going on in America right now?" And maybe people will even watch... you know, people get fed stuff from the media, right? You get fed the news, you get fed this and that but when you do your own research you get your own perspective, rather that what’s being fed to you.