Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days Review

The original Kane and Lynch wasn’t a game that got around to playing, but from what I read online, it was an average third person shooter with two insane main characters. I thought the idea was interesting, but didn’t find the time to play it.

The sequel, Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days, takes a very different stance on the presentation of the game. While retaining the third person shooter gameplay, Io Interactive took a “hand-cam” approach to the third person perspective adding filters, the resemblance of running when following Lynch in his sprint, and adding mosaics on the more brutal aspects of the game.

The plot is simple on the surface. Lynch invited Kane to Shanghai to pull one more job that will help Kane go straight with the law. Unfortunately, the duo screw themselves and have to try to get out of Shanghai alive.

From a visual standpoint, the game isn’t the most highly detailed in terms of simple visuals on screen. But what Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days exceeds in is the presentation. The camera that uses a large amount of filters creates a very hyper-realistic presentation. While the cover camera is the standard fixed point, the movement camera sways while jogging or sprinting. It’s a tense experience with the camera moving so much and feels like the player is a third person following the pair as they spend their two days in Shanghai together.

Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days also features some top notch voice acting. There’s a lot of dialogue from a lot of different characters and the title doesn’t have many slow points once the end of the first act happens. I didn’t spend a lot of time listening for a soundtrack as I was usually moving from cover to cover trying to survive. The ambient environmental sounds do make Shanghai feel alive, if a little linear.

Featuring an online co-op, online multiplayer. and an off-line “Arcade” mode, Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days has much to offer beyond the single player story. The multiplayer is fun, but as always depends on who players are matched up with, Arcade mode is a form of the mulitplayer with bots and is a good way to learn levels while earning cash for new weapons.

Playing single player, there are a few noticeable issues. Mainly with aiming and hit detection, Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days favors up-close encounters, but when the pair are surrounded by five to ten enemies, moving forward is difficult, especially when their weapons can sight really easily while players have to fire small bursts quickly before re-entering cover.

But the game does help out with explosives around levels like fire extinguishers and gas cans which after being thrown at enemies can be shot to provide a way to take out multiple enemies at once.

Even with the destructible cover, the amount of enemies that Kane and Lynch have to face is a little unbalanced and areas can become trial and error up to frustration. Since both pick up ammunition and weapons from fallen enemies, killing a majority from afar can actually hurt more than moving as close as possible and taking loads of damage.

In the end though, the experience of Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days is worth the purchase because it doesn’t hide anything telling the story of the pair as they live through two days being hunted, violence and language are harsh in the title rightly gaining the “M for Mature” rating. While the story is best played with a partner, it is enjoyable in single player, but the multiplayer will keep many gamers trying to become the best criminal possible.

It’s worth the purchase, but is does get difficult in story mode

Review copy provided by publisher