Monday, August 30, 2010

Video Review: Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Our first Video Review!

It's been three years since Kane & Lynch: Dead Men was released onto store shelves. The game was met with mixed reviews giving quite a backslash to bad A.I., undependable cover mechanic, lack of precise aiming and the uneven difficulty. In spite of that the game has been given the sequel treatment with Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days.

Video could still be converting, please wait.

Developed by IO Interactive
Published by Eidos Interactive
Platform: 360, PS3, PC (Reviewed on 360)

The following text is simply the manuscript for the video review.

The story is simple, Lynch has moved to Shanghai since the events of the first game and gotten himself a girlfriend called Xiu. Kane travels to Shanghai to take part in an arms deal and all hell breaks loose, there are some variations and plottwists but not enough to set the game apart from other stories of the genre.

The atmosphere of the game is fenomenal with a shakey hand-held cam look along with the mosaic censorship and blood gushing onto the screen, it works well to bring the extra feeling of gritty realism that the series wants to get known for. The visuals themselves aren't striking, but they're good enough for a modern day game and fits the tone well. The audio of the game consists only of sound effects and voice acting, there's no music in the game until you reach the credits roll.

That might be a negative point for some, but it all comes down to the concept of the game, which works best without background music. The voice acting is great, but a lot of the guns in the game doesn't sound very threatning or devestating, they sound more like toy guns, something that certainly needs work.

The controls are too simple for this type of game, you're not even using every button on the controller, which is a shame, as the ability to give orders to your partner would have been useful in the later levels. The story mode took me about seven hours to finish and I will probably play it through one more time before I put it down, it's not as long as it should be but at the same time it's not as short as it could have been given the nature of modern games.

The singeplayer also comes with a brilliant multiplayer mode that will keep you playing for hours after you've finished the main story, it's playable both online and offline in the so-called "Arcade mode". Speaking of online and offline, co-op is naturally back and works great this time around since it actually lets you play online over Xbox Live and Playstation Network.

With that said, it's not perfect either. The multiplayer is basicly a re-hash of the same mode as in the first Kane & Lynch and there aren't many different stages. There will probably be DLC for the multiplayer coming sometime soon, but it will probably cost extra.

But the most important question of all is, did they fix the issues of the original Kane & Lynch game? Well, partly. The A.I. is greatly improved in your offline partner, but the enemies are still not that well programmed, the cover mechanic is much better this time around but it's also very limited. The aiming is better, but the snap-aim is almost always off target and the difficulty is still a bit to high on the lower settings.

Other low points of the game is the lack of Lynch's psychotic episodes and perhaps even more important, the lack of a stealth option. There are a lot of times where Kane will tell Lynch to be quiet and sneak, but you have no actual way of sneaking since the enemies are auto alerted when you enter the area. There's also a lack of character variety, you only play as Kane in one chapter, they could have split it up to make it more fun for the single players, but that's no big deal.

With that said, Kane & Lynch 2 was a fun game, but it had it's share of problems that Eidos really need to fix if they ever want the series to continue.

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