Upon playing Army Corps of Hell for the first time, I was allured by the hellish art direction and heavy metal soundtrack blaring as you conquer the world one stage at a time. It’s as if someone were sifting through their music collection, came upon the heavy metal albums they head-banged to in high school, and found inspiration out of that moment of nostalgia which led ultimately to the development of this game. Army Corps of Hell gets a lot of things right, and it’s great to have another worthwhile title in the Vita’s library, but at the current price tag it’s a hard sell. Let me tell you why.
This is undoubtedly an entertaining game, if you’re familiar with the Overlord series or Pikmin you’ll have a basic idea of what Army Corps’ gameplay is like. You control a small group of units that are divided into three different types: soldiers, spear men, and magi. I won’t go into detail about how they work, but essentially you can utilize their respective forms of attack in order to dispose of your enemies with maximum efficiency. The premise of the combat revolves around utilizing your units effectively, dancing around the enemies to avoid their attacks, and keeping your units alive. I actually found the gameplay fun for a while, but eventually the redundancy of it all wears you down. It also doesn’t help that the stages don’t offer much in terms of variety.
I thought perhaps the lukewarm single-player campaign might be counter-balanced by the multiplayer, but alas, Army Corps of Hell only supports ad hoc multiplayer and I couldn’t find anyone else with a Vita to play with. So while that might be a promising portion of the game, the archaic lack of network multiplayer means I can’t speak on its behalf.
I know this review reads as though I didn’t enjoy Army Corps of Hell , but I really did for a while. There are a surprisingly large number of stages, and I was humming along through about a third of them. I’ll even give the game brownie points for being portable friendly – and by that I mean I could easily complete a stage or two during my train ride to work. You can play the game for 15 minutes and make progress. However, as I mentioned before, it doesn’t take long for things to become stale and your interest to wane. For $40 minus one cent, Army Corps of Hell is a difficult recommend, but when it drops to $20 or lower, I believe it would be a welcome addition to anyone’s Vita library.