Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (PC) Review

By Athanasios 17.07.2015 1

Review for Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days on PC

In the world of entertainment, anything that has sold a satisfying amount of copies just has to have a sequel, even when the quality of the original was subpar. Thus, came Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, which, like Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, follows the misadventures of one of the most despicable couple of characters in videogame history. What does it add? Well, instead of adding, it actually manages to subtract, leaving behind something that makes the first, and not exactly flawless title, look like a masterpiece compared to this rushed product.

Things look pretty ugly right from the start, and not because Kane and Lynch are being chased by Chinese mobs, cops, and soldiers. No, not because this - highly detailed - part of Shanghai is full of filth, but because this band of unfortunate crooks are being followed by a cameraman! At least that's how it looks, since the view constantly shakes and wobbles, blurs, and even gets sprayed with blood, and even gets some sort of compressed video "noise," akin to mobile-recorded footage. This all gives this game a documentary, or reality TV, sort of vibe but, gameplay-wise, it's one of the worst ideas ever.

The story begins with Kane meeting with Lynch, who is now the protagonist. Lynch asks "How is your daughter?," to which Kane responds, "Fine," and then… that's it. Not a single mention of past events that could connect this with the original, and not even a word about what these two have been doing all this time. Furthermore, both look a lot different, and not just in appearance, but also in style and behaviour. Kane is more like an ordinary 50-year old, rather than a dangerous and skilled mercenary, and Lynch looks less like a psychopath and more like a porn industry retiree.

Screenshot for Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days on PC

In less than about 10 minutes, and after a very few cut-scenes and dialogue sequences that are not exactly very immersive, this becomes an ultra-linear array of redundant gunfire exchange between enemies that don't have any real differences between them besides what weapon they are carrying. The plot simply disappears, something completely unacceptable from the follow-up of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, whose plot was certainly not perfect but at least existed, and was far more memorable - oh, and wait until the ending is reached. The word 'abrupt' cannot even begin to describe it.

The non-existent plot is disappointing, so, once again, it all boils down to the gameplay. Dog Days is still a simple cover-based third-person shooter, and this time around the cover mechanic has, luckily, been done right - well, not 'right,' to be honest, just a lot better than what it used to be like. The reason is that it's not automatic anymore, making the process of snapping into position far more reliable, although, like with the original, bullets frequently manage to harm Kane and Lynch.

Screenshot for Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days on PC

Gone is the extremely similar and inaccurate weaponry of the first title, since each one now looks, sounds, and behaves differently, although, it's still a somewhat flawed system, with one example being the fact that itsy-bitsy, pocket-sized revolvers are surprisingly lethal, even when compared with the military toys. However, the weirdest thing seems to be the accuracy of shotguns, which is almost as good as the accuracy of sniper rifles.

Sometimes some "special" objectives will be thrown into the mix, yet they are always of the typical, monotonous, and been-there-done-that kind, like guard character X, or destroy vehicle Y. Something that must be noted is that this Kane & Lynch title doesn't include any of the interactivity between the two characters that used to be present, as they can no longer swap weapons or "resurrect" each other with adrenaline, and while it's still possible to play co-operatively with a friend, it's online-only and without a split-screen feature.

Screenshot for Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days on PC

Once again, the multiplayer is far more entertaining than the Story mode. Fragile Alliance, which was also available in Dead Men, is a bank robbery stage, where human characters can, at any given time, kill an ally and steal his/her loot, with the dead one becoming part of the opposing police team upon respawning. Not only is this mode better this time, but there are also a couple of secondary modes that are variations of this clever concept - fortunately, it's also possible to play with CPU-controlled bots, although they tend to be slightly… dumb.

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days resulted in the discontinuation of the series, something that was both logical and predictable, since this is a severely unpolished title, which is, in many ways, far worse than the already mediocre Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, which at least started quite well before beginning its downfall, whereas its sequel is bad from the very first minute. Don't buy it for the enjoyable multiplayer modes, don't buy the - not exactly cheap - collection, and don't rent it. Just forget that it has ever existed.

Screenshot for Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

This is the final, dirty, oily, rusty, and corroded nail in the coffin of one of the most unlucky series of third-person shooters. The sad thing is that, although mediocre, the first one gave had the aura of a rough diamond (or at least a bronze coin), something that gave hope for a sequel that would polish its rough edges and manage to finally offer a really good Kane & Lynch game. The result, however, is disappointing and that's putting it mildly, since, besides its various broken mechanics, the annoying camera, the mundane locales, and the disappearance of the plot, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is nothing more than a three-hour marathon of monotonous gunfights, which feel the same from beginning to end.

Developer

IO Interactive

Publisher

Square Enix

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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