Hell hath no Fury
What do you think happens when the King of Hell – never the most forgiving of rulers – is cast out of his kingdom by a horde of weird, wild and bloodthirsty demons? He comes back, that's what – and he's nastier than ever.
In Army Corps of Hell, you take control of the deposed ruler of the netherworld as he bids to retake his dark throne. Driven by an all-consuming hatred for the monsters that dare to rule in his place, he screams through the sky like a comet and comes to an explosive halt right in the middle of a swarm of ugly little goblins.
In their own barbaric way, they're impressed – which is fortunate, because the King of Hell is sorely in need of an army if he's to defeat the creatures of darkness that stand between him and ultimate power. The flesh-eating goblins waste no time in flocking to the horned king's ragged banner, and the battle for the underworld begins...
Army Corps of Hell is all about the single-minded pursuit of one thing: utter devastation.
Keeping it simple is the key, and from the title screen onwards there's little to distract your attention from the job at hand – which is great, because the job at hand is the fiendishly fun one of conquering hell with the aid of a tribe of vile and vicious goblins.
The spirit of the game is fast, furious and fantastically gory, and the action rarely slows down for a moment. When it does, it's only to move the story forward in a series of rapid-fire and hilarious cutscenes that see the skeletal King of Hell yelling commands in his own inimitably freaky way to the cringing, creepy goblin horde.
The controlled chaos of the game, which takes place across a series of floating islands filled with monsters straight from your most colourful nightmares, is amped up by an inspired and amazing soundtrack of death metal, heavy metal and, well, other kinds of metal. After about 30 seconds of play it becomes clear that hardcore headbanging is the only suitable accompaniment to the craziness on-screen. That, and the chipmunk-style screeching of ravenous goblins, of course.
Burn baby, burn
The King of Hell may be a psychopathic, skull-faced tyrant intent on annihilation, but he's not stupid. He knows that to overthrow the monsters marauding across the many islands of hell, he'll need more than just a ragtag band of bloody-minded goblins. He'll need strategy too – and this is where Army Corps of Hell becomes particularly brilliant.
As you dash through each island, your goblin troop will cluster around you like a swarm of lethal bees. When you confront a monster, you face a choice – command your minions to get into a disciplined formation before launching your assault, or order them to attack in their own haphazard style. The former strategy will leave you open to attack but lets you strike enemies with merciless speed and power, destroying them in moments; the latter affords you greater protection but makes obliterating opponents that much harder.
As you progress through the islands, you'll pick up magical instruments: play these via the PS Vita system's rear touch pad to grant your underlings special protection from harm. You'll also gain new skills for the goblins themselves – eventually ending up with three classes of warrior, from swordsmen and spearmen to spell-casting mages. Learning which fighters to deploy against which enemies is all important, especially when facing off against some of the disgusting demon bosses that await – from giant insect warriors crawling with bugs to hydra-like worms sprouting multiple deadly heads. After all, fire and brimstone are grand, but if his strategy fails and his goblins are slaughtered, even the King of Hell can be defeated.
One king to rule them all
The action and hilarity of Army Corps of Hell continue in its amazing Multiplayer Mode, which sees up to four players co-operate to re-conquer the underworld via a local Ad Hoc Mode connection between PS Vita systems.
Getting your mates involved only increases the fun as you team up to bring down even tougher bosses and win rarer artefacts, sneakily stealing each other's goblins all the while!
The skills and strategies honed in the frenetic single player mode are put to the ultimate test in multiplayer matches – the question is, how long can your alliance last? After all, there can be only one King of Hell...