GameGuide » Blog Archive » Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Put your hand up if you like mindless action games that involve killing hundreds of people. Right, every one who raised their hand can keep on reading, the rest of you bugger off and go read the latest Farmville news.

For a relatively new series – this is the second game – Kane & Lynch has a bit of a reputation. A rather controversial reputation. The key characters (namely Kane and Lynch) are probably two of the nastiest characters in the realm of video gaming, the first game was a basic run and gun with some variety such as doing over banks, but at it’s heart, a basic third-person action shooter that didn’t care if innocent people got in the way.

Kane & Lynch 2 (K&L2) takes the basic premise of it’s predecessor and narrows the focus down considerably. It’s now basically a run and gun cover shooter with not a heck of a lot in the way of variety when it comes to game play – though there are a couple of nice missions that manage to mix things up a bit. 

Not that this is a bad thing – Modern Warfare 2 could have learnt a thing or two from K&L2 by loosing the far too complicated an nauseating story-line and replacing it with something much simpler – kill everything that moves.

If it moves, shoot it is the basic plan with K&L2 where there seems to be no repercussions for killing innocent civilians – in fact it would seem to be encouraged by the fact there is an achievement for kill over 1,000 people in the single player campaign.

So if the game is essentially a streamlined version of the first, why the hell would you want to play the second? For one because it’s a lot of fun, gives you a new story-line to fight through with lots of new locations.

For two, it’s a visually stunning game – just not in the way you would imagine.

The developers have embraced the whole online YouTube video craze, where not only does everyone post inane videos online, but increasingly it’s where we get our entertainment as well as our news.

The visual style is that of a handheld camera, so if you suffer from motion sickness, stay away. The images are gritty, washed out – especially if there is a bright light source – just like amateur video time on-line. The only difference is that it’s all styled in delicious hi-def and sets the atmosphere pretty damned well – especially because you’re about to go on a killing spree in the gritty urban decay of Shanghai.

To reinforce this online video feel anything that is too gruesome for evening TV – such as nudity and shooting someone in the head – is pixelated. This is bizarre at first, especially the first time someone empties a clip into your face and the whole screen goes blocky – but once you get used to it it just feels right. The final visual touch is in the loading screens – rather than waiting for them to load, they are ‘buffering.’

Sheer brilliance in the art department then.

The story-line begins with out friends trying to make a deal with some shady characters and everything turning to custard – including the believability of the story – but has some truly inspired hilarity – namely seeing Kane and Lynch running down the street stark naked killing cops and gang members. Ok, so maybe that doesn’t SOUND funny, but whilst playing the game it was funny.

The opposition doesn’t just lie down and die, expect to have to shoot your enemies several times, especially in the early stages of the game. Pay attention to the weapons dropped by the people you drop, because there are some really nice guns and some really crap guns. Re-stock your ammo off the fallen, and often because you can never have enough ammo.

So basically, Kane and Lynch are back, bolder and more in your face than ever, with an addictive, fun – but very violent – style of play.

The single player campaign is a decent length, and for this installment the developers have chucked in the usual online gaming, but have also upped the ante with an online co-op component.

Reviewed on: XBox 360

Available on: XBox 360, PS3, PC

Reviewed by:

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