Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days Hands-On

We got to play Kane & Lynch 2 for the first time, as developer IO Interactive visited us with the latest build of the game.

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When we got our first look at Kane & Lynch 2 in January, the focus of developer IO Interactive's presentation was the game's YouTube-inspired visual aesthetic. Thankfully, our second encounter was more about the gameplay, as we were let loose in Shanghai to try the game for the first time. The campaign director, Karsten Lund, was also on hand to show off a new section from the story mode, as Kane and Lynch escorted a criminal overlord through a highway ambush.

Our demo started with Lund showing off a new section of the game, which takes place roughly a third of the way through the main campaign. Kane and Lynch were in the back of a saloon car, with the camera pointing up from the center seat, almost like an undercover filming. The duo were bickering with evil crime boss Glazer about a weapons deal and were also engaged in more general banter about Shanghai, with one character saying, "It's f****ed, I hate it." Then, the car got rammed from the side, and after some vehicular tussling, Kane and Lynch got out of the car to take down a gang, accompanying the cowardly Glazer as his driver navigated the chaos.

The attack was orchestrated by a group of criminals with bags over their heads, who piled out of unmarked vans and used the surrounding cars for cover. It was a frantic slice of gameplay--goons came flying in on motorbikes, and enemies tossed explosives to flush Kane and Lynch out of cover, all while Glazer was pleading for them to save him in his annoying English accent. Through the chaos, we noticed some nice environmental touches--civilians could be seen cowering in their vehicles, while Shanghai's famous pedal bikes were littering the sidewalks.

The highway chase made its way into an abandoned car park, where Lund, playing as Lynch, chased down the remaining gang. The confined space made for some interesting combat tactics--Lund was able to pick up fire extinguishers, toss them at enemies, and then shoot them in midair to create an explosion. The resulting blast then set off car alarms in the vicinity and interfered with the shaky handheld camera that was following the action.

Shortly after leaving the car park, Lund was gunned down in the street, at which point he ended his demo and loaded up the Shanghai restaurant scene that we'd seen during the first unveiling of the game. Lund handed the controller over to us, and we were let loose to actually play for the first time. The section we played was identical to what we saw in January, but it allowed us to get a feel for the gameplay.

Kane & Lynch 2 plays a lot like a standard cover-based shooter, but with a frantic, improvisational feel. Ammo is extremely limited, so you need to keep picking up new weapons from your adversaries. Some cover is destructible, such as the wooden panels separating the tables in the restaurant, meaning you have to keep moving to stay safe. If you are exposed, Lynch will sometimes fall to the ground if he's shot, although you can desperately shoot from your handicapped position before making a run for cover. You can also use the environment--taking hostages for protection, for example. If you murder a hostage in front of the police, they will reel back in shock--a realistic reaction which will buy you a couple of seconds of extra time.

In keeping with IO Interactive's other games, Kane & Lynch 2 isn't easy. We died a few times before making it out of the Shanghai restaurant, and Lund suffered the same fate during his highway demo. While we didn't get to see it, Lund did talk a little bit about the multiplayer in the game, promising that it will "add a whole lot more to the Kane & Lynch package." A multiplayer event is promised ahead of the game's release, so expect more details on the new version of the Fragile Alliance game mode, as well as all the new multiplayer modes, when we next take a look at the game.

Kane & Lynch 2 is set for release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on August 27. Stay tuned to GameSpot for more information as we get it.

Discussion

105 comments
anthonycg
anthonycg

Don't be an idiot and rate a game based on it's prequel.

The_T-Ban
The_T-Ban

I don't care if I get banned . this game will suck just like the first one did . Intifada !

Ra-Qin
Ra-Qin

Let's hope for two things... 1) This game is much better than the last. -and- 2) This game does not comprimise the ethics of our current set of GS Editors or those of the company behind the scenes of this site. The first iteration of this game was the focal point of issues for Gamespot staffers and management in late 2007. As a long time participant on this site, I really don't want to see that level of mismanagement, deceit, and shennanagans again. Just give us an unbiased review :-)

deathknight107
deathknight107

lets hope it looks better then the first pos they called a game

mobywv
mobywv

I feel sorry for that Gamespot employee that draws the short straw and has to post a review on this game.

maroon111
maroon111

The game looks muchhhhhhh better than the first one!!

