and Lynch will often be “locked” into an area with
a set number of enemies to gun down. After that messy work is done, they can
tackle a door that will instantly lock behind them. Of course, there are
exceptions to this forumla, one where you man a turret on a helicopter careening
above Shanghai, and developer IO Interactive made some interesting decisions in
terms of the story that put the
characters in situations that did a good job distracting me from the Zelda
Doors. There’s a long section in the middle where both characters, cut to
ribbons, bleeding, are completely naked (with some pixelated blur for the
naughty bits). That whole sequence had me thinking about any other games where
the protagonists spent such a stretch being naked. I couldn’t think of any.
Played co-op, splitscreen or over Live, Dog Days can be played in a single
4-hour sitting, depending on your chosen difficulty setting. (Anything above
Normal will kill you in a matter of seconds.) Tackled alone, the game is a
little longer simply because you have to rely on an AI buddy that is much less
aggressive than what the game really calls for. The AI will often sit back and
wait until you’ve cleared the majority of enemies before proceeding to the next
line of cover. This is why the length of the game didn’t bother me -- it doesn’t
wear out it’s welcome.
Played cooperatively, both of you will still have to manage a cover system that
works 80% of the time. The other 20% is a confusion of sticking to the wrong
cover and simply not getting into cover at all. It doesn’t feel broken and by
the end of the game I was able to spot these areas ahead of time, thereby
avoiding frustration caused by cover problems, but during pitched battles it
wasn’t uncommon for me to die simply because I had slipped away from cover
without realizing it.
IO Interactive also included an Arcade mode, which is the online multiplayer in
an offline form, and a handful of multiplayer modes (with the promise of more
via DLC). The multiplayer, Fragile Alliance, hangs on a group of criminals
busting into a vault, grabbing the money, then escaping. The two variations add
a little tension to the whole thing. Undercover Cop puts one player in the
challenging position of being an undercover cop that is tasked with stopping the
heist. This mode in particular produces the majority of the adrenaline (if
you’re the chosen one) because the balance is tipped decisively in favor of the
criminals. The straight-up Cops & Robbers mode isn’t quite as nail-biting, but
it is entertaining even if most of the matches I played felt stalled halfway
through as the two sides dug-in. Still fun though.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days doesn’t evolve the third-person shooter genre in any
way. We’ve never seen it look quite like this but the gameplay mechanics are
standard (if a little sloppy in the way cover can slip away) and most everything
else feels rote.