Despite its’ criticisms, I really liked the first Kane & Lynch video game, yet was still somewhat surprised and bemused that IO Interactive felt their was enough interest to create a sequel and franchise series for these characters.
There are nothing subtle about the characters and game-play of Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. This is not such a bad thing, as it provides a very direct and linear game, which is 95% gun-play. Controlling Lynch for the majority of the single-player story, with an over-the-shoulder third-person view, the game is quite consistent and competent.
Sadly, it’s also rather repetitious and despite some thrilling visuals and the occasionally exciting chapter (especially the latter levels), the game rarely scales to any significant height. There is nothing collectible or anything else to do within the game, apart from move from checkpoint to checkpoint. The only thing slowing the player down is perhaps the need to look for more ammo or better weapon, or occasionally rest to restore health.
Visually, the game is brutal, and perhaps somewhat sadistic. I truthfully enjoyed the story, and though some of the gruesome and explicit detail could be dismissed as a shock tactic or as exploitative, I feel it was fitting for this type of game. I probably haven’t felt as uneasy in a game since Manhunt back on the PS2.
I admit the short-length single-player campaign is not the ideal way to play this game. It has been setup for co-op and online game-play, and would be a much superior way to get the most out of the game. Time will tell if enough community support for K&L2 will make the multi-player component a more satisfying experience.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days presents no value at full price, but from six months after release, when the price will most likely be 25% of the original RRP, it can recommended for a little romp and certainly benefits greatly if a co-op partner can join in the fun.
score: 6 out of 10.