Xbox 360 Review: Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days

Every dog has its day, but what about Kane and Lynch?

The original Kane and Lynch was a fairly mixed bag. The campaign was good for the most part, but the Venezuela section towards the end felt completely out of place, the multiplayer was fun as you worked together to screw each other over, but that’s if you were with players that actually understood how to play Fragile Alliance. I found myself getting killed right at the start, even before looting…idiots.

The sequel “Dog Days” takes place 2 years after the end of the first game. Kane is talked into arriving at Shanghai for a deal by his old buddy, Lynch. Of course, the deal goes completely tits up and the psychopathic duo is hunted by everyone in China, including the gangs and its leaders. The story is pretty basic and doesn’t really push the franchise along, but there are some good moments of dialogue between Kane and Lynch, showing real tension between them. I will say though that I was extremely annoyed at the shortest ending to a videogame I’ve ever seen…

The campaign is very short, although it will take some considerable time to complete on the Extreme difficulty. It’s even rock-hard on Easy; just a few shots can put you down for a dirt nap. It doesn’t help that the game has this weird look to it that feels like it’s been filmed on a seriously outdated camera, which even pixilates things like headshots and nudity, which feels ridiculous for a 18+ game. Although I’m glad it was there when Kane and Lynch are running around Shanghai butt-naked…

You can do new things in Dog Days such as throwing gas canisters towards your enemies and then shoot them and take them as a human shield. There’s also an Arcade mode of Fragile Alliance where you and a group of AI go through round after around picking up as much cash as possible before escaping. There are achievements for earning $25 and $50 million over your career, but there’s also a tough one which asks you to earn $8 million in just 6 minutes or less! There are a few different levels for Arcade, which also appear in the Fragile Alliance multiplayer mode. The same deal applies as it did in the first game, but you can’t kill each other till looting has begun and you can upgrade your weapons after each round. But if you die, you lose your weapons and have to re-buy them.

There are also Undercover Cop and Cops and Robbers modes that are self-explanatory, they are fun and I can see them being played for quite a while…or at least until players earn the available achievements. The game also now allows online co-op, a feature that was desperately needed for the original (since the achievements ask you to play the entire game through co-op, but only locally) which will help for you to tackle the incredibly difficult Extreme mode.

Visually, Kane and Lynch is a real mixed bag. The video filter looks nice sometimes and incredibly ugly at other times. Character models are average and lip-syncing is poor, levels look nice and the framerate is consistent for the most part. Voice-acting is great and the music is kinda catchy but sometimes cringy at the same time.

The Verdict

Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days improves upon the original, but not by much. The game doesn’t really push the story forward and the gameplay feels only slightly better. Multiplayer and Arcade Mode is where you’ll mostly find your fun and based upon the remarks of Kane, I don’t think we’ll see any Kane and Lynch 3 any time soon…