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Armed and Dangerous (PC) artwork

Armed and Dangerous (PC) review


"It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that game plots have evolved over the years. Twenty years ago most plots were as simple as save the princess, but today we have to put up with several twists, romance, tons of dialogue, CG sequences, and more. They also tend to be more serious. I remember playing Earthworm Jim and having to launch cows, fight lawyers, and enter an area known as “Buttville”. I also vividly recall playing The Lost Vikings and hearing the three goofballs c..."



It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that game plots have evolved over the years. Twenty years ago most plots were as simple as save the princess, but today we have to put up with several twists, romance, tons of dialogue, CG sequences, and more. They also tend to be more serious. I remember playing Earthworm Jim and having to launch cows, fight lawyers, and enter an area known as “Buttville”. I also vividly recall playing The Lost Vikings and hearing the three goofballs constantly tell jokes and puns. But how often do we see games like these today? Not much. Actually I can only remember playing one “less serious” game since Giants: Citizen Kabuto, which was released around five years ago. That is Planet Moon’s Armed and Dangerous.

Armed and Dangerous is a third person shooter that puts you in the role of Roman, the leader of a gang of rebels called the Lionhearts. They are made up of Roman, a Scottish mole named Jonesy, a tea-drinking robot named Q, and a blind, smelly old man named Rexus. One day they decide to attempt the ultimate heist. They plan on stealing the Book of Rule from the king, which is an ancient artifact with great powers. The Lionhearts want to use the book’s powers for the good of everyone. This angered the king, so he kidnapped Rexus, since he is the only one who knows how to unlock and use the book. Now Roman and his gang have to rescue Rexus, find the book, and use it stop the king and his henchman.

The premise might sound wacky, but it is nothing compared to the game’s humor. The best part about Armed and Dangerous is easily the jokes that it tells along the way. You’ll laugh out loud at the cutscenes that appear before each mission. Not a smile or giggle, but laugh your ass off. The jokes range anywhere from ethnic jokes to mom jokes to sticking bodies up rear-ends and much more. There are also several other hilarious characters that you will encounter besides the Lionhearts such as Henry, a village’s only soldier who’s very old and never eats, Prince Stig, the king’s giant green son with the mind of a three year old, “battle” robots who love and care about flowers more than the lives of humans or anyone else, and the king’s almost deaf messenger. Even the enemies and peasants that you’ll encounter during the game will often say comic lines that will have you chuckling in no time. Armed and Dangerous is probably the funniest game I’ve ever played, ever more so than Planet Moon’s other highly successful comic game, Giants: Citizen Kabuto.

When you’re not watching the cutscenes, the game plays like a pretty standard run-and-gun third person shooter. There isn’t too much strategy involved. The game throws countless enemies at you ranging from pigs to basket-weaving monks and you have to destroy everything in your path, including their houses, unless you don’t mind them attacking you for eternity. Every once in a while you’ll receive a different task, such as destroy certain buildings, protect a certain house(s) or person, rescue peasants and return them home, or take out the snipers, but the game is always about causing destruction. There are even some levels thrown in that will have you operating a giant gun turret while shooting down enemies trying to pass into the area behind you. So basically the point of the game, regardless of the level, is to shoot down every enemy and avoid being shot.

Armed and Dangerous’ unique weapons make it much more than another generic third person shooter. Standard shooter weapons, such as a rifle, machinegun, and sniper are all present, and there are also several other weapons that make Armed and Dangerous so awesome. Some of my favorites include the Land Shark Gun, a rifle that shoots Land Sharks that travel underground and chase after any enemies in sight, the Topsy Turvy Bomb, which turns the screen upside down and then back up (it’s priceless watching the enemies fly into the sky screaming “I’M TOO YOUNG TO DIE!”), and The World’s Smallest Black Hole, which is nothing more than a black hole in a small cardboard box. Release it and watch every enemy on screen instantly get sucked into it! And that’s just a few of them. There are several other awesome weapons and upgrades available to you throughout your quest. The best part is that they all appear on different stages (but luckily they all pop up multiple times), so you never get sick of them and they always seem fresh.

Unfortunately the game isn’t always as creative and interesting as it sounds. Armed and Dangerous spans for more than 20 levels, but after a while, regardless of how many unique weapons you’re using, the game becomes very repetitive. About halfway through the game you’ll be sick of the run-and-gun action, since it isn’t anything that you haven’t done earlier. As I previously stated your objectives might change, but the basic premise is always the same. This can also be said for the environments. There are five distinct areas you will travel to, but with the exception of one level (a level that has you flying from rooftop to rooftop with a jetpack), none of them present any new exciting challenges that make them anything different than what you’ve already encountered. Your basic premise in each level is the same; run around defeating the same enemies over and over again while rescuing peasants and/or protecting a house or one of your teammates. There is also the occasional gun-turret level thrown in, but the basic objectives in the five of them are exactly the same. For some reason they actually get easier as the game progresses, which makes them “filler” missions. Luckily the game ends before it becomes too tedious and the cutscenes will give you a reason to keep on moving.

I enjoyed Armed and Dangerous for a while, but once I reached the half way point I played solely to watch the cutscenes. However the cutscenes were rewarding and well worth the hassle of playing through the game. Armed and Dangerous starts off awesome, but later becomes more annoying than fun. Fortunately the humor never slows down, so regardless of how much you’re enjoying the game there is still a reason to play. Unless you are one of those cynical goth kids of course. Then avoid this game.

Rating: 7/10

Halon's avatar
Community review by Halon (July 18, 2005)

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