LucasArts has been spending the past few years slowly converting itself from George Lucas's personal Star Wars videogame company into a developer with plenty of its own original projects. ARMED AND DANGEROUS falls into this category, and while at first glance seems like a run of the mill shooter, it's actually one of the more entertaining games to be released on the Xbox this year.
The game starts with Roman, the human character in your party, along with the Scottish Miner Mole and explosives expert Jonesy, and the tea-loving robot Q. They comprise the Lionhearts, and the opening cut scene shows the group marching through the snow. They reach a small hut, finding the old blind psychic Rexus inside. Rexus refuses to leave, believing he needs to take care of his dogs (who he doesn't realize are frozen solid, with their pile of steaks uneaten).
Troopers storm the house, but Rexus's fake glass eyes keep him from immediate detection. The suspicious troops ask him to grab the glass of water off of a table nearby. Rexus misses the water, and brings the table back to the guards. As he is being drug off his swarm of flies fall to the ground, much to his dismay.
The hilarity of the game is the norm. At one point, Rexus uses a Jedi Mind Trick on two troops. He asks the others what to tell them.
"A Scottish miner"
"We aren't the ones they're looking for."
"No I've got it. You're FRENCH!"
The two troops promptly drop their guns and run away.
Each level is worth completing solely for the new bits of the story. But even then, the game is action-intense, and is quite fun.
Most of the levels have to do with blowing up buildings, enemies, and rescuing people. This isn't such a bad thing though. While Roman only starts out with a rifle, he quickly gains access to a machine gun and a shark gun (that deploys a land shark to attack your enemies). The weapon depots of the game are the local pubs, which also act as save points and can even restore some health.
While the enemy and ally AI is pretty dumb at times, the enemies are more forgivable. ARMED AND DANGEROUS is difficult enough already, without the enemies being smart. There are so many enemies to kill, and the cut scenes even portray them as stupid. What's awful is that your allies are worthless. They get killed quickly and they don't really help you out much.
As a whole though, the game plays very well as is a lot of fun. The worlds unfortunately are a bit dull. You'll wander around drab levels just looking for something remotely exciting. That said, the character models and animations are quite good. There is an overuse of fog in some areas that just doesn't look that good. Also, what the hell happened with the videos? Apparently it was decided not to use in game cinematics, rather, record them as video and play them back as compressed video. Too compressed. Whoops.
The game features an excellent cinematic score. Along with that comes great voice acting, and the typical plethora of gunfire and explosion sound effects.
All in all, ARMED AND DANGEROUS is an exciting action game that features a plethora of shooting. While it does this aspect well, the main selling point is the fantastic sense of humor installed by Planet Moon. ARM yourself.