If you like homicidal protagonists, lots of gun fighting and the word “F**K” (we’re a PG site) we’ve got a game for you. Shanghai will never be the same as we go through 48 hours of hell in Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days.
In Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days we find the psychopathic Lynch and his good friend Kane reuniting for one last deal within the Shanghai underworld. In unexpected turn of events, as you likely suspected, things go horribly wrong, which turns this simple in-and-out deal into an all out war against the upper echelon of the Shanghai syndicate. More then a group of gangsters and drugged up pushers, the twosome will have to fight their way out of a several sticky situations involving corrupt government agencies and one severally pissed off boss.
Another Dog F**king Days!
Playing off the first title, Kane & Lynch sustains its gritty approach to violence with improved sensibilities. Storytelling is realistically told through a steady cam styled approach, uncensored and brutally savage. Understandably, the stuff in ‘Dog Days’ isn’t ground breaking, however, in the comparison to other media featuring a "buddy tale," Kane & Lynch delivers. Even though some of the twists are expected and a little cliché, this game has its moments, and some push the boundaries of what we thought we would see in a game. That is unless you think playing with two naked and cut up characters over a long drawn out shootout is normal.
The most interesting aspect of Kane & Lynch 2 is how the narrative never feels contrived even when it's at its most shocking. The emotional level delivered through the voice performances by the two leads helps draws us into their world, and by the end of their unfortunate landsliding tale (which can be completed as a single player or in co-op) you will likely be satisfied in what Dog Days had to offer, even if it it runs a little short.
Trust No One
Compensating the single/co-op campaign you can head into the multiplayer portion of ‘Dog Days.' Four modes are present to offer up something more competitive to the Kane & Lynch experience. First is the Arcade training mode that allows you to play with bots, a good idea to for player to get up to speed before heading online for the real deal.
Online you will experience the full out alluring dance of paranoia called ‘Fragile Alliance.’ Fragile Alliance is a mode in which players must work together to loot a location and escape. However, the term “work together” is a loose one because you can turn on your allies at any time to take all the loot for yourself. This turns your team against you making it a risky, but more rewarding route to take.
Fragile Alliance includes 6 levels (subway, airport, fish market, harbor, bridge, financial) intricately built with a fabricated tale of robbery to get you more into the mood. More levels are available for a price as they are three additional levels are clearly shown in mission select menu. I'm sure how I feel about additional levels being packed on the disc without them being unlocked. If you need some fuel for the developers holding back content on purpose, this would be a good example.
The more you play this mode, the more it ramps up, and not only will you have to contend with greed setting into the eyes of your fellow criminals, you will have to contend with an undercover cop in the working the heist from the inside in a variation called ‘Undercover Cop.’ Playing as the undercover cop is extremely nail-biting tense as you try to dispatch each member without the others witnessing your act of deceitfulness… something easier said then done. Lastly, we have a ‘Cops and Robbers’ scenario that pits a team of cops against the criminals in shootout over bundles of cash. The criminals are looking to snatch the loot, while the 5-0 are out to retrieve it. This mode is all about team work, a far cry from the chaos that usually happens in Fragile Alliance.
Thanks for the Idea, Cloverfield
Rendering this unsettling amount of violence into the game is an unscripted, under produced graphics stylization. ‘Dog Days’ has a SUPER-8, cell phone video quality that is purposely grained out and blurred, shaky-cam included. The colour separation and frame-rate drops during large explosions are all part of the scheme to make a good look low res game. This concept might sound a little fishy on paper, but it works wonders when put to the backdrop of this violent escapade. One might think all the different mixes of visual techniques including a Cloverfield styled shaky-cam would make you nauseous, but it surprisingly doesn’t. On lookers, well, maybe you might want to sit this one out. The Shaky-cam can be turned off, however filters cannot, so if you’re one that gets easily queasy, you'll skip this one. Nevertheless, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Dogs graphic style is delightfully bad in a good, good way.
The game mechanics in Kane & Lynch 2 is your basic 3rd-person duck-and-cover deal. Likewise with all games based around this mechanic, cover is paramount to surviving, along side other techniques like flanking and sneaking up on enemies unexpectedly. You can also take a human shield to help you safely make it to cover, if your shield doesn’t bite the bullet from your enemies, you can plant one firmly in their skull, or throw them down to get rid of them. The shield mechanic is a popular one when it works; however, IO really didn’t iron this one all the way out making it near impossible to grab an enemy in a big battle. Unless you get lucky, the only time you will be taking advantage of a meatbag shield is when the game purposely sets you up for a capture.
When it comes to weapons, Dog Days has an assorted selection in various shapes and sizes. You won’t be able to earn cash to upgrade your personal weapon stash in the single player game, that’s for multiplayer only, so what you pick off your fallen foes, is what you have to use. It's the standard affair, several variations on each sub-class. Lynch can also use explosive gas canisters, fire extinguishers and other improvised items to toss and shoot at enemies. This flushing out system is a little sloppy, but it works. Anyone who has played a similar game should have no trouble jumping into this one, in a comparison from the first game, Kane and Lynch has been tightened up a bit, but it will still feel a little loose if you’ve are used to other games like Uncharted or Gears.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is a brutal tale of two psychopathic mad men battling through the gritty Shanghai underworld. The single player campaign is one hell of a rat-race that will have you on the edge of your seat, many times in disbelief of what you just seen on the screen. However, no matter how gripping this bloodbath tale becomes you can’t dismiss the fact that it is just too short when stacking up to other mainstream action titles. Kane & Lynch 2 just starts to ramp up when it comes an unclimatic end.
Adding some much needed length to the experience are a few flushed multiplayer modes, although one would have to question the games staying power once the big hitters come around for the holiday season. Not to discourage those who love the taste of some good old ultra-violence, Kane & Lynch 2 is still worth a look. Its brutally visceral tale, tightened up mechanics, and eye-catching graphic style is something to be experience-- unfortunately it’s one that might be better served as a weekend rental.
Gameplay:6.8, Graphics:7.4, Sound:7.0, Innovation:7.0, Mojo:7.0 Final: 7.0 / 10
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 08.27.10