Dog days...

It's been a while coming. The sequel to the original and somewhat marred, Kane and Lynch...Dog Days takes place in Shanghai, just like Army of 2 and is a third person cover shooter, rather like many third person cover shooters, say Gears of War. It attempts to be gritty, edgy and mature whilst showcasing just how generic the whole game really is, not a great start.


Now don't get me wrong, there's some fun to be had with Dog Days, but it's short fun and for a full priced retail game this 4-5 hour campaign isn't going to float anyone's boat, not when the actual game is basically rinse and repeat generic boring 3rd person shooting with very little to differentiate itself between other 3rd person games of the genre.

Yes, there's multiplayer, there's also split-screen co-op, which is a great inclusion. However, even the pretty unique multiplayer (heist gameplay) and single player (Arcade version) of the heists isn't enough to actually lift the game from where it stands at the moment. The controls are pretty solid and the whole thing actually feels decent enough when you're in the thick of the action, it's just that the action is pretty much the same-old; same-old rinse and repeat, with nothing to really break it up, apart from the odd and poorly implemented stealth sections. Where the AI is ninja enough and psychic to tell where you are if you're spotted by just one guard.

The weapons also feel weak; they don't actually seem to have bothered with a decent sniper rifle for instance. Cover works fairly well though it seems that Kane and Lynch have a really hard time actually using cover, and they can be hit even when crouched behind it.


The story is also pretty clichéd and typical of this kind of game, it struggles in places and the pacing is way off. I found nothing that I hadn't seen before in other games and I know IO Interactive is better than this.


This brings me to the stylised camcorder graphics of the game, it doesn't work for me, I can actually get motion sickness from this one and no other game bothers me like this at all. It's a terrible idea and makes the game look utterly terrible as well, totally pulling the player out of the environment. Sprinting is sick-making and the way the lens flares come off looks as though the art department of IO took the day off when they did the visual effects.

It's messy and if I didn't know better, I would have thought the game was corrupted in some way, no, it's meant to be like this to add a more gritty and realistic feel to the visuals. Great, it also makes the visuals look horrible and hides any textural imperfections in both the characters and environments, sorry, I'm not a fan of this art style so for that reason the game became a chore to play.

Everything seems almost too fuzzy, too indistinct and basically looks worse than it really is.


Passable, explosions are pretty decent and there's lots of degradable cover and things to blow up. But that's about it.


Fair to terrible, sometimes the AI makes really dumb decisions and other times it will actually use tactics. It's a mixed bag and whilst it can make use of cover, it will most often or not attempt to charge at you when you're reloading, as if it automatically know you're doing that even when behind cover. The AI is also uber psychic and can tell all its friends where you are when you're trying to sneak.


The sound design is actually pretty good, weapons are well recorded and they don't sound like pop-guns. Ambient sound is actually nice and there's a lot of life to these environments aurally.


Again, good stuff, nothing truly stands out.


The voice work can be over the top, excessive cursing and the like, typical for this kind of game. It's like being in an episode of Deadwood. The delivery is pretty good though.


The script isn't bad at all, but when combined with the clichéd and often nonsensical storytelling it falls flat.


Frequent disconnects and lag issues prevented us from truly finding out how the game fared in multiplayer, the PSN isn't exactly the most user friendly environment to get a good go of the game's heist modes and so on. So since this wasn't on the 360 here we were unable to play more than a few matches without finding a bunch of idiots on the servers. It's times like this that I hate owning a PS3.

From the games that we did play, yes, the multiplayer is fun, it is pretty unique and the whole idea that anyone can turn on you at any time and nick all the money is great. It really fosters a sense of enforced teamwork, as everyone tries to make as much cash as they can.

Fragile Alliance is the multiplayer name for the Arcade Mode and it's the most interesting, you have to steal as much money as possible, fighting AI guards and the ambitions of other players, you can try and play clean and help where possible, but if you want the big score you're going to be given the choice to betray your friends. Once you do that though, people will know and they'll gun you down.

I can see the multiplayer as the saving grace, along with co-op, but it's still not enough to keep me interested in the game. Since the same graphical glitches and visual nightmares are present in multiplayer, it made the whole thing uncomfortable and a chore for me to play more than 30m of any of it.

Not winning any fans here with this art style.


I wasn't impressed with Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days, this is one dog that needs to take a ride to the happy kennel in the sky and never come back.