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  Armed and Dangerous
Back of the Box
Meet the Lionhearts. A smack-talking rag-tag band of rebels bound on an impossible quest. With an arsenal of outrageous weapons, they’re destined for victory in 12,000 bullets or less. If they can make it through an army of psychotic robots and wall-smashing Goliaths, they just might save the world… if they don’t burn it down first.


The Skinny
Armed and Dangerous is a 3rd person action adventure game in which you play as Roman, the leader of a bizarre band of rogues know as the Lionhearts. Your other companions include Jonesy, a Scottish mole-man miner with a fondness for explosives, Q, a British-sounding eliminator droid who became self-aware in a tea experiment gone bad, and Rexus, a two-foot tall blind, insane, smelly, little man with supernatural powers. This motley crew initially sets out to steal the legendary Book of Rule, and ultimately leads the band of thieves in a treacherous rebellion to topple the tyrannical King Forge and his Frankenstein-like son who has the mind of a 4-year-old. As you can assume, Armed and Dangerous in a game not to be taken seriously, and to tell you the truth, I was laughing out loud during most of the cut-scenes.
The name of the game in A&D is shooting and lots of it. This coupled with sarcastic remarks and a plethora of bad guys, makes for an extremely fun gaming experience. However, those who are easily offended might want to steer clear of this game because everything goes from “mom” jokes, to comments on genatalia and sexuality, to bodies stuck in colons… this game is funny.

Your two buddies, Q and Jonesy, are AI characters that accompany you on most missions and are there supposedly for extra help. This is one of my only gripes about A&D. Your AI compadres are useless! Don’t get me wrong… they will take more bullets than you can count and deal out the firepower as well, but more often than not, they just die early on in the mission and you continue on without them. You can give out basic commands like “Defend Area, Defend Me, and Return to Me,” but for the most part, you won’t even use them. The AI of your enemies kinda wonky too. Sometimes your enemies will be to smart, and other times they are so oblivious that you can shoot a grunt in the head and have the one standing right next to him not react at all. But regardless of the AI situation, Armed and Dangerous is some serious fun.

Your missions have a bit of variety to them, having you do everything from finding captured peasants and delivering them back to their homes (you drag them behind you… it’s pretty funny), to destroying a certain number of enemies or buildings, to defending a particular teammate or building for a certain amount of time. There are even levels where you sit inside a gun turret that can slide horizontally along the wall and it’s your job to defend the wall against these huge armies of enemies. If you let 100 troops over the wall, you loose.
Throughout the levels you will find pubs that you can enter to save the game, replenish your health, and to gain new weapons. Ahhhh yes, the weapons. Another essential part of any mass destruction shooting game is to have a variety of weapons at your disposal and A&D takes care of this nicely. Standard to most shooting games, you have machine guns, sniper rifles, Rocket Launchers, and “Old Bessy”, a Mortar gun. But unique to Armed and Dangerous (and my personal favorite weapon) is the Land Shark Gun. This gun shoots out a “land shark” that will home in to its intended target and then jump up out of the ground from beneath the target and eat them. After it’s done, if there are other enemies near by, it will head off and reap the same cruel fate to those unfortunate enough to be within a certain proximity. Great Stuff! Aside from the usual weapons you also have special weapons that are just as much, if not more, fun than the Land Shark Gun. These include: Sticky Bombs, Frisbee-like bombs that stick to whatever they happen to hit, the Guy Fawkes Traitor Bomb, a crowd control device, the Knockout Bomb, also known as the “Big Red Magic Boxing Glove,” the World’s Smallest Black Hole, and the Topsy Turvy Bomb, which is a corkscrew kinda looking thing that will drill into the ground, turn the world upside down (sending your enemies flying up) and then right itself as you get to watch all those enemies come tumbling back to the earth (and their death).

The graphics were done quite well. Environments, which ranged from everything from mountains, to forests, to seaside cliffs, to remote villages, all had better than average lighting effects and textures. While the colors seemed to be mostly greys and browns, it went well with the context of the story. The sound was equally well done. The explosions and gunfire, ambient sounds and an almost epic-like score, all enhance the gaming experience. Where A&D really shines though is the voice acting. There is a lot of voice dialogue in the game and every line was hit perfectly. Not only that, but the characters were made to seem real, having just the right combination of seriousness and sarcasm.


The Bottom Line
All-in-all, Armed and Dangerous is an extremely fun game. The graphics and sound are both great (hey, what do you expect, its from LucasArts), it has a wicked sense of humor, and voice acting that is top notch. Bundle all of that together with some hardcore action and lots of unusual and comedic weapons and you have a game that is tones of fun. Armed and Dangerous will be a keeper for anyone who has a sense of humor and likes action. My only requests is that if there is going to be a sequel, please include a multiplayer option… if it wasn’t for that shortcoming, I would have given it a 10 out of 10.

Review ID Number: 458
  Product Details
LucasArts
Review Date: 2004-02-11
Reviewer: Shawn Sardy
Rating: 9 out of 10
 
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