Before Hollywood tries its hand at a movie adaption of Kane & Lynch, developer IO Interactive is bringing back the former death row inmates for a video game sequel. Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days sees the return of the duo, placing them in familiar situations but in an unfamiliar territory. IO Interactive was focused on making Kane & Lynch 2 more brutal and gritty by adjusting the look of the game, leaving the rest of the game in a generic state.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dogs Days story revolves around Lynch. Now settled in Shanghai, and doing illegal operations there, Lynch calls up his former partner for what seems to be their last big score. Completing this last job will allow them to be financially set for the rest of their lives and will get them back to their loved ones. They both have more than just freedom and death at stake here, making the story enjoyable and giving you moments that will make you feel an attachment to the characters. Needless to say, things end up going sour for Kane and Lynch after they cause the death of someone very important. This is why you don’t kill people you don’t know. Kane and Lynch must leave Shanghai before the government officials or criminal organizations find them. The campaign can be played alone and with a friend online. I was disappointed to find little to no teamwork options during cooperative play. Besides flanking enemies and reviving each other when downed, their were many obstacle that require teamwork. The campaign is also way too short. I managed to complete the game in two sittings that each consisted of a little over two hours played.
In terms of gameplay, the game seems a bit generic and typical of what you would expect from a third person shooter. You can now get behind cover with a press of a button making it easier to dodge flying bullets. That’s just about as deep as the cover system goes in this game. Moving from cover to cover is nonexistent, you’ll have to pull away from your initial cover and walk towards your new cover. The gameplay just lacks depth, this is something that could of easily made the gameplay much smoother. I also found the gun play to be a little lackluster. Some of the weaponry isn’t too effective on these heavily armored enemies. Even enemies with no armor take alot of ammo to be put down. Aiming with a gun that isn’t an assault rifle is pretty painful. Sometimes it isn’t the guns fault, sometimes it’s the fault of the stupid filter.
To add a brutal and gritty look to the game, IO Interactive included the addition of a shaky cam and visual filter options. The shaky cam works much like of a hand-held camera and gives the game a documentary style look at what is happening with Kane and Lynch throughout the game. I wasn’t really bothered by this particular addition, I appreciate and respect the implementation of the guerrilla style film making approach. But this isn’t a film. I can see the shaky cam option being a distraction to some, or even making games feel a little nauseous. Luckily you can remove the shaky cam option. Unfortunately, you can’t remove the ugly filter. The filter only ever served as a distraction to me and takes away from the graphics and visual style. Dog Days may not be the best looking game out, graphically, but this filter makes it even worse. I couldn’t stand the grainy, pixelated look, and all of the lighting glares. I give the developer credit because I assure you that no other game looks like this one.
Multiplayer modes make their return in Dog Days. Arcade Mode isn’t necessarily a multiplayer mode but it is a competitive mode. Along with a few AI controlled robbers, you must rob a stash of money, deal with the police, and make it to your getaway van in time. You do this in rounds, with a time limit to reach the van, and you keep going until you set a highscore. The Fragile Alliance gametype is pretty much what you play in Arcade mode except the AI controlled robbers are now people from the online world. It also adds a unique twist by allowing you to betray your teammates in order to leave with more money, but watch your back because you never know who’s after you. If you get killed you’ll respawn as a cop and get a chance to avenge yourself.
‘Undercover Cop’ is another multiplayer mode that involves the team of robbers pulling off a heist but like the title eludes, one of your teammates isn’t who they seem to be. This is a fun mode when you’re in a full game and everyone is suspicious of each other. The slight problem with the mode is that the undercover cop doesn’t get to respawn after he’s dead. , so it’s smooth sailing from there on. The last mode is ‘Cops & Robbers’ and is a 6v6 gametype featuring cops and robbers. Robbers try to get the money and run, and cops stop them.not much to say about this mode, it was fun the few times I played it. Dog Days offer much better multiplayer options than the first game did but I don’t know how long people will be playing this online.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is an improvement of the first game. IO Interactive made some well needed adjustments to the game but at the same time managed to adopt a few bad ideas along the way. I did enjoy the campaign and I do feel it’s worth a try so long as you have a buddy to play it with. The unique visual style wasn’t something I was particularly fond of but it does remain unique. Dog Days is a pretty average game, it still deserves your time and maybe even your money. Try out the demo on Xbox Live or PSN, that’s a good first step.