Kane & Lynch: Dead Men Review – A positive result for such negative attitude.

Kane and Lynch: Dead Men

Eidos, Io Software

Ps3, Xbox 360

Developer Io Interactive is capable of creating an immersing tone and feel to their games, as previously seen with the Hitman series. Deep and twisted characters have always been an important factor. Nobody has come close to Agent 47’s love of killing. I’m willing to bet that Io’s newest duo, Kane and Lynch don’t love killing as much, but they are just as sick and twisted.

The best thing that Kane and Lynch has going for it is its well developed story. Kane and Lynch have really deep, interesting back stories that are constantly referred to mysteriously, but are never really touched down upon. The two are put in a deadly situation, and must do the impossible, to stay alive themselves, and to save their loved ones.

A warning: Do not play Kane and Lynch in the presence of any small children. I’m not exaggerating here. Every fifth word is a profanity. Many people won’t find it offensive at all, and me, at the age I am, found it absolutely hilarious. Every character in the game says the F word at least once. Even the smallest roles.

What is expected out of something like that, is that Kane and Lynch develop a camaraderie and become brothers. Kane and Lynch are the exact opposite of that. They hate each other more at the end of the title, than they do at the start. This keeps the gritty style of the game, that you’ll get used to and hooked on.

However, as great as the story is, Io Interactive made a game. That game is good, but doesn’t live up to the story that keeps it flowing. As a third person shooter, Kane and Lynch has plenty of flaws. Enemy AI is questionable all the time. In several levels, enemies will just stand there, waiting to get shot down instantly. Squad AI doesn’t fair much better. The controls are often clunky and slow, and it can make situations downright impossible to pull off. There were several times where I felt like stopping right then, and give the game a 4.0.

Of course, that wouldn’t be fair to the game. Despite those huge flaws (Believe me, when I say huge. Those are the only issues in the whole game. Only three flaws. However, all three are huge, and effect gameplay in a big way, making some parts “really gay”.), Kane and Lynch has a lot of merits that deserve to be stated. The entire game runs at a real fast, kick ass, action move pace. Every level just swarms you with enemies, hardly giving you time to think. All you can do is blast away with anything you have available.

The shooting is very competent. After playing Army of Two, and Dark Sector, both of which had slippery shooting mechanics, it’s a breath of fresh air to play a game with well working aiming and recoil. The squad commands do work very well for the most part. You have the ability to tell your team to hold back, go ahead, attack, or stay by you. This is great, but if you choose to ignore the commands, your team will still get the job done, although occasionally they do go crazy.

Kane and Lynch also has a great cover system. Just pressing up against a wall, and you’ll easily take cover on it. You can blind fire with surprising precision, and you can lean out and aim. Enemies will also take cover, but they’re often retarded and will lean out for wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too long. The cover system isn’t as smooth working as in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, but it does work out, and you will value it.

Getting back to the issues I found with the game, the controls are just too slow and clunky to make the game fun. Turning is awkward, character movements are slow, and animations are off. There are more than a few times where you’ll need precision to get through, and you’ll end up retrying parts over and over until you get it right.

The enemy AI is just dumb. They don’t have any techniques at all, and it’s as if the bad guy found their mercenaries in the Yellow Pages. What’s really uneven, is although it’s obvious that enemy IQ is 17, they have insane marksmanship, and will constantly snipe you out with pistols and assault rifles. You’ll hate it.

The campaign is only about 7 hours long, but the story’s so great, it’s worth doing twice, perhaps with a split screen friend. What’s really odd and unappreciated is the lack of online coop. This would’ve been okay for a Ps2 or Xbox game, but it doesn’t go by unnoticed in the next generation of gaming. It’s a shame.

The one multiplayer mode, Fragile Alliance is really good. 8 players all start off on one team, and try to rob a bank. Once the loot has been taken, you can try to take it all for yourself by killing a team mate. Then, you are on your own, and our team has to take you out. It’s really interesting, and fits the mood of trust and betrayal well. It’s no Call of Duty 4, but it is really fun, and is the best part of the game.

Kane and Lynch has poor graphics at a technical standpoint. Textures are bland, animations are weak, there’s lots of screen tearing, and framerate stutters. It doesn’t look bad, but it definitely doesn’t look good. At least the art style is great, and the atmosphere and mood is even better.

Dialogue is perfectly delivered, and the digital score is even better. There could’ve been more variety, but overall the sound quality is top notch.

So, that’s it for my Kane and Lynch review. It isn’t the best game out there, and it’s fairly generic, but the great story, characters, and well working shooting mechanics are all good. It’s definitely not the worst you can do for a 10 dollar rent. Fans of action will likely find something to like here.

~ by smithbubbajones on April 13, 2008.

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