Kane And Lynch 2: Dog Days – Review (PS3)

As I’ve mentioned before despite its flaws I enjoyed the original Kane and Lynch game. It had a decent story and some great missions.

So in the build up to the release of the sequel last summer I was keen to see how it played.

I got a chance when the demo arrived and I liked it. Single player seemed good and the multiplayer was different to a lot of games out there. So when I saw it in the post-Christmas sale I got myself a copy.

Sadly this was one of those instances where the demo showed you everything the game had to offer despite being only 15/20 minutes in length.

On the plus side there simply isn’t another game out there that looks like this. The game gives the impression that it’s being filmed on a hand-held camera, or that you’re watching this as footage on youtube.

It’s a pretty startling design and I definitely applaud it. However I can’t help but feel that the developers got caught up in the look and forgot about the rest of the game.

The best way I can describe Kane and Lynch 2 is that it’s like someone has ripped the last third of a game away from the rest of the story and given it to us as a full game.

There wasn’t much in the way of story and each level was repetitive as hell. Shoot, take cover, shoot, take cover etc.

If I’d had to do a few different types of mission it would have been a start – hell, even a few hours as just Lynch (and a friend if they needed co-op) doing a few ‘jobs’ before Kane arrived would’ve been good.

If IO Interactive had set us up a story and some characterisation with, say, 4 or 5 hours worth of gameplay (that didn’t involve escaping from someone/somewhere) this could’ve been something special.

The 4 odd hours that are here would make a quality final half/third of a game, having laid the groundwork the escape from Shanghai would have been superb.

Multiplayer is decent, with the Fragile Alliance mode – in which players can turn against their teammates for a bigger slice of the cash – a particular highlight. The issue is that even with 6 maps everything gets stale very quickly.

As it stands Dog Days is not a title I’d really recommend. It’s not a terrible game and would probably be a decent rental. I picked it up for £7.00 and feel like I just about got my money’s worth. I think that says it all really.

Rating: 5/10

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Army Of Two: The 40th Day – Review (PS3)

 

I liked the original Army Of Two, it was a fun, no holds barred shoot ’em up. I was quite impressed a sequel was being made as the first game wasn’t that well received critically but strong sales meant we would be back in the mercenary groove.

We still follow the exploits of Salem and Rio, picking up a few years after the first game ended. This time they are in Shanghai as the city burns around them having been invaded by a terrorist force.

So far, so Army Of Two – the real draw here is that the entire story is available to play co-operatively online with a friend.

This leads to some interesting tactics. Aggro – the system whereby whoever is taking fire is the focus of the enemies while the other person can sneak around and ambush them – returns along with several new ideas, such as mock surrendering and timing your sniper shots.

You can essentially ‘spot and mark’ targets for each other which helps but if all else fails it’s a case of hide in cover, shoot enemies, advance, take cover, shoot enemies and so on.

That isn’t a problem as such, it might not be that innovative but it certainly is fun.

Until you start to run into the fatal flaws which threaten to ruin the game completely. Essentially, aside from the odd case of dodgy AI, there are just three major problems.

Firstly there are some appalling checkpoint placements. I don’t want to have a 10 minute firefight, die on the following section and then have to do both again 😡 Then there’s the terrible EA Online connection which meant regular disconnects. Finally there are a couple of points in the game with insane difficulty spikes that are extremely frustrating.

Individually these are problems you could overlook but sadly when you put them all together it’s *almost* a game breaker.

It says a lot that I still enjoyed the game and had plenty of fun during my playthrough.

The story is pretty nonsensical and at times I had no idea what was going on. One nice touch were the Morality Decisions where you had to make a choice on how to deal with certain enemies/characters. These often played out differently than expected which was a welcome twist.

This isn’t a game I would recommend to everyone but if you have someone online to play through with there are plenty of worse games you could try.

Army Of Two: 40th Day isn’t a great game but is most definitely great fun, especially if you like blowing things up.

Rating 6/10

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Kane And Lynch 2 – Demo Impressions (PS3)

 

I seem to be in the minority in considering Kane & Lynch: Dead Men a thoroughly enjoyable game. Sure the controls were dodgy but the story and characterisation held my attention right through the game.

So it was with general excitement that I fired up the demo. In fact I hadn’t been this excited for a demo since Battlefield: Bad Company 2 last year.

As you may or may not know, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days has been made to look like you’re watching the entire thing online. It’s like playing through a documentary that someone is making on a handheld camera.

This gives the game a very interesting feel compared to everything else out there at the moment.

So, let’s start with the single player portion of the demo. You are straight into the action, controlling Lynch and shooting your way out of a restaurant in Shanghai alongside Kane.

The controls felt quite loose but the shooting seemed to be fairly accurate, at least at close range. There is certainly a satisfying thud as your bullets hit their target, especially with the shotgun.

Once you get out of the restaurant it’s into the alleyways and out onto the street as the battle spills all over the place.

Kane & Lynch 2 seems to favour a mixture of run ‘n gun and tactical play. If you continually rush out into the open you’ll be taken down and I suspect your AI (or human controlled) partner will need to cover you at times ala Army Of Two: 40th Day.

The demo isn’t long – around 15 minutes – but it certainly gives you a taste of the game. Kane & Lynch 2 is set to be a Marmite type of affair… you’ll either love it or hate it.

As for multiplayer, the wonderful Fragile Alliance mode is back and they have fixed the problem of people just shooting you from the off by not starting the round proper until 5/10 seconds in.

Essentially a heist mode, the idea is you get in somewhere, each pick up as much money as possible then battle past the police to the getaway van. After that all the money is totted up and split between the 8 of you. If you all survive…

And it’s not just the police you’ll need to worry about – your own team can turn on you in an attempt to get a bigger share of the cash. They will then be marked as a ‘traitor’ to the rest of the team and they have to decide whether to let them live or kill them.

If you want revenge you respawn as a cop trying to stop the escape so you’ll have your chance 😎

Makes for some tense matches as you just don’t know who to trust.

Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days is a definite buy for me. I can’t wait for both the single player and multiplayer. It’ll certainly be something fresh to get our teeth into over the summer.

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