By Sam Coles:
Kane and Lynch is a franchise that has a lot of controversy due to the fact Geoff Gersman was fired from Gamespot for giving the original a negative review as they were their sponsors at that time. The series has been dormant for about six years with the last game Kane & Lynch 2 Dog Days getting a lot of negative attention and honestly I don’t see why the shooting is good, the visuals are unique and the story is dark and intense. Yes it is only about four hours long but honestly that is not bad considering you can pick it up for a couple of quid these days.
Kane & Lynch 2 takes place a few years after the first game where Kane is living happily with his daughter and Lynch is living in Shanghai with his significant other. Kane comes and visits Lynch as he is helping him out with an arms deal, he arrives and Lynch needs to take care of some business where things go wrong. Kane accidentally shoots the daughter of a high priority crime lord in the city who has complete influence of the law enforcement and the military; they both go on the run being shot at in every restaurant and alley way they find themselves in. The story is surprisingly dark and intense with graphic scenes of people being tortured or slicing their own throats open this is not unusual as the first game had some dark moments with Lynch’s psychotic episodes.
The gameplay like the first game is a third person shooter where you can either play solo or co-op which if you can tell by the title of the game it emphasises co-op. Shooting is decent with some destructible environments especially the level where you’re in a restaurant and it’s raided by a SWAT team and there are chunks of wood flying everywhere when they break and shoot through walls. There are variety of different weapons from pistols, shotguns, SMG’s, LMG’s, assault rifles and sniper rifles they mostly handle well although the SMG’s are a bit inaccurate and you end up hitting one bullet out of 30.
There are features that will give you the upper hand in gunfights such as being able to take human shields and steal their pistols to takedown their comrades. Before you die you’ll stagger in a prone position where you can let off a few shots to help you fight for your life and this can get very tense where there are four or five enemies around you.
The only problem I have with the gameplay is that in some circumstances you can still take damage in cover and for some reason shotguns have better long range damage than some of the assault rifles but besides that the shooting is satisfying and extremely brutal.
The game has a unique visual style as it goes for a found footage movie look with corruption with footage when explosions happen and when you get shot; this can be a bit irritating sometimes because it can be a struggle to see what you’re shooting at. What I love about this style is that when you pull off brutal headshots it blurs out enemies faces to emphasise how horrible your actions were. There is a shaky cam when you run which can be a bit sickly but fortunately you can turn it off in the options menu which I would highly recommend before you even start the game. The game runs at 60 frames per second and I can’t really think when it really dropped except for one incident when a massive explosion happened where there was a horrendous dip.
Kane & Lynch 2 Dog Days doesn’t deserve the hate it gets, is it anything innovative? No of course not but that doesn’t make it bad and I know it is a bit repetitive but it’s only about four hours long and it only costs about £2 these days. Pick it up if you get the chance and experience dark and intense story, you can pick it up for cheap physically or if you’re an Xbox Live Gold member you can download for free on Xbox 360 or Xbox One at the moment.