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Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days Single Player Preview

We’re surrounded. Shanghai police armed to the teeth block every possible route and we only have two rounds in the automatic shotty left. We can see the escape van but what can we do? Well, you forget we are Kane & Lynch, the two craziest bastards around so you know we’re going to make a run for it.
It’s been just under three years since the disappointing original Kane & Lynch: Dead Men but now IO Interactive has returned to the series, promising a brand new visual style that is “designed to deliver a fresh perspective to the words ‘intensity’ and ‘realism’.” In the latest preview build of Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days can the deadly duo pardon themselves from the mess of the original, or are they still heading down the familiar route with the same mistakes?
As we know from Andy’s multiplayer preview, the co-op and versus gameplay is much better than its predecessor. The game boasts a brand new engine and a Youtube homemade video style camera, adding different filter affects and blurring out headshots with a fuzzy face disposition affect that wouldn’t look out of place on a late night cop show.
I can’t say how the opening sequence unfolds, if I even think about mentioning the prelude, IO has guaranteed the troublesome twosome will be kicking down the door of the IncGamers office, heading straight towards my desk and I’ve been promised that they don’t want to “just talk.” (Some of that may or may-not be true.)
However, I can reveal the single-player experience has all changed; this time you take the role of self-medicated psycho Lynch with Kane by your side to deliver some truly memorable quotes as the levels play out. But rest-assured, the whole gameplay experience hasn’t changed from the original; the aim is to shoot everyone and anyone on screen as they attempt to take you out with a wide arsenal of weapons.
“We’re on a crowded street, act cool” says Kane as we enter a busy Shanghai street for one of the levels, you’ve got to wonder how we can give the said reaction when we carry a submachine gun in our hands and an automatic shotgun on your back? But you needn’t worry because give it a couple of minutes and you will soon find yourself taking cover and involved in an intense shootout with some heavily armed moutha-lovers.
Then again I wouldn’t recommend staying in the same spot for too long. You see most cover in the game is destructible; one level puts you in a restaurant and as it’s stormed by the authorities you are left to fight your way out. Hiding behind wooden walls isn’t the best solution, after a couple of blasts from the shotgun the wood begins to splinter and snap off.
Give it a couple more shots and what used to be a wall a couple of moments ago is now a massive hole; either offering you a clear shot of your opponent or unfortunately making you a clear target to anyone who wants to send you to an early grave.
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Like the multiplayer mode, little X’s indicate where you have hit a body. Shotgun shells spray the target and nothing is more satisfying than seeing a well timed shot take out the head and midriff of a Shanghai officer as their lifeless body crumples to the ground. Then again accuracy seems to differ for each gun making them all unique to the players, I’ve talked about the shotgun a lot because I felt for me it was most useful. I tried the Uzi and Scorpion submachine guns and despite the quicker fire rate the spread of fire is vastly different meaning that it’s a lot tougher to accurately put an enemy to the ground.
The environment also offers some interactive objects to use as weapons, one scene where we have to escort a former “business associate” through a car park, lets Lynch use fire extinguishes as effective home made bombs. Picking them up, you can throw them in an intended direction and when you feel the time is right explode them by shooting at them, automatically taking out anyone in the vicinity and also creating a rather effective smokescreen for a moment. One of the other levels sees you surrounded from three sides but using some conveniently placed fuel canteens we soon made short work of them with our homemade explosives.
However, the preview build never really gave me that sense of “realism” that IO has promised. At points I felt like a one man wrecking crew, armed with the shotgun for short range combat I powered into a room full of people and despite taking quite a few shots I managed to clear the room. Even if I do get hit numerous times you fall to the ground first allowing you to quickly crawl to cover to regenerate your health before once again repeating what came to be quite a tedious process. I think that IO needs to address this before launch giving players much more urgency to utilise cover otherwise the John Rambo’s amongst us might be ruining the game if they take it online in co-op.
Despite playing four levels of the preview build I’m yet to be bought on Kane & Lynch 2. I think there are some elements of the game that could be a huge hit for the third-person shooter fans amongst us, however it doesn’t offer anything new and revolutionary in the single-player experience. In essence it’s a rather linear experience of getting from point-A to point-B by shooting your way through and then enduring a cut scene before taking part in another linear level.
For the amount of PR and marketing the game is receiving it has the potential of falling into the “what should’ve been” category that plagues many titles. Multiplayer does sound like one of the selling points for the game and I could see many Xbox or PS3 owners enjoying playing through the campaign and multiplayer modes as Kane & Lynch. I want it to succeed and I know IO Interactive can create quality games by just looking at the Hitman series. So until I get to see exactly how the whole story plays out in the final build, Kane & Lynch can continue to be surrounded until they decide to go out in a blaze of glory.


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