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#2 It was hyped up with strong preview coverage
"Taking control of two out-of-their-minds assassins and tearing the world a new one sounds like one hell of a videogame"
"The more we learn about Kane & Lynch, the more impressed we become"
Both of these quotes were penned by GamesRadar writers, and if you dug up snippets from other gaming publications over the past 12 months it'd be a similar story. See, no matter how many people would like to believe the opposite, us games journos don't want games to be rubbish.
We never burn effigies of upcoming releases, praying that they'll fail. We love games, and we want every single one to be like discovering a perfect pearl inside a huge gaming oyster, offering a new and exhilarating ride. But previews are a tricky business.
"We're confident Io Interactive and Eidos will iron out all the kinks"
Yes, we really were confident. All previews are written while the game in question is still umbilicaly tethered to the development team. Things can change very quickly between preview code and the finished, shop-bound version. We loved the idea behind Kane & Lynch. We still do.
The party-goer packed club level was astounding when we first laid eyes on it, and the idea of a game encapsulating the sharp, violent impact of the best of Michael Mann's filmography (inspirations from Heat and Collateral are clear) was a really exciting prospect. So of course we thought the niggles could be fixed, and the problems resolved.
And with the amount of coverage and magazine cover splashes that Kane & Lynch received over the past year, it's clear that other journos felt the same. Kane & Lynch has lots of great ideas, plenty of neat touches. It's just not the full-throttle, relentlessly-exciting, solid and irritation-free experience that we hoped and hinted that it could be. Which, we guess, makes it all the more difficult to take. Sorry about that.
#3 It's a major, triple-A release for Eidos
Kane & Lynch is Eidos' big Christmas release. The momentum behind Tomb Raider Anniversary has slackened off, and other than the pretty dependable PC/Mac performance of Championship Manager Eidos has nothing else but IO's shooter to fill out the folder marked "Christmas Hits".
So, obviously, Eidos is understandably peeved that its big big Christmas title, designed to hoover up the cash of the desperately consuming masses, hasn't hit the vein of success that was expected - both commercially and critically.