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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Square-Enix/Eidos Interactive
Developed By: Io Interactive
Genre: Action
Players: 2 (co-op)
Rated: M (Mature)
Release Date: August 17, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Marcus Prunty

August 20, 2010 - It might be time to put this dog out of its misery. Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is a follow-up to the original game titled Kane & Lynch: Dead Men which was a fairly decent game that didnít do anything exceptionally well. Kane & Lynch; for those that didnít play the first game, is a 3rd person shooter where you play as the title characters who are hardcore criminals with an uncanny ability to always find themselves in hot water with the law.

This time around Io Interactive decided to streamline the whole concept of the series and simplify the game. The missions have been trimmed down to mainly shooting from cover and moving on to the next checkpoint after clearing out the room or area. No more heists and very little sneaking around or stealth missions in the game. Itís more or less duck behind cover, clear out the area and move on to the next location. This time around youíre in the exotic city of Shanghai as Kane comes to visit Lynch in hopes of doing one more job and reuniting with his daughter whom he has neglected during his time of being a career criminal.

Dog Days are given a gritty feel, through the unique camera experience. The title characters seem to be followed by a camera man with a handheld video camera catching the mayhem as it occurs. The camera bounces and shakes and occasionally gets hit with blood splatter on the lens ramps up the intensity of the shootouts that occur throughout the game. This unique camera effect can give you quite a headache after you play the game after a while. Thank god in the options you can enable the steady cam which reduces all the shaking and makes the camera pretty standard.

Another flaw besides the steady shaking of the camera which can disorient you and give you a headache is the repetition. A game built on cover and shooting doesnít really do cover and shooting that well. The guns that you will use in the game seem to lack any kind of accuracy as all the enemies and cops you get into shootouts with can take like 10 hits before they even fall. After you think they are down your best bet is to shoot them a couple more times to make sure they are dead. Because many times over the course of the game I got shot several times by enemies that popped right back up and shot me after they should have been dead. Then thereís the whole thing about the cover system. Your best bet with most of the cover in the game is to keep moving as its very brittle and will shatter and break apart around you through the ton of bullets that will be shot your way.

The intensity of the gameplay is ramped up by the emotions that the characters experience and go through while trying to get themselves out of the mess they are in. If you sit back and really watch the cutscenes in the game and listen to the dialogue you feel the emotional hopelessness and the turmoil the characters are experiencing. Thereís a point in the game where the characters get caught and are torturedÖ LITERALY; sliced across their bodies. Although you donít actually see the event happening, hearing the screams while itís occurring and seeing their bodies slashed and oozing blood makes you cringe and feel their pain. This game does an excellent job of bringing you into the story and feeling the emotions they are feeling. And all of this is accomplished through dialogue for the most part as there is not that much music in this game.

The graphics of the game are pretty special in my opinion the whole handheld camera look of the game and the way that captures the buildings and the people is an interesting take on things. Many people have compared it to films like Collateral with Tom Cruise and Jaime Foxx, and Heat. I definitely think this game is on par with the way Collateral was shot so I can easily see how the comparisons work. The part I didnít like too much about the graphics was the cops and other enemies that you shoot. Every once in a while their face would be pixilated/blurred out. It wasnít everyone who got shot it occurred randomly which didnít make too much sense to me. As well as when Kane and Lynch were tortured, they were naked till you find clothes for them. They pixilated out their private parts, now this is again interesting considering the game is rated M for mature and has no problems with the man headshots and other blood splattering shooting that occurs. Not too sure why this was done but Iím assuming its part of the whole maybe someone is following them with a camera filming their exploits. Maybe once it was done they blurred out some obscene things in post production. But then again thatís showing that maybe youíre playing a movie when you play this game, as there is a timestamp at the top thatís constantly running while youíre playing. This all can be confusing but doesnít take away from the main theme behind the game. This happens to be Kane & Lynch experiencing 48 hours of hell as they are in Shanghai.

Another plus to the game and which I think saves the game totally is the inclusion of multiplayer which was missing from the first game. Io Interactiveís version of multiplayer comes in the form of 3 different games called Fragile Alliance, Undercover Cop and Cops & Robbers. Fragile Alliance is pretty much how it sounds as you are teamed up with other players to steal as much money as you can and youíre given 4 minutes to do this in. The main variable is will everyone have honor among thieves or will they turn on each other and steal the other peopleís cash. You can make more money by killing off the competition but the other players in the game could turn on you and take your ill-gotten gains. Undercover Cop also is pretty self explanatory itís like Fragile Alliance except one of the players must play as a cop, and once the looting starts must stop all the criminals in order to win. In Cops & Robbers the players are split up where some play as Robbers who must pull of a heist, while the others are the Cops who must stop them. I liked playing Undercover Cop the most as you never knew who was going to try to stop you as your stealing loads of cash. Kane & Lynch 2 also boasts an Arcade mode which is simply Multiplayer with bots instead of Humans.

Dog Days is an interesting sequel as it removed a lot of elements from the first game and streamlined it to something simpler. This doesnít often happen in games they usually build upon the first and improve all the things they didnít get right the first time around. They also changed up the camera system and went for a more realistic look and feel. The grittiness and emotionality of the game is felt deep inside when youíre playing this game. The intensity is ramped up from the previous game. An although this is a repetitive cover and shoot game where you clear out areas the story will suck you in so you donít mind it being repetitive. The multiplayer saves this game as it does most games that are not overly great but are pretty good. With plenty of people to play online against I am sure you will spend many hours online. This is good because the story mode is fairly short like they tend to be in shooters, the story mode took me about 6-7 hours to complete but I spent probably about 10 hours playing multiplayer so it balances itself out. If you liked the first game and would like to play the sequel go for it, itís quite a change from the first, if your new to the franchise and not big on multiplayer then I suggest renting this game instead of buying. Donít put the dog out of its misery just let it lay where it lies.


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