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Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

01 Oct 10

KANE & LYNCH 2: DOG DAYS dares to be different, and because of that (and a rather short single-player story) it’s already felt the fi ery breath of critics and gamers alike. But while the game does have fl aws, it’s also done many things right, tackled some interesting obstacles, and comes out as a game you will defi nitely not forget.

It’s very rare that the main protagonist in a video game is a slightly overweight, balding, middleaged man. There’s nothing overly marketable about an angry, unlikeable criminal with a stained tank top and an even angrier bearded friend, but it’s hard not to be caught up in the rather over-thetop scenario this pair falls into. Everything goes from bad to worse as a weapons deal gone wrong turns into a battle for survival in Shanghai after seriously upsetting one of the biggest underworld bosses in the city.

You assume control of Lynch, with an AIcontrolled Kane who's far from a hindrance and helps out more often than not. But if all else fails, grab a friend and play through in the way it was intended: co-op from start to fi nish.

Kane & Lynch 2 plays out like a gritty R18 action movie with plenty of blood, (pixelated) nudity, swearing and some of the best camera effects I have seen in any game... ever. The entire game is presented as if everything was fi lmed on a crappy digital camera or camera phone and then edited for TV. A subtle fi sheye ensures there are no straight vertical lines. Compression blocks appear if movement is too fast, light fl ares in amazingly accurate ways, dark areas have a swarm of blue pixels scouring the screen and all extremely graphic deaths and nudity are pixelated out. Io- Interactive really did its homework when it came to how amateur fi lm looks and how light plays on a specifi c lens. Subsequently, the developer has come away with a game that really separates itself from the overcrowded third-person shooter market. It lends itself to make the already high-quality texturing that little more real. To put so much effort behind a camera shows the dedication and effort put into this game as a whole.

While there doesn’t seem to be much of an online community at the moment, Kane&Lynch 2 does offer an incredibly in-depth and varied multiplayer experience (with amazing how-to videos). One mode involves you and some friends trying to escape within four minutes with $4million in cash. But things start getting interesting when someone in your team realises they’ll get a bigger cut if they just take out one or two of your comrades, or you yourself. It becomes a game of "who can you trust?”, and if you’re betrayed you’ll respawn as a cop to prevent the culprit from making away with the cash you missed out on. The other multiplayer games are variations of this and, when there are people online, are a heck of a lot of fun.

It’s sad that a lot of people will skip over this because of some bad reviews. Sure, story mode isn’t that long, but with the ability to go through the entire game with a co-op friend as well as a rather snappy Arcade Mode, you’ll surely get a bit of use out of this game.