(http://www.kaneandlynch.com/#/).  Rated M for Mature by ESRB.  As we finally wrap up the dog days of summer, Io Interactive gives us a wonderfully fitting game to end this time of year, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. Much like its precursor, K&L2 has received mixed reviews. Focusing on gritty realism and intensity, Io Interactive’s sequel puts the dynamic duo in the middle of Shanghai with some guns, a little lunacy, and a lot of bad guys.

(http://www.kaneandlynch.com/#/).  Rated M for Mature by ESRB.  As we finally wrap up the dog days of summer, Io Interactive gives us a wonderfully fitting game to end this time of year, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. Much like its precursor, K&L2 has received mixed reviews. Focusing on gritty realism and intensity, Io Interactive’s sequel puts the dynamic duo in the middle of Shanghai with some guns, a little lunacy, and a lot of bad guys.

 

 

**WARNING** The following video may contain content inappropriate for children** 

 

Presentation:
Unlike the original, the plot of Dog Days focuses mainly on Lynch, Kane’s psychotic partner in crime. It takes place in Shanghai, quite some time after the events in the first game. From the very beginning, K&L2 takes you straight to the action. A simple shakedown gone wrong starts a gunfight, and from there Kane and Lynch almost never get a break as they shoot their way across Shanghai. Kane & Lynch don’t have much in way of character development, but that’s not really the point. They’re criminals, they have guns, and they’re being shot at. You don’t need to question why, you just fire first and ask questions later.

       

Graphics:
The art style is very raw and gritty, which fits the setting very well. The whole visual experience almost feels dreamlike, which fits Lynch’s state of mind, a bit fuzzy. Unfortunately, this interferes with being able to aim and shoot enemies. Lens flare, blur, and blood spatter sometimes make it impossible to see and aim, and while it is realistic to the hectic situations you get put in, it hinders gameplay somewhat. Io Interactive took a risk going with this particular style, and it sadly didn’t work out this time.

       

Sounds:
The voice acting is fairly impressive in Dog Days. The sounds of Kane & Lynch screaming across the battlefield to each other as well as the conversations during the short cutscenes really sound genuine. At times, the talking doesn’t match up with their mouths, which detriments the experience a bit, but it doesn’t ruin it. It would have been nice to see a bit more work into making the audio blend with the video well.

Gameplay:
Dog Days is a third-person, cover-based shooter. You’re just a madman with a gun, and so you don’t have shields, or even body armor. If you get shot, it’s going to hurt. So cover is a very important part of the game. However, the system for going in and out of cover, as well as running to new cover is all a bit clumsy. And going into cover will more than often put you into a worse position. Because the focus of combat is cover, it would have been more enjoyable if the system had been more fluid and effective.
 

       

Conclusion:
Kane & Lynch 2 is a perfect example of a game that sounds good in theory, but just wasn’t executed well. With mediocre graphics, awkward controls, and less than a four hour story mode, it just feels unrefined. The outstanding part of this game is more or less just the extreme gore and bloody realism.

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