Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
Three years ago Kane and Lynch: Dead Men was released and although the reviews weren’t really bad the game did fail on a few things: no online co-op, short, graphics could be better, … IO Interactive now unleashes a sequel onto us: Dog Days. Hopefully there’s improvement.
Just like in the first game the story is quite important. After a short flashback the game starts with a meeting between the lead characters in Shanghai. Lynch tells Kane that he’s got a quick job to finish and that they can then work on their deal but as so often things can go wrong on a simple mission and the two gentlemen have to flee.
For a game where story is so important, it’s a shame that the above description just about says it all. The characters are pretty cool and could have come straight out of a movie, but we’re missing some depth. What Kane’s deal is about or why Lynch needs to set someone straight are things that the devs apparently found not interesting enough to tell us in the beginning.
The lack of depth also makes the game pretty short. In about six hours you can complete the singleplayer campaign which is divided into different chapters where you get to play as Lynch except for the very ending.
The game is a third person shooter and looks quite unique. The graphics aren’t of the highest level but this gets compensated with the style: the images look like they’ve been filmed by an amateur camera which nicely fits in the atmosphere of Dog Days. The characters aren’t afraid of cursing here and there eventhough there’s still some censorship present. We did notice, though, that the lipsync regularly is off and the voices in open air often sound like they’re recorded in a basement.
As said, the campaign is quite short and it doesn’t have much variation either. You constantly flee from enemies and often things go wrong. When looking for an escape you run into many cops and gang members that need to be taken out but the weapons don’t really do their job all too great. One is hell to use from a distance while another may do better on that part but will fail on another. At no time does Kane & Lynch 2 manage to feel it’s on the same level as the better shooters of recent times.
Of course we get some multiplayer and next to the co-op campaign there’s the Fragile Alliance mode from the first game along with two new ones: Undercover Cop and Cops&Robbers. In Fragile Alliance the idea is to steal as much money as possible during a robbery and once escaped safely you go to the next round where the cops give you some more resistance. The two other modes only vary slightly from each other: in Undercover Cop a random player become a secret agent, while in Cops&Robbers a group of players takes on the role of the police. These modes prolong the lifespan of the game a bit but again we lack of a true shooter feeling make it just a little extra and you’ll probably return to a game like Modern Warfare 2 for a real multiplayer experience.
Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days is a game that runs on its singleplayer, and for that a six hour gameplay experience just isn’t long enough. Too many elements in the game are mediocre and eventhough the atmosphere perfectly fits the Dog Days concept, overall we really can’t say this is a good game.