Top positive review
Such an underrated game!
on 3 June 2014
This game has taken some pretty harsh reviews and in my opinion is one of the most underrated games of the last console generation. The first instalment in the series has not helped this game, as it was so poorly rated, but please try to ignore some of the slating reviews and have a go at a game that is, to put it plainly...fun to play!
K&L 2: Dog Days is a gritty story set in the dark and seedy criminal underworld of Shanghai. The plot is a typical ‘from bad to worse’ scenario where Kane & Lynch find themselves accidentally entangled with Shanghai’s most notorious gang leader. For those of you who have not played the first instalment of the series and are concerned that there will be gaps in the story telling, do not be deterred in getting this game as there is little connection between the stories and it can easily be played as a standalone game. I enjoyed the story telling and scene setting in this mature and, at times, grim plot. Yes, the story is basic and the protagonists are awful people doing awful things, but you can’t help to want Kane & Lynch to succeed. The story is plain and simple, well paced and it doesn’t try to be something it’s not.
The visuals in this game are, in my opinion, great for the game it is. The graphics complement the story and are a perfect fit for the tone of the game. Lots of screen flare from neon lights and rain soaked streets, coupled with a home camera style of capturing the moment. Visuals can be a bit lifeless in some scenes, such as derelict buildings and wastelands; however the streets of Shanghai lit up by police lights in the rain look gritty and raw and help to set the scene beautifully. One of the biggest bugbears of this game in previous reviews is the shaky camera follow system. The game is intended to look as if it was filmed on a home video camera in the style of movies such as Chronicle, Blair Witch and more recently End of Watch. In the cutscenes, this works fine, however the shaky camera during gameplay can be a tad nauseating at times. However, this option can easily be turned off in the options and makes a great deal of difference to the overall look and feel of the game.
This is a typical cover and shoot game, where the protagonists are faced by wave after wave of gang members and police officers as they try to push through from A to B. For those of you who are looking for a bit of variety in gameplay, this may not be the game for you as each mission is roughly the same in terms of how the level is played. The cover system has been under scrutiny as some players claim that the cover system doesn’t always work and you can still take some hits behind cover. I, personally, have not had any trouble with the cover system, it does exactly what you need it to do. The shooting is less accurate than some games, which I feel is far more realistic and much more challenging. There is an option for a soft lock, which does make shooting a bit more steady if that is what you want. My favourite aspect of this game is the sound design when shooting. The shots sounds deep and loud and echo beautifully in differing environments. This coupled with the rag doll effects of shooting your enemies, makes for a more hectic environment and an overall more realistic feel.
A nice additional mode is the arcade mode, which sends you through a variety of heist settings in which you play as different characters raiding bank vaults and robbing trains etc. These are short and are intended to be replayed countless times to try to beat personal targets. This game features a multiplayer option, which as of May 2014 seems to be relatively quiet, with very few players online. So if you are looking for a multiplayer game, maybe give this one a miss.
Overall, I particularly enjoyed this game. I generally rate a game based on how likely I am to play through a game for a second time. Since completing the game, I am sure that I will play through this game again on the various difficulty settings. The gameplay is solid with a simple and enjoyable story and the various difficulty settings and arcade mode offer more than enough opportunity to play through this game many times over.