Beyond the arsenal, the gameplay in Armed and Dangerous is pretty standard. The game throws a ton of troops at you, and it's up to you to mow them all down with your machine gun. Each mission starts you out with a different weapon set, and you sometimes find new weapons along the way at a midlevel pub, which serves as a checkpoint where you can save your game and rearm. The various weapons are good for a few laughs, but since the machine gun is so useful, the action gets a little ho-hum after about half of the game's 20-plus missions. The jet-pack levels certainly liven things up a bit, but the way the game gives it to you for some missions and then takes it away for others gets a little annoying. Though the levels do throw hundreds of enemy soldiers your way, the game isn't very hard--as long as you take it slowly and don't rush into the middle of a cross fire, which chews through your health pretty quickly. Most players will be able to cruise through the game in around 10 hours, but there is some replay value to be uncovered in the form of bonus missions, additional difficulty settings, and the ever-popular big head mode.
The game's story is told through cutscenes, and it's here where most of the script's charm lies. The game tells a standard tale of rebellion against an evil king, but it does so in a funny way. There are a lot of "from out of left field" laughs in the script, including a few well-placed Star Wars references. Like Giants before it, not every single joke is laugh-out-loud funny, but the hits cover the misses reasonably well, and the game's quirky sense of humor never seems forced or fake, as it is in most other games that attempt to draw laughs. Unfortunately, the cutscenes are marred by some pretty awful quality problems. The audio is great, and the voice acting is well-played, but the visuals are pretty terrible. The character models used in the cutscenes look pretty poor, and the animation isn't much better. You'll see arms clipping through bodies, and you'll witness other instances of poor animation as well. This lack of quality really takes away from the overall impact of the cutscenes, which otherwise could have been the game's strongest point.
Graphically, Armed and Dangerous looks good. It sports a nice, long draw distance, which is handy since some enemies can fire at you from pretty far away--if they spot you. The textures and enemy models are passable, though you'll probably get tired of shooting down the same three or four enemy troops by the end of the game. Larger enemies, like the giant robots on patrol in some levels, definitely look cool. Also, a lot of buildings in the game are completely destructible, so you can use your heavier weapons or nearby turrets to completely raze them. The explosions that destroy buildings and the rubble that remains afterward both look very good. The animation looks OK, though, for some reason, the villagers who follow you around after you rescue them do so while floating around and lying down, so they're completely limp. This looks pretty stupid and doesn't really make much sense.
The story in Armed and Dangerous is more interesting than its gameplay or mission design.
As far as sound goes, the aforementioned voice work does a great job. The rest of the game's sound effects, however, are pretty run-of-the-mill, save for some good, loud explosions. The game is surprisingly quiet, music-wise. Most of the cutscenes are voices-only, and though you'll hear some music pop-up in combat, it tends to cut on and off almost at random. So sometimes you'll go from silence, to five seconds of music, and then back to silence again. That's a little annoying, and, at times, it almost seems like a bug in the game.
Armed and Dangerous is a good game, but toward the end of it, you'll likely be far more interested in seeing how the story ends--and the jokes it tells along the way--than in its gameplay. For fans of frantic shooters, this is a game worth renting, but its gameplay isn't remarkable enough to recommend as a purchase.