Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days – Review

The original Kane & Lynch title was met with mixed reviews from critics and it looks like the second title in the series is going to meet the same fate. There are some things about Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days that I enjoyed and definitely some things that the developer needs to work on if they ever release a third Kane & Lynch title. First of all, let me make something crystal clear here: your kids should be nowhere near this game. This is definitely a shooter made for the hardcore fans and it is exceedingly violent and, in some cases, bloody. There is also quite a bit of cursing as well so make sure you don’t have any kids around when playing this game. Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is a interesting title. It is very atmospheric and the development team does a great job fleshing out the environment. There are also some instances where they did a terrific job of injecting some extra tension into a situation. There was an instance where I had to try and save someone from getting kidnapped, however, I couldn’t physically get to her so I had to shoot the enemies from afar before they could grab her. She would climb out onto a ledge to try and escape which would give me time to try and take out the bad guys. There was another instance where I had to chase someone down some alleys and through some businesses while at the same time trying to stay alive and not get killed from enemies laying in wait.

I had fun playing through these scenarios until the gameplay itself let me down. The majority of the weapons in this game are horribly inaccurate. You have to let your reticule rest on an enemy for an extra couple of seconds to try and get a better shot at him if you want to take him down quickly. Unfortunately, when you are in a big firefight those extra seconds could be the difference between life and death in the game. The hit boxes on the characters are also completely off the mark. There were many times when I would carefully line up someone in my sights to make sure I didn’t miss and I still ended up missing. It became really frustrating when that took place, especially if I am trying to clear a room of people that are trying to take me out. You play the role of Lynch with Kane by your side as an AI companion. The AI in this game is a definite mixed bag. There were times when Kane would take out enemies for me before I even saw them which helped out a lot. The others times however he was a complete nuisance. There were many times when I was in cover trying to lean out to get a shot off and all of a sudden Kane was standing right in front of me so I couldn’t see anything. My view would become completely obstructed, forcing me to move to another position. If I was low on health at the moment that would force me to temporarily leave my cover to get a better position. Of course, that is assuming that taking cover actually worked the way it should. Being able to take cover worked the majority of the time, however, there were definitely instances where the game wouldn’t allow me to take cover for whatever reason and I became a sitting duck, so to speak. The enemy AI in this game can be fairly intelligent and they will flank you if they get the opportunity. The controls for the game weren’t very precise either. I would be walking along with my gun drawn, ready to take out the next enemy I saw, when I would let up on the analog stick. Even though I let go of the analog stick, Lynch would continue to walk, which definitely got me killed on a number of occasions. When you are playing a shooter, and especially when you are involved in a big firefight, you need to have precise controls or the game moves from challenging to downright annoying.

Kane & Lynch 2 also offers some multiplayer action. You can play over Xbox Live or if you have more than one system you can also do a system link. Kane & Lynch 2 features three multiplayer modes with “Fragile Alliance,” “Undercover Cop” and “Cops & Robbers”. In “Fragile Alliance” you are working with a team to perform a heist and then escape. If you have a group of friends to play with this mode can be a lot of fun. If you are a greedy person though you can stab your friends in the back and try to take their cut. It’s a mode that emphasizes teamwork while simultaneously encouraging you to watch your own back. The “Undercover Cop” mode is pretty self explanatory. Someone in your group is an undercover cop and it is their mission to stop you from performing the heist. “Cops & Robbers” is a twelve person mode where some will be the cops and some will be the robbers. As a robber you need to steal the money and get away. As a cop you need to take out the robbers and then retrieve and protect the money. All of these modes have potential and I enjoyed my time with them. They could be so much better though if the controls and the gunplay was more accurate. There is also an Arcade mode for you to play which is similar to the multiplayer modes only you are playing by yourself with companion AI. This mode is similar to a “horde” mode where you have to clear a round and then you have to do it all over again next round with the difficulty ramped up. There are also leaderboards to see where you stand amongst your friends and the rest of the world.

I enjoyed the story of Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. It is what kept me going, even through all of the aforementioned problems. Everything begins when a job you are on goes horribly wrong and you have to face the consequences and ramifications of your actions. If the development team had tightened up the controls and the gunplay this could have been a really fun title. As it is I did have fun going through it, however, this title will be quickly forgotten about in four weeks when Halo: Reach hits store shelves. The shooter genre is a very crowded marketplace and if you don’t do something to set yourself apart, or if you can’t even lock down precise controls, then you are going to be in trouble. If you were a fan of the original title than you will probably enjoy this title as well. If you are on a tight budget then I would suggest that you try out the demo that is available before you purchase this game.

Score: 6/10

Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network

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