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The recent blog, Peace in the Era of Call of Duty  really made me think about war games that dig deeper than simply a kill streak reward. The first game that came to mind was Spec-Ops: The Line and although I haven’t played it, I began to wonder if it did the war genre as...

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days Preview

Blake_Morse By:
Blake_Morse
01/28/10
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Shooter 
PLAYERS 1- 12 
PUBLISHER Eidos Interactive 
DEVELOPER Io Interactive 
RELEASE DATE  
M Contains Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Strong Language

What do these ratings mean?

The road to redemption.


The first Kane and Lynch is somewhat infamous within the online gaming community. Mostly because of the controversy surrounding it and a certain review site's (not GR) somewhat poorly timed “letting go” of a journalist, who-well, let's just say he wasn't a fan and leave it at that. Well, the scandal came and went just about as fast as you can say “balloon boy” and with the flames all but extinguished, IO Interactive can focus on the task at hand: making Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days as good as they possibly can.

click to enlargeNow, to be fair, the first K&L was not as bad as that one guy said it was. That's not to say it didn't have some issues. Everyone's got issues, however, just look at Britney Spears. But unlike washed up teen pop stars, gameplay problems can be fixed in a sequel. And that is exactly what IO wants to do. They've listened to what fans had to say and are now looking at the man in the mirror and asking him to make the change. Since there's still some time before we'll be seeing Dog Days on shelves, there's a lot that I didn't get a chance to look at, but here's what I did find out.

Somewhere between three and five years has passed since the events of the first game. It's assumed that you went with the “good” ending and Kane has been living with his daughter, Jenny. Lynch, on the other hand, has gone underground, working as a thug for mobsters in China. Lynch calls in Kane for one last big score, enough for him and Jenny to live the easy life. From what I saw though, it's safe to assume that things don't go necessarily as planned.

Combat has the same concept as before; use the cover around to avoid gunfire while returning the favor with (hopefully) better success. But things have changed: Most notably the targeting and health systems have been improved. Targeting is self-explanatory - they made it so you'll have an easier time shooting people in the face, and the options you'll have for avoiding death are wider. Instead of popping pills to stay alive, you'll now get a second wind by finding cover or taking out your assailant in much a similar fashion as Borderlands.

click to enlargeVisually, things are still very cinematic, only instead of calling forth memories of the bank heist in the movie Heat, everything has gone more low-budget. The new style looks like it's being shot on a webcam. The screen is grainy and background luminescence leaves color lines in a light diffraction effect. If you get hit by anything or there's a huge explosion, everything gets garbled and pixelates. Think of it as the most violent and homicidal Youtube video ever. In fact, in preparation for development, they watched a ton of real fist fights and shootouts from all around the Internet and even went to various locations that appear in the game and used "running around with your cellphone" filming to get street brawl techniques for reference.

The cops and robbers-styled Fragile Alliance multiplayer was one of the first game's saving graces. And you'll be glad to know it will be making a return. Multiplayer modes actually got their own development team this time around, hoping to make the experience even better than before. But beyond that not much more info was forthcoming about it at the moment.

I don't think it would be unfair to say that IO has something to prove with Kane & Lynch 2. But we've still got a while before we find out if they'll be able to accomplish the task at hand. Look for Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days to come out fighting later this year on 360, PS3, and PC.
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