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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Square Enix

 

Developer

IO Interactive

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

August 17, 2010

 

 

- Great "documentary style" presentation

- Pick-up and play for anyone familiar with the "duck and cover brand" of action/shooter games

- Co-op through the campaign

- The closing chapters are pretty damn awesome set pieces

 

 

- You'll certainly do a lot of the same thing, over and over, which even extends to the multiplayer

 

 

Review: Alan Wake: The Signal (360)

Review: Gears of War 2 (360)

Review: Red Dead Redemption (360)

Review: Army of 2: The 40th Day (360)

 

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Kan & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

kane & laynch 2 dog days          kane & lynch 2 dog days

 

Beyond the fantastic faux-documentary camera work and film grain of Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, there’s not much substance to be found even if the characters are actually that, characters.

The game suffers from the “Zelda Door” contrivance for almost the entirety of the story, which involves a lot of shooting, backstabbing, and action movie cliches. Kane

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- Xbox 360 Game Reviews

- Shooter Game Reviews

- Games Published by Square Enix

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

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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.

 

kane & lynch 2 dog days          kane & lynch 2 dog days


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.

- Aaron Simmer

(September 4, 2010)

 

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