From the harsh criticisms of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, the sequel Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is out to redeem itself with a daring visual style and an even more risky story set in the dark streets of Shanghai.
Heavy pixelation and washed out colors keep Dog Days looking like any other cover shooter out there. The shaky camera style helps keep the atmosphere tense and realistic as an eyewitness capturing the chaos unfolding. Lights bleed across the screen and explosions make the video stutter as if the whole game is one viral video uploaded on YouTube. Though games are taking their visuals to a next level with high-definition textures and lighting effects, Dog Days is bringing realism in a different way, adding style over technical prowess.
The multiplayer mode “Fragile Alliance” returns from the first game and was demoed at the Square Enix booth. This mode is a classic cops and robbers style game with a modern twist. All players start off as criminals escaping a heist with each an allotted sum of loot and have to fight their way though the police to their getaway cars.
The amount of money a player has acts as a shield, where if the player is knocked down by gunfire, their money is dropped and open for any player to pick up. The more money a player has, they are a bigger target to be deceived. A player can target their own teammates and use them as human shields to suppress gunfire. Doing so will label the player a traitor and a marked man with a bounty paid to any teammate who kills them. If the traitor is killed, they will come back as a cop fighting against their former brothers in arms and gaining more money in the process. Whoever accumulates the most money at the end of the round wins, but if the alliance is intact, the team gains an added bonus to their final score.
“Fragile Alliance” pairs well with the gritty, deceptive atmosphere of the game, but there needs to be more refinement of the gameplay like recoil level of guns and camera problems like the “camera man” aspect making camera control difficult. Since this was just a demo, the developers still have time to address these problems before their August 24 release date. With its visceral visuals and gritty atmosphere and story, Dog Days may be a saving grace for the franchise.
Originally published on June 17, 2010 @ StudentVoiceOnline.com