Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days


Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days review
Competent, and that's about it.


Who cares?
You know, I've played on plenty of gaming systems in my lifetime, and includes the Xbox 360, which only got its sales because the PS3 started off like shit. Among the earlier 360 line up was Kane And Lynch, which was very mediocre with some annoying little quirks to hold it back from being any good. Had it not been for the Gamespot controversy, I bet nobody would've bought it. But enough of the past when the 360 was something worth buying for more than Halo and online second only to PC; time to flash forward to 2010, with a sequel. Honestly, this isn't much better. Some of the quirks were removed, but that's about it. Other than that, it's another mediocre game - almost leaning towards bad actually, and hopefully, nobody gets fired for making it explicit just how mediocre it is, or there's going to be a Kane And Lynch 3...

Welcome to Shanghai! Please try to enjoy your visit.
2 years after the events of the first game, Lynch is settling down in Shanghai with his girlfriend, though he still does heist jobs for some extra cash. On one job, Kane comes along to tell him that his daughter is still alive. The wrong guy gets shot, and Kane and Lynch end up targets for a gang. Honestly, there was so much the writers could've done to make the concept of two crazy criminals seem heaps cool, like how Scarface made you root for the bad guy. Sadly, there isn't much of a story, none of the characters are too interesting to say the least, and above all else, there's just nothing to rope you in. No hooks in the dialogue (unless you consider extreme abuse of the f word a hook), no awesome voice acting, and the personalities of the characters are too non-descript to care for. They're not even badass enough to root for in that Rambo sort of way. They just plain suck! So basically, the story is lackluster, and kind of makes you glad the game is only 5 hours long...

Do they even know how to make a fun third person shooter?
Kane And Lynch 2 plays out like your typical third person shooter, in which you're running around the joint, shooting bad guys, while in the third person view. Doesn't sound too bad, doesn't it? Unfortunately, there are a fair few things working against the game to prevent you from actually liking it, and certainly enough to stop finding it fun after the first few minutes.

The camera is atrocious. The shaky camera was a stupid idea that started off disorientating, and ended up just unnecessary. You know those bits in action movies where the camera is going forward and shakes like a mother*bleep*er? It gives you a slight case of vertigo and just looks really annoying in hindsight... That's what this game is like during gameplay whenever you move. I appreciate trying new things in games, but some things are just unnecessary in the long run. Thankfully, you can turn it off in the options menu, but you can't turn off some of the poor angles you'll encounter every now and again, or the gritty filter the camera seems to have, making things hard to see at times, which blows ass. The whole point of a camera system is to see things! Sheesh!

Another thing that blows is the aiming. It has that thing where it feels useless unless you're pretty much at point blank range. I understand that it's meant to be realistic, maybe, but it never feels right, like you might as well just hold down on the trigger until the surrounding enemies are dead... funny enough, it works more in your favor than actually putting some effort into aiming, whether you're afar or at point blank range like you got a shotgun. Just couldn't wrap my head around the aiming, or rather, I just couldn't dig it.

But the biggest sin this game commits is that... there are no melee attacks, and no grenades. It's you and an array of guns. It might sound alright, but in the long run, it sucks, because you're going to be spending a majority of your time either blindly opening fire on enemies, or hiding behind cover with no option to spam grenades or punch the piss out of the fools. BORING! In fact, this entire game is pretty boring. Here's how it goes - run into room, kill all bad guys, rinse, lather and repeat. You're never given any increase in power, increase in difficulty, or anything that differentiates encounters, maybe except for some armored enemies, or bigger swarms.. which would've been welcome, but nope. I was trying to fight the urge to go to sleep while going through the game. It was just that boring to play through. Competent, sure, but there are third person shooters out there that are more than that, and therefore, worth playing more.

In fact, the only thing this game does well is the fact that it's competently designed. Controls are fine - they improved the cover system from the first game by having you press a button instead of having to run against it, and that felt pretty jittery... Amongst that, the guns work finely, and there is never a shortage of enemy encounters, but goddamn, there isn't any time to consider a game that's just competently made over a game that's fun, like Gears Of War, Fracture and Lost Planet! Shit, Dead To Rights: Retribution does a better job than this, and that game was above average at best! The AI doesn't blow as much nutsack, because sometimes, they can actually flank you and kick your ass, though they're fairly predictable. The best they can do is shoot like professional hunters, and being able to blow your *bleep*ing head off without trying, because there are moments where they just stand in cover as you approach them, and your computer controlled buddy can't do crap either, except stand there. No shit. Worthless. But hey, at least there's the ability to drag a human being into this game as your buddy, either on the couch next to you, or all the way in *bleep*ing Sweden. Doesn't help the enemy's AI much, though. Oh well, at least the enemies aren't complete monkeys.

Unless everyone bought this, I'm not expecting much here.
There is an online mode, but it doesn't ever seem to feel right. You got a couple of modes to play with - Undercover Cop, and Cops And Robbers. Both modes have teams making sure they have the most money at the end, though Undercover Cop assigns the role of the cop to a random player, and they have to prevent the team from escaping, whereas Cops And Robbers has the cops stopping the robbers from stealing money. I can't exactly give much of an opinion on them, because there's usually not enough people to play with, and when there is, it'll crash anyway, kicking everyone out, and giving everyone the big middle finger. Extremely wasted. Patch, please.

Prepare shades, boys.
This game is pretty ugly to look at. The textures don't seem to really be there half the time, the characters look like something out of a PS2 game made in 2004 (see: not much texture, looks more like clay than anything else), and the colors are so dull and boring, that it seriously makes the gameplay seem more repetitive than it already is. I guess they were going for a Grindhouse look, but they fail at that, because even Grindhouse movies look better than this - that's, uh, pretty shitty if you ask me.

Dissonant waves.
I honestly didn't care for the soundtrack. It felt extremely generic and it didn't really get me into the game. Like the graphics, it made the game feel more repetitious and also made it feel more bland. Seriously, a soundtrack can really enhance the mood, but soundtracks that feel more like tunes you'd hear from Resident Evil or Silent Hill where they're setting you up for spooks and shit really make it seem boring. The voice acting, on the other hand, was surprisingly good. Not amazing or anything that'll be up for any academy awards, maybe except the one for "best way to waste good talent", though hopefully it's a yearly award and not overall, because Mirror's Edge won that with a much worse storyline than this game, but yeah, the voice acting was pretty good.

Day of the dog, or in the dog house?
Kane And Lynch 2 is such a lame game, that I really don't give a shit about it. There is nothing that'll scream BUY ME, and there is a fair amount wrong with the game, meaning, well, there's no reason to buy it. Bad graphics, bad soundtrack, bad gameplay and, above all else, well, who cares!?

Story: 3/10
Goddamn, I really didn't like the story much. Not much to it. Only good thing here is Kane and Lynch's interaction with each other - legit crime buddies is all I can say there.
Gameplay: 4/10
It's competent, it works well enough. It's just really, really boring and the camera blows.
Controls: 8/10
Some control quirks here and there, and aiming is kind of wonky, but the controls, for the most part, function well enough and you can get used to them.
Graphics: 4/10
Feels pretty muddy and ugly, even for something that might've been trying to resemble something out of a Grindhouse flick.
Sound: 3/10
Soundtrack is pretty mediocre, though the voice acting is good enough to eat. Such a waste, though, on an overall blank storyline.

Overall: 3.5/10

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