Preview: Kane and Lynch 2 Dog Days

Kane and Lynch are set to continue blasting in mid to late August with the release of Kane and Lynch 2 Dog Days. Having just released a demo of Dog Days on Xbox Live, I had the chance over the weekend to get a sample at what we will see at the end of the month.

The demo begins as the duo are enjoying a snack at their favourite restaurant, within moments you are surrounded by riot police and before you’ve even dropped your chopsticks it’s an all out shoot ’em up. It’s really quite chaotic and Kane and Lynch will echo the fact continuously. With the necessary weaponry immediately at your disposal, the pair have to blast their way through Shanghai to escape the constant stream of police wanting to take you in for a serious talking to. If you have ever seen the Michael Mann filmĀ Heat, and remember (how could you not?!) the epic street side shoot-out after the mostly foiled bank heist, then you’ll have an idea of what your in for. The sequence as a whole actually works quite well, there’s no music blaring to keep tempo, it’s simply exchanges between the characters and bullets punctuating the conversation.

Guess who's back?

The visual style of the game is quite interesting to see. There appears to be an effect used to make most lighting sources flare up on your screen in a vertical fashion. While it looks quite cool at first and helps to gain that gritty, on the street while being unique feel – playing amongst it was a different affair. It’s an interesting choice to be sure, but perhaps used a little more sparingly or offering the ability to switch it down or off would be neat. The shaky camera is not new, and it does fit with the style, but again playing with it can be a little taxing on the eyes. Apparently this can be turned off in the options – so good to have the choice.

Yes, I wear sunglasses at night. No, I don't have a problem with that.

While I found it fairly easy to navigate and control my character, being Lynch this time around, I was hoping to customise my bindings. I couldn’t find a way to do so, or to change control schemes, but hopefully they remedy this in the final build. The game plays a little like Gears of War and Splinter Cell Conviction in terms of control and the usual cover and shoot method attributed to a lot of third person shooters nowadays, so it’s quite easy to get into it if your a veteran in that field of play – control wise to say the least.

One particular instance that I found quite odd while moving through the streets were citizens whom have clearly seen Kane and Lynch approaching them would run like they’re holding lit dynamite – an appropriate action – however, in the middle of a blazing gun battle I turned Lynch around to see a citizen quietly approaching from behind as if he were looking to have a quiet conversation about the finer details on shoe polishing. Sensing this was out of place I turned about quickly to remind the wandering NPC that he just walked into a serious gun fight, but the local just stood there, kinda posed and then went about his way. Perhaps he was blind and deaf or possibly too epic for such silly nonsense with guns and stuff. Maybe he was just bugged, I prefer the former situation.

"You aint go no pancake mix!"

There was a video preview at the multiplayer modes and of particular note was the undercover cop mode – this sees one player in a group undercover and in the middle of a heist, you must move and grab the cash with the group and after which attempt to stop the criminals from getting away without them suspecting you. At the same time you have members within the group looking to kill other players, who want the money for themselves. There seem to be rewards and balances to stop it becoming a free for all after the prize has been recovered. I can’t wait to see what the verdict is on this mode when it is available.

Overall the demo was quite enticing, but I would have to reserve any form of judgement till the final build arrives. It was a short burst of action and drama with some interesting design choices, visually speaking, but not enough to get a true scope of what we are in for. Until then, download the demo if you think this is something you may have an interest in and let’s see what they have cooked up for us in a few weeks.

About the Author

Dan co-hosts the Gameolio Podcast and handles the administration of the website. Occasional poster and frequent deleter with a strange love of the colour green.