Square’s Army Corps of Hell is probably one of the lower profile launch games for the Vita, although it’s through no fault of its own, thanks to Uncharted, Wipeout and other big name franchises such as FIFA, all making their debut alongside it. What Army Corps of Hell does have going for it though is a whole load of action and a rocking (and I mean rocking) soundtrack, so get those headphones on, grab your minion army and get on the highway to hell.
Army Corps of Hell sees you taking control of an army of loyal goblin soldiers and utilizing their array of classes and abilities to defeat your hordes of demonic enemies and reclaim your throne.
When the game first begins you take control of a group of Goblins soldiers, however as you progress more options open up, giving you access to Spearmen, and Magi. The Soldiers are your frontline, therefore stacking them onto the enemy will allow you to hit them with a powerful Salvo attack, which often leaves the enemy in tatters should you follow the correct button sequence. Spearmen are your long-range attackers, just place them in formation and point them at the enemy for some devastating results. The final class, Magi, requires charged up attacks, but allows you to defeat enemies which are better protected.
During the game you are unable to use more than one class at any one time, however switching between them is easy enough, since each one is assigned to a face button. The game also utilises the front touch screen and back panel. With the front touch screen assigned to item use and the back panel assigned to play a rhythm game, although to be honest, rather than enhance the experience, these features feel more like they have been tacked on at the last minute.
Defeating enemies allows you to pick up loot, which you can then alchemize for new weapons, items and abilities. This will make you even more powerful, which is essential when you are taking on some of the larger bosses, which include demon beasts, dragons and other huge demon style creatures.
The frustrating thing about Army Corps of Hell is that as you work your way through the bowels of hell, more often than not you’ll come across the same group of enemies, starting at their ugly one eyed head and watching as the same attack turns them into yet another puddle of blood. It’s frustrating, because underneath the repetitive gameplay, you get the feeling that there is something special waiting to burst out, although it never does. All you do is defeat enemies, then another bridge opens up, you move over to the next island and repeat. Sometimes things are broken up with cages appearing which allow you to replenish your fallen soldiers, but other than this and the occasional boss fight, it’s just the same old scenario over and over again.
Army Corps of Hell isn’t exactly a looker, sure its colourful but there isn’t really much to it. The environments feel empty and the enemies don’t seem to have a lot of imagination put into them. This theme runs throughout the entire game, with little imagination put into the design at any point.
The only real saving grace is the music. From the moment you start up this title up you are met with a thumping heavy metal soundtrack, it’s fantastic and suits the gameplay really well. So good are the sounds that you just wish for more from the game, in fact it’s probably one of the main things which keeps you playing.
Within the campaign mode, there is an option for multiplayer, although this is Ad-Hoc only. Here you can team up with up to four players on any stage you wish. Whether you will get this many players in the same room with the same game is debatable.
Overall, Army Corps of Hell is a bit of a let down really, it starts off promising with its fantastic heavy metal beats and at first this drives you on, wishing for more. Soon though you begin to realise that this game is a one trick pony which has took a wrong turn into the lower pits of despair. Army Corps of Hell is probably one of the most unique titles available at launch, it’s just a shame that it’s not one of the better ones.
You can pre-order Army Corps of Hell from ShopTo here.
Rating: AverageReview Policy(version tested: PS Vita)