Kane and Lynch 2:Dog Days is a third person shooter developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive. Kane and Lynch 2 is the sequel to the critically hated Kane and Lynch:Dead Men. Kane and Lynch 2 is a game that I wanted to play even knowing how bad the first one was. It was promised that many improvements have been made over the first game. This maybe true since I have not played Dead Men at the time of writing this, but if things have been improved I am not sure that I want to go back and play Dead Men. Dog Days’ development had actually started before Dead Men was not actually released, which is not something out of place for games these days.
Now one of the main problems I have with Dog Days is the story. There is basically no story. The story starts off with Lynch living a “normal” life with his girlfriend, Xiu, in Shanghai. Lynch contacts Kane for an arms deal with unimaginable pay. Kane had past military experience and he loves him some money. Things go haywire and a Chinese mob boss’s daughter is killed in a gunfight with Kane and Lynch and an informant against Glazer, the person who got Lynch the arms job. Then Glazer turns on Kane and Lynch, who now only have each other. Now this sounds like a pretty involved story, but to get most of this information I had to look online. The cut-scenes are short and only happen between the games eleven chapters. Outside of the very short cut-scenes there is no story. Also out side of those cut scenes you are hard pressed to find a section where you are not shooting people.
Okay you are thinking “hey story is cool but the big selling point is the game-play”. Now I agree with you, but this is another place that Dog Days is lacking in. Now you would think that third person shooter is one of the most prevalent genres of video games now so how can they mess that up. The answer has to do with controls. Just the movement of the in game characters does not feel good. Moving is sluggish and when you start running it is just unwieldy. Guns are one of the, if not THE, most important part of third person shooters. Dog Days is seriously lacking in the gun department. There are at the most seven gun types through out the single-player. Most of the time you are running out of ammo for the guns you are holding and are left to pick up different guns. This would not be a problem if any of the guns were particularly fun to use. The sniper is the only gun that is kind of fun to use and that is because it is pretty much a one-hit-kill. Get used to the guns you have in the very start of the game as you will be getting those guns constantly. The enemies in Dog Days take more bullets than superman himself before they drop dead. That, the fact you constantly run out of ammo, and getting grossly out numbered around every turn is what breaks Dog Days’ game-play Now this is a short game. On normal difficulty it took me a measly three hours to complete. About two-and-a-half of those hours were spent non-stop shooting. There is cover in Dog Days, but I guarantee after dying multiple times of trying to get in and out of cover you will not want to use the game’s cover system and just duck like in the good ole days.
The online is where people would be spending their time after beating the paltry single-player. The mode to play in the multi-player is called Fragile Alliance. In this game mode a group of players work together in a heist to gather as much money as possible and get to the escape vehicle. Now the twist come in when it is possible for a player to go traitor and kill their teammate and keep all the money to themselves. This is an interesting twist to other game modes in shooters but it is still plagued by having the same control issues as the single-player. When a player dies and has not gone traitor they will re-spawn as SWAT. As SWAT their only goal is to kill the criminals before they escape. Before any humans die the SWAT side is occupied by only AI. If a player does happen to die after they had become a traitor they would skip the SWAT part and go strait to spectator mode, where human players go after dying as SWAT.
Now the interesting part of Dog Days is the direction IO Interactive decided to go with the presentation. The game is presented as if a follower is recording the whole ordeal with a handy cam. When things explode the video frame rate purposely drops, when people are killed with a head-shot their head is pix elated out. An option is to turn on or off shaky cam. Which I opted to turn off as I felt that it did not add anything to the game and only made the time I spent playing with it on worse. Voice acting is decent at best. Both voice actors for Kane and Lynch return in the sequel.
Kane and Lynch 2:Dog Days is a game I thought was never going to be made and honestly I believe it should have stayed on the drawing table. With the critical failure of the first game it is a complete surprise as to why this game was made. With problems with story, weapon play and even basic movement is makes me feel as IO Interactive needs to take a break and go back to video game developer school. A company as big as IO Interactive making as bad a game as Kane and Lynch 2:Dog Days is unacceptable when smaller studios are making much better games. My final verdict is pass on Dog Days unless you get it for free, and even then it still might not be worth it.
Did you enjoy this article and want more from Ryan? Check out the other sites he writes for at gleasongaming.com and thegamingzoo.com