Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days Review
For every customer out there that's tired of the same super space marine soldier trying to fight aliens from outer space and save the planet from sheer destruction: the first person shooter genre is not a friendly place for you. But for every hundred space marines out there, there is a game like Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days; which sorts out the frustrations of who look like everyday men out to save their hides in another run with the world's worst underground. But does this out-step in the first person shooter genre hit its mark or do we have two men who need to sit and stay once and for all?
Our adventure starts off with Lynch meeting up with his old buddy and merc partner, Kane, in Lynch's new home of Shanghai. Here Lynch still does odd jobs every now and then to keep up with his living expenses, but has stumbled upon a big weapons deal that he needs Kane's help with. The day before the deal, Lynch leads Kane to help him do a little job before, and in which point: all Hell breaks loose. Here you are introduced to where you will be most of the game: covering and shooting. Kane and Lynch 2 runs the tried and true premise seen in games like Gears of War and Uncharted by utilizing cover vantage points to shoot your opponents and progress further into the game. What was used in Kane and Lynch: Dead Men now feels a lot tighter and polished in Dog Days' gunplay: rain a hail of gunfire until you have no bullets left, then grab another gun and continue on the rampage. It's a fast paced style that really immerses you into the story of Dog Days.
While the gunplay is a lot better around, the same can be said around the visual representation of Shanghai. Dog Days pulls off a style of vibrant monotony, giving Shanghai enough life to show off its populace, but makes it bleak enough to give the vibe of hopelessness and despair as Kane and Lynch rummage through the slums and underbelly of Shanghai, all through the lens of a portable camera. Dog Days puts the player through the eyes of an indie film visualization with explosions de-rendering the screen, brutal headshots being pixilated to censor the carnage, and levels not loading, but "buffering". This style of setting the scene in the eyes of someone documenting the life and times of two mercenaries on the run almost gives it a Cloverfield vibe to the game and really pushes the game not as a rag-and-tag shoot em' up game as it's thrown out to be: but almost as an art form to where you can take a general topic of Kane and Lynch 2 and make it something to be particularly known for.
This would be true if the game wasn't so unbelievably short. On Normal and with plenty of screw-ups, Dog Days will last you somewhere close to 5 hours of gameplay. For a game with so much potential, it hurts to see a game like this just abruptly end like it does and leave no afterstory or conclusion to the plot. Even though the artsy feel of the game is a fantastic addition to the series, I can't help but feel like that addition to the game left a sizable story filler left out in turn to make the game look good. Even adding a couple more hours of backstory, or more explanations to the plot could've really helped Dog Days be a stand out title against its competition.
When single player is up and over, you still have Dog Days' Fragile Alliance and various multiplayer modes to keep company and add more hours of play. Fragile Alliance, for new players, is Cops and Robbers: but any robber can and will betray his own men to receive more of the share of money stolen: with the whole point of the game is to have more money than your teammates. When a Robber is slain, he becomes a Cop and tries to defeat his former teammates and make sure they don't escape with the money. This mode is still one of the most interesting and enjoyable styles of play I've played in awhile and will continue to be a favorite of mine.
Kane & Lynch: Dog Days introduces a new style of artistic accomplishment to the video gaming industry, but only manages to wow with tighter gunplay and impressive art direction, leaving out a well-developed plot and a lengthy stay in Shanghai. Wherever Kane and Lynch may take us on their next journey, I sure hope it's a longer stay than this one.
+ Tighter Gunplay
+ Voyeuristic, Gritty Art Direction
+ Fragile Alliance
- Frustratingly Short...
- ...Even More Frustrating Ending.
- Plot? What Plot?