Review: Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days
Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days is available now on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC. This title was developed by IO Interactive, and I must say, “I tip my hat to you, IO.” In Dog Days, the roles have been switched and now we get to play through the story from the psychopathic Mr. James Seth Lynch’s point of view, and tagging along for the intense ride is of course Adam “Kane” Marcus.
Here is a brief synopsis of the game before I continue on: We find ourselves in Shanghai, China where Lynch is trying to settle down with his loved one, Xiu. Lynch gets a visit from an old friend after several years, and the two of them attempt to do a simple job but everything goes completely against them. Kane and Lynch find themselves wanted and up against every thug, lolly-gagger and crooked cop in Shanghai. The story of Dog Days takes place over a two day period, and immediately starts you off within the action and brutality that continues throughout the game.
Some of the issues that I ran across with Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days are fairly minimal. The game has a new visual style, unlike its predecessor, Dead Men, giving it a look that makes it feel more like a low-budget documentary or playing a game through a security camera, but the action is still there. If you played the demo of Dog Days, you probably noticed the streaks of light that shine onto the screen at certain moments, as well as the pixelation, and all of this is still within the full release, and was intentional by the developers to give Dog Days an intensifying look of realism. There is also a steady-cam effect that is used throughout the game, but don’t worry you do have the option of turning the steady-cam off. Although, not the ability to disable the filters. In my opinion, I feel that the filters used were a bit too much but could easily be overlooked because the game-play is quite entertaining. I tried a little test to see what this title looked like in standard definition, and I must say that the grittiness is very unnoticeable, which is good news for those of you who don’t own an HDTV.
One of the other issues that I ran across with Dog Days was the accuracy of some of the weapons. Pistols, assault rifles, and shotguns were all great, but every single machine gun that I had used was crap. No matter the distance between Lynch and all of the thugs that he encounters the bullets from the machine guns just don’t seem to hit a single enemy, even when aiming down the sights. You just seem to waste bullets and not hit your target. For some reason, Kane is always able to annihilate anything in his path with his machine gun. Really? What the hell? So, I guess what I am saying is that you should try to stay away from machine guns as much as possible, but good luck with that since those are mainly the only weapons that you get for the first few stages.
As far as the A.I. goes for Dog Days, it sits pretty heavily in the middle. Enemies mainly stick to cover and really aren’t that difficult unless playing on Extreme. But beware of the ankle-biting doggies, they pack a mean bite if you don’t see them coming. Kane for the most part sticks pretty close to Lynch, and helps out in a lot of situations. I never ran across any moments where Kane would jump into the line of fire and I would accidentally blow his head off, which is definitely good to know because I always have trouble with non-playable characters getting in the way. Although, while playing the Arcade mode, this was a concern of mine. Some of the non-playable characters were constantly jumping into the way and I would immediately become a traitor and have to fight for my life, resulting with a failed stage due to not expecting to become a traitor.
The trophies for Dog Days are easily obtainable. You will definitely be able to obtain every trophy just by progressing through the game. What I enjoyed about the trophy collection for Dog Days was that it had a very equal balance between the single-player campaign, co-op, arcade, and multi-player trophies.
There was so much to do from the single-player campaign to co-op (split-screen and online) to arcade mode, and multi-player, which has three modes to wreak havoc on: Fragile Alliance, Cops and Robbers, and Undercover Cop. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to participate in the multi-player aspect of Dog Days due to the game not being released yet.
I had a lot of fun with this title overall. I enjoyed progressing through the single-player campaign, and following the storyline, as well as experiencing the arcade mode. I will definitely be out there in the multi-player with all of you looters and traitors tearing it up in the streets of Shanghai. So, in all honestly, if you enjoyed playing through Dead Men, you will enjoy Dog Days.
- Title: Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days
- Platform Reviewed: PS3
- Developer: IO Interactive
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Release Date: August 17th, 2010 (North America)
- MSRP: $59.99 (Console) and $49.99 (PC)
- Review Copy Info: A copy of this game was provided to DualShockers Inc, by the publisher for review purposes. I wasn’t able to participate in multi-player for the reasons I discuss in the review.