When Kane & Lynch was first released a couple years ago, it was met with disappointing reviews and an onslaught of controversy. Despite its shortcomings, IO Interactive has chosen to revisit the lives of these two mad men–this time in China.
What's it about?
Dog Days takes place a good amount of time after the events of Dead Men. Kane and Lynch have parted ways, and Lynch has been living with his girlfriend Xiu in China. Working as a vigilante, Lynch finds himself helping a few bad guys out in a smuggling ring of weapons, bringing Kane in by promising him a split of the bounty. Along the way, Kane and Lynch will experience tragedy, insanely twisted murders, and just about everything you'd expect from a gruesome storyline.
Why should I care?
While it's really hard to care much about the story – mainly because it's hard to comprehend while playing through – it definitely gives the game a lot more substance. It isn't particularly great, but there are plenty of moments that'll leave players awestruck, and from there the game's ESRB rating comes as no surprise.
Dog Days, like its predecessor, is essentially an over-the-shoulder third-person shooter. To add to the game's realism, the developers give players the illusion that they're actually playing as a cameraman experiencing all the action firsthand. The camera will be shaky. At moments there will be static and blur. The camera will fall during rough explosions. The bottom line is that, in essence, it's as if you're if someone filming the live action. You're definitely in control of a character, but the game makes it seem like you're following him rather than taking in control of him.
With that, the gameplay itself at times feels broken. Sometimes you can be aiming straight at an enemy's head, and you'll still be misfiring. On top of that, the AI is actually pretty smart and you'll often find yourself surrounded with nothing to take cover behind if you're not careful. Luckily, the developers included a "down but not dead" mechanic similar to Modern Warfare where you can collapse when near death, but you can still fire at enemies while on the ground. If you stay alive for significant amount of time, you regain enough health to stand upright again. This, combined with the camera's constant shaking will make the game feel like a repetitive mess, with the only factor keeping players in being the solid story. Nuances with the gameplay include the ability to use other humans as a shield for extra cover, but the need to do that is hardly even required.
What Makes Kane & Lynch 2 Worth My Time And Money?
The single player campaign is only about 7-8 hours, depending on how much you struggle against the tough AI. What really makes Dog Days a recommendable title is its solid multiplayer, especially Cops and Robbers and Undercover Cop. Cops and Robbers is pretty much what you'd expect. As robbers you lead a heist as you try to make escape the scene with whatever goods you have. Undercover Cop is a different take on Cops and Robbers, except that one of the robbers is a cop. The game ends when the robbers find out who that cop is.
Other than that, it's really hard to give a solid recommendation to Kane & Lynch 2. The game does have its moments and it's definitely an entertaining game, but at times the game still feels broken. Missions in the main campaign do nothing innovative, and the rest of it is simply "duck, cover, and kill." Kane & Lynch 2 would make a good $15 purchase, but anything more than that would be a stretch.