Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days Review
publisher: Eidos Interactive
developer: IO Interactive
genre: Action Adventure
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Aug 17, 10
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Give me a minute... Oh yeah, I remember Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. And here's why I remember it. Eidos and Io Interactive had quite a powerful and rather catchy marketing campaign going on before release. When the game arrived and we experienced its single-player and multiplayer traits, we came to the frustrating conclusion that we were offered nothing more than an average, somewhat unpolished and overall incomplete shooter. There were some interesting elements such as the cool cinematic atmosphere and the unique story presentation. However, this didn't make up for a variety of gameplay issues and certain technical mishaps.
Despite its flaws, as an action game, Kane & Lynch could still stand on its own in a highly competitive market. Relying on its distinctive characters, the powerful story-driven single-player campaign, the game still received praise from a great number of critics, while gaming audiences were generally pleased. In fact, people were snatching up the game like crazy and Kane & Lynch went on to sell over 1 million copies. So, here we are several years later with a full-on sequel and a similarly strong pre-release marketing campaign. The expectations were understandable high once again.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days starts as players assume control of James Seth Lynch (that's how it is for most of the single-player story mode). In co-op, players can take control of Adam 'Kane' Marcus. Following the Venezuala incident, which occurred in Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, the two main characters are forced to part ways. Lynch moves to Shanghai where he begins a new life with his girlfriend Xiu, who, incidentally, is connected to a rather nasty crime organization led by an English character named Glazer. Eventually, Glazer offers Lynch a most lucrative job that denotes smuggling firearms into Africa. Of course, Lynch wants Kane to be in on the deal, seeing as both of them would greatly benefit from it.
If necessary, I'll shoot my way through everything.
This much-touted sequel clearly brings back the unique visual style, which is conveyed through a shaky-cam style perspective, as players traverse the diverse environments. The game is filled to the brim with non-stop action, explosions and frenzied gunfire. Well, yes, that's pretty much what we all expected, right? Right. If you're looking for action, this game provides. For the first few minutes of gameplay, you're likely to get sucked into the ambiance, which is rather captivating in a way. We rather started to enjoy ourselves. There's a smooth transition between well-directed cut-scenes and frenzied shoot-out sequences, which I'm sure will appeal to most gamers out there.
Like in most shooters, your character is able to pack only two distinct weapons at a time. There are enough weapons to cause mayhem and destruction, so no worries there.
Before we finished the story mode, we decided to have a bash at the game's multiplayer just to get a feel of it. We enjoyed the three available competitive multiplayer modes. Yep, Fragile Alliance marks a return, complete with two fresh variants - Undercover Cop and Cops & Robbers. The basics are very easy to master even for the most inexperienced gamer. Players try to snatch as much money as possible, while shooting their way across the map as police forces and possible traitors attempt to stop them. In Undercover Cop fashion is similar, except a randomly chosen player has to stop the team from escaping. Cops & Robbers is awesome too. It pits a group of criminals and a team of police officers, as the villains try to grab money and make a break for it. When each match is finished, players may use the money from the robbery to replenish their arsenal as they see fit.
But with all its snazzy camera angles, appealing atmosphere and intense shoot-outs, Kane & Lynch does not compensate for all of the original's shortcomings nor does it bring anything remarkably new and fresh to the genre. It almost feels like the design team had an intriguing gameplay concept and a brilliant idea for the game, but somewhere along the line they just lost sight of that. So, in practice, the whole thing across as a rather lackluster project. As a result, the gameplay mechanics do not go in any particularly interesting direction. There's room for inventiveness here, except nobody seems to think this game should go anywhere beyond the familiar shoot-duck-behind-the-cover-and-shoot-again routine. Believe me, as you play the game, things get drearier with each step.
6.0 Above Average
Great ambiance, awesome story presentation and characters, the action doesn't stop and it can be great fun both in multiplayer and solo modes, in some aspects it's actually a better game than its predecessor;
Doesn't move an inch away from the cesspool of archetypal shooters, with an incredibly short story mode and relatively poor multiplayer content on offer.