Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (360)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Graphics: 8.50
Sound: 8.50
Gameplay: 7.50
Replays: 6.00
Gamelength: 7.00

From the creators of Hitman comes the fast-paced, adrenaline pumping Kane & Lynch.

Kane & Lynch has received a lot of very harsh reviews, but I don’t really see why. It’s a good action game with a decent story and a crazy cast of characters. The main character is Kane, a badass mercenary and the story here is pretty basic. The main focus of the game is based around rescuing Kane’s family, although there are some other things that happen along the way. You also have Lynch, the “medicated psychopath”, as per the box and there’s really no better way to describe Lynch. He really is a medicated psychopath and it shows throughout. Kane has to keep him in line and it makes for some interesting scenes. Throughout the game, you will travel to many different places all over the globe, which range from clubs to open streets and all sorts of various other areas. There’s a lot of variation and everything looks really great. No 2 areas look or feel the same.

Graphically, this game is pretty damn attractive. You might notice a few lower quality textures here and there, but honestly that’s just nitpicking. There’s a lot of eye candy in this game and a whole lot of variation to match. The littlest things, such as shadows or gunfire all look awesome and for most people, this game should easily satisfy in the graphics department. The only complaint some people may have is that there are a few missing graphics here and there, but they’re nothing that would ruin the overall experience or pace of the game.

The soundtrack is great and fits in perfectly. Guns sounds nice, the voice acting is decent and there’s a pleasant variation of music that always blends in. The more tense the situation is, the more tense the music is. There is also custom soundtrack support, as with most titles for the Xbox 360 and it works perfectly, but I find the default tracks to be fine as they are.

The rest of the game is pretty well done, but the gameplay, however, is where Kane & Lynch suffers a little bit. It’s not necessarily too difficult, it’s not hard to get used to and there’s a good bit of variation. However, I found the biggest problem to be the AI. Your squad is absolutely stupid and they don’t match up against people you’re fighting. Your opponents have ludicrous accuracy, but your squad? They shoot as if they’ve never held a gun before! They also run around like chickens during any sort of combat if you don’t give them orders manually. It’s annoying and quite absurd. The other problem is the lack of more depth within’ the online components. The co-op mode is offline only, which is lacking because splitscreen gameplay takes a bit away from the immersion, thus downgrading the quality of the experience in most cases. The only online component that is offered is awesome, but gets old really quick. This mode is called “Fragile Alliance” and the theme is pretty simple: Think and act like a criminal. A team of 4-8 players can join up to complete a mission, which takes place in a random area ripped straight out of the main game, but at any given time, you or any other player can simply decide they don’t want to work with the team anymore. If this happens, that player is considered a rogue and will get to keep the reward all to his or her self, provided that the player makes it out and escapes in one piece. Any or all players can become rogues at any given time and it provides an intense, realistic atmosphere. The problems are that not enough people play this mode and there’s not nearly enough variation to keep it interesting over a long course of time. Despite all of the flaws, though, Kane & Lynch is not a bad game. Personally, I think Kane & Lynch is a bit underrated. It has flaws and it’s not a perfect game, but it deserves more praise than it’s been receiving. Either way you look at it, here’s to hoping Eidos fixes the AI up and adds some news online components with a patch or 2.

Pros:
– Good graphics.
– Awesome sound effects and a well-made soundtrack.
– Fairly unique online component.
– Somewhat fresh main characters.
– Extremely fast pacing.
– A lot of variation.

Cons:
– Although unique, Fragile Alliance could use some serious improvements.
– Co-op is offline and splitscreen only.
– Squad AI is frustratingly stupid.

Bottom line:
Most people will probably want to rent this game, but I really encourage more people to check this game out. Eidos did a decent job and it’s worth your time, at the very least.

Overall Rating: 7.50

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