Hallelujah or Amen?
The objective of each level is to to guide your unit – consisting of members of an elite task force – through various areas in the world. The areas themselves are full of obstacles that make your life very hard with all the possible death traps they offer you. To overcome said obstacles, you have to use the special abilities of your people; these vary from building ladders, bridges, etc., – to more simple things, like lifting crates.
The game world itself is a dangerous one since everything can (and will) kill you if it is given the chance. The possibilities for death range from falling off a cliff to saws that spike out of the Earth; but it’s also those things you use to kill your enemies. That’s pretty much the only way you can kill the non-player characters (other than directly), but they can kill you without a problem.
Playing the game, you will notice that there are different obstacles on the way to your goals which are meant to be overcome. These obstacles range from elevators that are out of order to cliffs and meter-high walls. Even crates can be a serious problem for your men.
While its true that you can find all things you need on the map, the shown items are only enough to master the challenge in the way they’ve anticipated. The first thing you should do is scroll over the map, looking for objectives and working out how to get there.While reading the map, you should also observe the enemy and their patrol routes – working out possible solutions to any problems that arise along the way.
Regarding the characters, as I’ve said before each of them has their own unique special abilities. These abilities are what you must work around in order to use your characters to their potential, their skills beng your salvation.
The engineer can obviously build things if you have the necessary ability token, but he also can paint mines so that the enemy soldiers won’t see their own mines and walk right over them. He also can destroy certain obstacles if available.
The spy’s special ability is one in which he wears the enemy’s hat and blends into the crowd – becoming undetectable as long as he doesn’t do anything suspicious. He can also place signs like “stop” or “turn around”, changing the way the enemy patrols.
The Body builder is the right guy if the mission is to remove crates. He is the only character that can pick up crates and move them, using them as falling debris to take out enemies – much like the classic anvil from early cartoons. He can also use an “aggro” ability, making the enemies only focus on him.
There are also regular soldiers, who can use ammunition to shoot at enemies or other important targets. This ammunition should be used sparingly, however; as you might need it to get past a tricky puzzle/road block in the game. Instead of killing enemies, you should use it for other things… such as cutting a rope which holds back a large rock, the result right out of an Indiana Jones movie. He can also throw grenades and place TNT, if available to you.
Lastly, the elite trooper. He has some tools, a parachute for jumping from heights and an iron grappling – the latter of which allows him to climb certain walls. The elite trooper also has a sprint option which can be used for a few seconds, a cool down period needed between uses.
While on stand-by, the characters say cheesy things like “I have the strange feeling that I am just someone’s marionette,” or “They really exist… They watch me…”. The game over screen also adds some humour in this way, giving narrator comments which are meant to make you laugh.
One thing you will get either way is money, the amount of money you earn depending on your score (which itself depends on factors like how often you save, your performance, completion, etc,). With money, you can unlock several things in the in-game shop; the available purchases being cosmetic changes to the character as well as ways to improve their abilities.
All said and done, A Men-2 is a stealth platformer with a fairly high difficulty, charming hand drawn graphics and likable characters. The missions are plentiful, the game play is fairly solid and the music is… well… one of the only real draw backs.