Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
Kane & Lynch picked up a lot of early buzz, as a third-person perspective shoot em up, it was going to be a little different from the usual run of first person shooters. Add in the game play that sounded like a string on bank heists, and you had some eager anticipation.
The storyline however turned out to be a little different. Starting out as a chance at redemption, this violent shooter turns into a revenge fest that puts you on the trail of not only stolen money, but also pits you against the crime syndicate you used to work for.
Teamed up with an unlikely ally, You play Kane, a flawed mercenary partnering up with a medicate psychopath, Lynch. It’s an interesting parring that drives the storyline well.
Game play is initially good, as the focus is on getting the job done and killing anyone that gets in your way. There’s enough variant to keep you interested. But as the game progresses, the difficulty factor is ramped up using the cheap multiply the number of enemies formula, rather that giving the player interesting challenges.
This lets the game down considerably, as most of the latter part of the game (at least the part I got up to) is spent trying to kill wave after wave of enemies, and trying not to get killed.
Health and lives is handles interestingly in a Chev Chelios kind of way, get shot to many times and down you go. If one of yous CCP’s is close by they will slam a syringe of adrenaline into you and up you get. Too many syringes however and you die of an over dose.
Game play (initially) lends itself to solo play, as you want to get the job done quickly and do it John Rambo style, utilising you team mates only occasionally. Later in the game it becomes essential to make good use of them, instructing them where to go and what to shoot at. The only problem being that if you’ve Rambo’d so far into the game, picking up team tactics and thinking your way through the mission just isn’t what you feel like doing.
Nor is team tactics that intuitive as you always seem to have to put yourself in harms way to get your team to actually follow orders.
Graphically the game is great, it plays like GTA with out the sandbox play or the ability to interact with much, as the game is very linear. Shooting people close to walls results in plenty of blood splatter, and the ability to shoot out windows (as long as it’s not bullet proof glass) and blow up cars is a nice touch.
The character handles well, and camera issues (which can be quite a problem with third person games) are virtually non-existent.
The storyline is pretty brutal, and the cut scenes try and keep it real by having every second word being the F-word. This is extremely jarring, and really doesn’t add to the game experience. I’m not against the F-word popping up in games – it really helps the authenticity of a lot of first person shooters, but by the end of the first couple of cut scenes I was tired of hearing a constant stream of F-this, F-that.
Online play sounded promising, and was totally focused on heist type scenarios. And original concept was one of being able to be a traitor and steal your team-mates money and make a quick getaway. In practice however, this concept makes for lousy game play, and with only 4 maps, it would get boring very quickly.
The other problem with on-line play is that this relatively new game has little support from the online community so getting a game can be a real issue. Once you do get in a game, it’s not really set up for long and satisfying game play.
Original and adrenaline pumping at times, Kane & Lynch suffers from too many little annoyances that keeps it from being a great game. It’s worth a look for something a little different, but longevity might be a problem.
Gamers with an aversion to bad language and graphic violence should approach with extreme caution.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Platform: XBox 360.