Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days – The PS3 Attitude Review
Kane and Lynch are back for round two in Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. It seems the two have spent some time apart and grown a little older since their last journey. If you’re thinking that means they’ve gained some maturity and are maybe just a touch less quirky, think again. If you’re also thinking that this sequel has to be better than its flawed predecessor… think again.
The story picks up quite some time after the first game ended and you’re greeted with a glimpse of Lynch’s new life. He lives in Shanghai, China – the setting for this adventure – and he seems to have settled down quite a bit. As you have already no doubt guessed, his calm new life doesn’t last long once Kane shows up for a visit. The two take a detour after departing from the airport to run a quick ‘errand’ and the plot never looks back from there.
In the beginning, we were very impressed with the campaign. The camera style, the gun play and the strong variety of firearms were all very impressive. The game’s atmosphere and the way the developers chose to tell the story were particularly noteworthy. A seemingly candid camera follows Kane and Lynch’s every move as if this were some kind of documentary. It was something that we’ve seen very little of in the past and really gave the game a fresh twist.
It’s unfortunate that it only took us about 30 minutes to figure out that the campaign had nothing more to offer than what is listed above. As the story unfolded we were put in the middle of one mind-numbing gun battle after another. The lack of variety was a real tough pill to swallow, especially since some of the game’s functions that we think were meant to mix it up a bit were complete failures.
The cover system was functional yet sloppy, the combustible tanks that were supposed to fill the void left by grenades were boring and were rarely beneficial, and the human shield mechanic was almost completely useless. Pair that with a story that we almost immediately stopped caring about and some very mediocre writing/voice acting and you’ve got yourself a real yawn fest.
Traditionally, we’d be pretty unfulfilled by a campaign that only lasts for 5 hours but by the time it was finished and we watched one of the most careless endings we’ve seen in a while, we were perfectly content to see the credits roll.
We decided to brave the multiplayer portion of the game next… or at least we tried to. The idea behind Kane and Lynch’s trademark ‘Fragile Alliance’ game-mode is very intriguing but every single aspect of the on-line play suffered from a severe lack of execution.
Lag and glitches plagued its performance and that was after waiting sometimes five-plus minutes just to get a full game. They tried to give the game some depth by adding a ranking system and unlockable weapons but the entire scheme was boring and poorly explained. It also didn’t help that there are only 6 maps and 3 different game-types.
The last thing to investigate was the arcade mode and it might be Kane and Lynch 2’s single redeeming entity. It’s basically just the fragile alliance mode but with strictly AI teammates and enemies. Without the appearance of network inconsistencies, it ran quite well. The objective was still to get as much money as possible but with every prosperous attempt, we were pushed to another increasingly difficult round.
It’s unfortunate that this was the high point of the game because it’s only single player and without other people to play with, it gets stale pretty quickly. You are still able to rank up and access new weapons in this mode but there wasn’t enough weight to keep us satisfied for long.
Overall, we’ve probably made Kane & Lynch 2 out to be worse than it really is. At the same time, we can’t think of a single gaming demographic we’d strongly recommend this to. If you’re a big fan of shooters and enjoy an AI-based multiplayer setting, then maybe you should consider picking it up once it hits the bargain bin – but we damn sure wouldn’t do it before that time comes. The good news is you might not have to wait long.