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Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days super review

A high-end production tailor-made for masochists

So if you think you can get away with it, the game encourages you to gun down your teammates, steal their cash and make a break for it before the survivors can kill you in revenge. Depending on the group you’re playing with and how determined they are to target you, this can either be a lot of devious fun, or a huge pile of frustration as the people who were on your side seconds ago camp by the extraction point and shoot you in the back just as you’re sprinting for safety. Ideally, getting killed by a teammate means you can come back as a cop for a chance at revenge, but since most team-kills tend to happen at the end of the level, your killer will usually have escaped before you can get to them.


Above: Better kill them while you still have a chance, then

Undercover Cop, meanwhile, is the same thing as Fragile Alliance, except that one of the players is secretly a cop. This means that his goal is to kill everyone else, and he won’t show up as a traitor unless someone else catches him killing everyone else. Optimally, this means a lot of tension as you watch your back and try to figure out who the rat is. But more often than not it seems to mean that either everyone gets trigger-happy and kills everyone else right off the bat, or you can expect another bullet between your shoulder blades as you’re within sight of the escape van.

Finally, there’s Cops and Robbers, in which two teams take turns either stealing a bunch of money, or trying to prevent the theft as a team of respawning cops. (Criminals don’t get to respawn in any mode, so it’s a good thing the matches are usually pretty short.) This is probably the most enjoyable game type (largely because you’ll always know who your enemies are), although like with every other mode, your enjoyment will largely depend on the group you’re playing with, and whether or not you’ve been saddled with teammates who suck.


Kane & Lynch: Dead Men? Yes. While it feels like a less ambitious game than Dead Men was, Dog Days’ gameplay is a big improvement over the first game’s flaws. Streamlining it into a simpler, more responsive shooter was definitely the right move, even though it’s disappointing that some of the first game’s more interesting touches were thrown away completely instead of improved.


Gears of War 2? No. To put it simply: chainsaw bayonets, laser satellites and grunting he-men > a couple of middle-aged sadsacks who kill people. Kane & Lynch 2 might be the more realistic of the two, but it’s nowhere near as elaborate, or as fun, as what Gears 2 had on offer.

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand? Not that many of you actually played this one (if its sales figures are anything to go by), but yes and no. Dog Days is unquestionably a better-looking, better-designed and more realistic gangster story than 50 Cent’s ridiculous Middle Eastern shoot ‘em-up. On the other hand, Blood on the Sand offers a lot more gleefully stupid cover-and-shoot fun than the more somber Dog Days does, and its bargain-bin status means it does so for a hell of a lot cheaper than $60.


While it’s an improvement over the first game, Kane & Lynch 2’s high production values and streamlined focus are overshadowed by its thudding repetition, narrowly linear design, five-hour campaign and hugely unappealing protagonists. It’s still a decent shooter, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

Aug 17, 2010

More Info

GenreAction
Description

While it’s an improvement over the first game, Kane & Lynch 2’s high production values and streamlined focus are overshadowed by its thudding repetition, narrowly linear design, five-hour campaign and hugely unappealing protagonists. It’s still a decent shooter, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

PlatformPS3, Xbox 360, PC
US censor ratingMature
UK censor rating18+
Release date17 August 2010 (US), 20 August 2010 (UK)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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