The first half of 2010 was nothing short of epic in terms of the quality of video games that have come out. I have no other way to put this then to say we as gamers have been spoiled. When the plethora of “AAA” titles slowed down and the summer set upon us things not surprisingly slowed down. Now we are getting closer to fall and that means that games are about to come back and in a big way. One of the first exciting titles of the second half of 2010 is Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days which are checking out for the PS3. Does this title have the ability to stand out in the slim summer pickings?
For those that don’t know we have seen Mr. Kane & Lynch before but it wasn’t all that memorable or exciting of an outing. The duo isn’t the most likeable of duos and isn’t one that immediately jumps out at you as two characters you wanted to go to battle with. Regardless there was enough about them that Square Enix decided that the duo deserved another outing. The story itself is vulgar, crude, but all together really not that bad. Having played the original Kane & Lynch a few years back this one is far superior in the story department even if it takes things a bit too far over the top.
Although the story is not anything that hasn’t been done before the biggest complaint your going to hear from anyone that plays Kane and Lynch 2 is that the story is less then five hours long. You may be wondering with less then five hours of the story mode is this a full priced game? The unfortunate answer is that it is a full priced Xbox 360 game. The argument could be made that if it was a high quality five hours of Gameplay that it might warrant the full price of admission but it doesn’t on that account either.
From the opening few minutes of Kane and Lynch 2 you can see that the developers were going for a very gritty in your face action experience. The camera is such that it makes you feel like you’re “in the action” rather then a distance away. This is good and bad as the camera works as intended some of the time but not all of the time. What ends up being the biggest issue however is not the camera, is not even the short length, it’s that the game really doesn’t have any stand out moments that you will remember past taking part in them. What really makes great action games are great moments and that just never happened in Kane and Lynch 2.
Outside of the single player story you have cooperative play and online multiplayer. Both of these areas are by far the most “interesting” areas conceptually of the game but neither of them were areas I wanted to spend a whole lot of time with after I had gone through the single player. When it was all said and done I thought the potential for this game was far over where this game ended up being.
The one area where I think there was clear direction and focus was in the visual department which is by far the most stand out portion of the game. Kane and Lynch 2 are not short on grit and it shows from the shaky camera, to the animation effects, to the explosions and gun fire this game takes action seriously. There are some times where the somewhat unstable camera can cause problems but for the most part it works as advertised.
With such a lull in the video game industry I can say with full certainty that I came into this game with a 100% open mind. I was ready for Kane and Lynch 2 to meet my need for a new experience that had been lacking in the last few months. In some ways it did, the four-five hour story mode had its ups and downs and it kept me entertained but nothing more then that. The modes outside of the main story are great in concept but in execution I would say they are sub-par. There are issues of lag online and although the modes really require teamwork it didn’t seem like anyone else got that memo.
If I was rating this game on concept alone it would have high marks, but sadly in terms of execution Kane and Lynch 2 battles the line of mediocrity and mediocrity wins out. There is a lot to love about this game, it knows who it is, it knows who it wants to be, it just doesn’t execute.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.