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Kane & Lynch 2 Dog Days

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Game Reviewed: Kane & Lynch 2 Dog Days
Publisher: Square Enix/Eidos Interactive
Developer: Io Interactive
Reviewer: Dean Williams
Platform: Xbox 360 (also on PS3 and PC)
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: M
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Game Description:

***NOTE: This review is primarily based off of the first two missions of the game***
Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days follows the same two main characters as the first installment. The game opens with Lynch, now living in Shanghai, speaking on the phone with his girlfriend Xiu. Lynch informs her that he is going to pick up Kane and that they will both meet up with her soon. Once the call is over, the game goes to actual gameplay where the player takes control of Lynch. As the game begins, a grimy urban world greets your eyes. It is apparent from the opening seconds of the game that it will be a dark, gritty experience. Kane originally comes to Shanghai to help Lynch with a smuggling operation, but Lynch leads Kane to a back alley motel where they are to shake down a local informant first. The action begins as the informant will not be taken alive and he runs out of the room, with a prostitute in tow. Lynch, with Kane as his sidekick, must duck, cover, and shoot their way through the city of Shanghai's gangs and police force.

The game itself boasts a unique viewpoint. The designers of the game wanted a realistic, almost "Cops"-like feel to the game, which they achieve with a very shaky-cam camera angle. As the player runs through the streets, the camera bounces up and down, giving a sense that the game is being filmed by a camera man who is struggling to keep up with the action. This camera, combined with the already dark and dirty setting of the game makes the city of Shanghai feel like a haven for malicious persons of the night.

With this third person perspective, the game tries to emulate the cover system from other games such as Gears of War, Mass Effect 2 and Uncharted 2. Rather than running through the streets, guns blazing, the player is encouraged and pretty much required to find places of cover to peek out from and fire. A majority of the game that I played was spent ducking from one cover spot to the next. Every so often you have to run in the open, but when there are enemies present, cover is plentiful and needed to survive.

Along with the single player campaign, there are 3 multiplayer options. One gametype, Fragile Alliance, has a team of bandits robbing a bank, trying to get as much money as possible. During the escape, however, players can choose to betray their teammates and take their share of the cash. A second gametype, Cops and Robbers, is played with some players as cops and some as robbers. The cops defend the bank while the robbers do what they do best. The third and final gametype, Undercover Cop, places one player in the role of the undercover agent within the team of bank robbers. It plays the same as Fragile Alliance, except you also have to watch out for the one unknown player who is trying to kill all the robbers.

What Parents Need to Know

Violence

A majority of the violence in Kane and Lynch 2 is gun violence. The player will spend most of their time going from cover spot to cover spot, firing off rounds, attempting to kill gang members and police officers. The shaky cam perspective makes grotesque amounts of blood imperceptible, but there are times when blood will splatter. In particular, when Lynch is hit, the screen will adopt a red tint for a moment, and will intensify if more hits are taken in succession. Players can also choose to shoot already deceased corpses for a further issuance of blood.

Also of note, if Kane or Lynch get in a close quarters encounter with an enemy and they disfigure the enemy with their gunfire; rather than show the dismemberment or disfigurement, the game blurs the area. This is meant for artistic effect and adds to the feeling of intensity to the violence. Players can also take enemies and innocent bystanders as body shield hostages and then either kick them aside or shoot them later.

The most notable scene of violence comes later in the game as Kane and Lynch are tortured by being slashed with knives in the nude. Any display of private parts is blurred (just like it would be on the show Cops). After this torture scene, Kane and Lynch escape to the streets of Shanghai, but are still blurred naked.

Language

There is quite a bit of bad language in Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days. The words F**k, S**t and g**d*****t are used numerous times as well as other malicious language.

Sexual Content

In the first mission of the game, Kane and Lynch's target is towing what appears to be a prostitute who has no bottoms on. The woman's private parts are blurred. No other sexual content was encountered in the first two missions of the game.

Spiritual Content

No spiritual content was encountered in the first two missions of the game.

Misc.

There are obvious references to alcohol and the drug trade of cocaine.

Reviewer's Thoughts

I found Kane and Lynch 2 to be a particularly difficult game to play. That being said, I have to give a great deal of credit to the designers for the unique third person perspective that they employed in the game. I believe the designers wanted to create a game that showcased the seedy mob underworld in all its "glory", and they definitely succeed on that front. Unfortunately for me, I was unable to play past the first two missions because of the shaky cam viewpoint. I became motion sick very quickly while playing this game. And though the story did seem interesting, the frequent use of bad language turned off this reviewer very quickly. The mature rating on this game definitely speaks for itself when deciding whether this game is appropriate for children or not.



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