Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days Second Opinion
This is Just Push Start’s second opinion on Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, check out our review here.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is a gritty third person shooter with a completely unique presentational style. Set in Shanghai prepare for plenty of gunfights, blood and intense action. Kane and Lynch embark on one final well paying job and well the guns start there.
Spoilers aside lets kick of this second opinion’s HOTs and NOTs.
Kane & Lynch 2 offers a good variety of weapons, which all looks and sound well polished and feel individual. Not only do the guns feel different from sub machinegun to assault rifle but also from different types of assault rifle. This soon helps players find their favourite gun to use which maybe completely different to other players when playing through the storyline or in multiplayer, adding variety to all game modes.
The guns recoil seems realistic and squeezing the trigger for too long will cause the bullets to spray over enemies’ heads. The echo gun sounds add to the feeling of confined areas which further intensifies gunfights.
Playing through Dog Days you’ll often, especially on harder modes, have to fully use the environment to your advantage. While covering behind such things as the wooden partitions it can’t take many bullets before its shot to smithereens. Despite the fact that this is defiantly nothing new in the genre it does help round off the solid mechanics of the title.
Kane & Lynch 2’s usual gunfights take place in small almost cramped rooms and corridors. This intensifies the gunfights as the player has nowhere else to go and is forced to cover when they can and slowly take out the mass of enemies.
Kane & Lynch 2’s unique visuals not only make the game stand out but bring a fresh feel to third person shooters. The homemade YouTube like camera swinging to and fro when players run to the roll of the camera along the floor when the player dies helps fully engross you into the title. Bright lights blur and explosions rock the screen but when the game leaves the bright streets of Shanghai the game still manages to look good with almost dull grey washed environments and it’s because of the homemade camera feel that this works.
While the game does strangely, for such a gritty game, hide the faces of dead enemies it seems to work well with the theme of an amateur like movie. It’s not often games can be disturbing but Kane & Lynch 2 is a very gore filled title, while you don’t see it all due to the visual style of the game, you react just the same way if not more so than it was actually on screen.
The storyline of Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is a vast improvement from the original but that on its own isn’t saying much. It starts off at a medium pace but soon rockets into a full flowing story which you can easily follow and strangely enjoy. The story works so well due to the little back stories the game gives characters; even the loading screens are used to further the players understanding of the in game relationships.
From just shooting in the streets of Shanghai to helicopter on helicopter action none feels like it has been added purely for the action and does fit in with the story. The story won’t make anyone run down the streets to buy the game but is solid enough to be very satisfying.
Online Modes Available
There are 3 multiplayer game modes (excluding co-op) which all revolve around money. Fragile Alliance from the original makes a great return, work as a team to pull off a heist but players can be backstabbed or turn on their ‘team mates’ to try and grab it all. This mode really makes players watch their back as no-one knows when others will try to be greedy.
Cops and Robbers is a fresh twist to team death match, while there’s still an objective of stealing a large sum of money this time both sides are human players and not AI. Putting an extra objective into a TDM like this means it just feels completely different thus more enjoyable after playing so much of the traditional type in other titles.
Undercover cop is another mode which makes players watch their back. By placing one player at random as the cop they must singlehandedly attempt to stop everyone else. Players don’t know who to trust and who not to, making the game type very tense, although the odds are certainly stacked against the cop.
Other Games Take Note
There are a few features in which Kane & Lynch 2 stands above many other current shooting games. The ability to run and reload at the same time while only a small detail is used by players all the time; whether it be running to cover or just running towards the next batch of enemies. It also begs the question why can’t you run and reload in other shooting titles.
The level and gun unlock system is well thought through. Firstly gamers must unlock guns via the 8 level system but then still have to buy the weapons in the game they are in. Could this be where Call of Duty: Black Ops got the idea for buying weapons from? I wouldn’t be surprised as the system works well and seems to work fairly.
When players have run out of ammunition Kane & Lynch 2 has a quick and easy way to solve this. Simply press down on the directional buttons and the game shows on screen the location of any dropped ammo and any explosive canisters. This means players don’t waste times hunting around for ammo and quickly get back into the gunfight or on with the story.
Lane & Lynch 2 isn’t going to kill you off straight away, once you’ve taken your fair share of bullets the player will be down but certainly not out. Once you’re thrown to the floor, the player can decide to use the time; to just get straight back up, to crawl to close cover or to quickly attempt to shot the enemy from the floor position. While this second chance isn’t innovative, it does help Dog Days flow better as the player doesn’t always die straight away, causing the game to reload from the previous checkpoint.
Lack of Grenades and Scopes
This is quite noticeable as you can pick up and throw canisters of gas or fire extinguishers. I was left at a few points throughout the game thinking if only I had a grenade right now which quickly drew my attention to their none appearance in the game. With the decent throwing mechanism for other objects I doubt it would have been too hard to add them in which would have helped round of the general gunfight experience.
With the only gun having a zoom being the sniper it means players often are unable to hit some long shots, during some gunfights where you can’t edge forward as you’d be shot immediately it can make stages feel nearly impossible.
Problem with AI
The AI at times in Kane & Lynch 2 drops in standard. One problem with AI is that sometimes enemies won’t fire at the player and seemingly just stand around, not participating in shootouts. Cops will occasionally remain in the open with no cover; in the center of a fire fight, this means they easily get taken down by Kane or Lynch’s shots making the stage less demanding than it should to complete. The finally problem that faces the AI is their ability to see through cover. This often causes them to know the players location even when perfectly hidden in cover which can be quite frustrating when coving to regain health, reload or flank the enemy.
There are a few glitches in Kane & Lynch 2, while they are usually small they stand out due to the overall game being well polished. Players are at times able to grab a police officer to use them as a human shield through a section of wooden panelling; while this can actually help the player it does look odd.
When shooting enemies who are at long distance, some of these longshots kill but no hitmarkers appear, this can leave the player still raining fire down on a position wasting ammunition on a dead enemy.
When playing as Kane or Lynch when they during their naked mission, if the player has 2 weapons they seem to pull a gun out of somewhere a gun wouldn’t be.
Unfortunately they small glitches at times break the illusion of being in the story and makes player fully realise that it is just a game, and with slightly more polishing or a patch these things could be sorted out.
Problems with online
The multiplayer host system in Kane & Lynch 2 should really be addressed. A number of online matches ended via the host leaving, host migration has been included into other online titles and the feature would have worked well for Kane & Lynch 2.
There are 3 good game modes but only 3 (not including quick match and ranked). The simple addition of a free for all mode, which is a more typical online game mode for a shooting game, would have made it feel less confined.
Online doesn’t suffer from very many glitches and lag issues but when one appears usually the player loses out almost unfairly.
A true sequel to the original Kane & Lynch, Dog Days has taken many of its flaws and improved strongly on them. There’s certainly no rest for these guys as they game is thoroughly filled to the brim with gunfights and then more guns. There are some great features which other titles really should start to use after Kane & Lynch 2 shows they work so well but it also fails with the exclusion of other features such as grenades not being included in Kane and Lynch’s arsenal. Don’t except to be playing the story for too long but what’s there is enjoyable.Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days Second Opinion,