CES 2012: Army Corps of Hell Hands-On Impression

With the PlayStation Vita launching in North America in just a few weeks, one of the launch titles that players can expect to see is Square Enix’s Army Corps of Hell. For those who have played Nintendo’s Pikmin, Army Corps of Hell will be very familiar in every aspect – such as the mechanics and the gameplay. Earlier this week at CES 2012, I sat down at Square Enix’s Private Suite at the Palms Hotel and spent nearly half an hour playing through the different stages the game has to offer.

Visually, Army Corps of Hell is very appealing, especially on the Vita’s five inch OLED screen. While the design is simple, the vibrant colors of the game shows off beautifully on the screen. Its soundtrack is one of the best as it’s heavy metal. This type of music is appropriate for a game like this.

In terms of gameplay, it’s easy to get into. According to the representative that guided me through the game, there are about forty stages or so and along the way, interesting boss fights await. The way the levels are laid out are pretty linear; clear out an area, then proceed to the next one. The fun thing about Army Corps of Hell is how you guide an army of lancers, warriors and mages through a bunch of enemies. Holding the right shoulder button of the Vita, the army the player controls will command 100 members into attacking them. In the three types of classes that players can form in an army, they each have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to a certain enemy.

At the end of each level, the progress of the level that the player just finished will be shown. If the player is lucky, there will be an item that you can use for the army. Whenever the player is about to start a level, they can distribute how many lancers, warrior and mages the army can have, as long as the total goes up to 100. Once done, then the player is off to a never-ending battle against evil.

As for the storyline, Army Corps Of Hell isn’t that focused in the area. The generic good versus evil is in effect but what players will most likely pay attention to instead of the story is the gameplay. As I mentioned earlier, Army Corps of Hell is very similar to Pikmin and those who have played it on the Gamecube will not be lost in here. However, what strikes me while playing the game is that how linear and monotonous the game is. Since what I’m playing is not the final retail version, I do hope there are things in the game that somehow doesn’t make it monotonous and very repetitive.

Army Corps of Hell comes out on February 22, 2012 exclusively on the PlayStation Vita. Check back with us near the release date for our review of the game.