erix43
erix43

I have to say that this game looks very good. I hope the best for it. I see a lot of negative reviews on it thus far, but the truth is.. Who are these losers anyways? What games have they made? Ok, nuff said. Can't wait to play this one.

ckat609
ckat609

Too bad I can't speak my mind on this... i might get banned.

buttpork
buttpork

I only played the demo of the first one, and from what I heard it wasn't too great... Though you can't deny how great the atmosphere felt...well...for me anyways... Good luck to them this time!!!

great_rulo
great_rulo

I absolutely regret buying K&L 1, but i really liked Lynch's design, the way he blacked out because of his sickness, his voice, his face, his attitude and everything were some of the best things seen character-wise in videogames for the past decade, thumbing me down? play the first game and prove me otherwise.

metalkid9
metalkid9

Looks like gamespot got paid again. This article is from Apr. 23 and it's still in the latest previews lol

elusivemelody
elusivemelody

I tried to play the demo of the first one...I couldn't do it. It was horrible. It still gives me nightmares. Who would play that kind of game? WHO!?!?!? I want to strongly reprimand them.

guertt
guertt

Wow, this sequel looks so good! Well done. Great feel to it. I sence a great sequel this time :)

maverick_76
maverick_76

Well from reading this it seems that they are making some improvements over the last game.

maverick_76
maverick_76

@Rottenwood LOL at the sarcasm there.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

Always good to know that a game doesn't have to be any good to get a sequel, as long as it has predictable gun-based gameplay.

KO4U
KO4U

could they have picked a worse guy to interview? "Mumble, mumble, Lynch, mumble, Kane, mumble, video game...:P

aaronfhff123
aaronfhff123

This game doesn't look bloody enough. I wanna see red on every body I shoot!

Gsig
Gsig

Wait...the graphics look good....0.0 are we looking at the same screenshots? Just from the screens you can tell this game is going to be as pathetic as the original. Why did it even warrant a sequel...why!

termadoyle
termadoyle

I thought the first one was GOTY material... before they released it and I played it myself and saw what a piece of crap the game is. One of the most disappointing games I've ever played. I won't get my hopes so up for this one but I guess I'll keep an eye on it.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

i like the graphics. Alot of the textures are simple, but the gritty, washed out look and shaky camera give it an awesome feel. And the draw distances with things in the distance like the skyscrapers looks great. I hope the shooting is better than in the first game.

Gsig
Gsig

So are we allowed to criticize the game in the comments or will we be banned for that? ;) Anyone looking for truthful information about the game go to IGN or better yet GiantBomb. Do not trust Gamespot on this one....or any other for that matter

bad_fur_day
bad_fur_day

Earns a pre-order from me, awesome stuff IO. I'm a fan.

raptor1906
raptor1906

Wow the graphics looks great and the gameplay looks like fun, but im still going to wait for a review before buying it im just not totally convinced....

XBD247
XBD247

The first one wasn't that bad; it had some interesting ideas, just wasn't as polished as it should have been. The multiplayer mode Fragile Alliance was very unique and tons of fun. The first got such a bad rep because of the Gamespot fiasco.

SopranosFan
SopranosFan

When this copy comes in the mail call in sick.

Payasoplas
Payasoplas

The game should be called Lynch & Kane, Lynch is a very funny guy with much darker past and much more interesting than Kane

67gt500
67gt500

Are you guys gonna draw straws to see who will be reviewing this one? Just wondering...

HitmanZer0
HitmanZer0

@ KingOfTheNubeis: Yeah, you definitely sound like someone who follows orders, or a horde. It doesn't matter how ridiculous the accusations are, the horde makes it passable. It doesn't matter that the story is still nothing more but a conspiracy, but the horde makes it true. Don't point with your fingers at someone, if you're not better. Especially if you believe an absurd and absolute stupid conspiracy like this.

triprunner
triprunner

where is Kane's bald patch?? this game will rock like the 1st one

alirezateenager
alirezateenager

as good as the first one maybe better than it so good

LS1100
LS1100

@sonic0491 F.Y.I Film grain has never ruined any game. It has only made games better. Without film grain, games look too smooth and hence fake. If it was up to me every game will have film grain. I wish there was a film grain filter built into your TV.

LS1100
LS1100

Shanghai+Nude Chicks. I'm in.

sensei_hEnRY
sensei_hEnRY

i'm just hoping IO can fix the first game's poor hit detection and clunky control

Grind-Bastard
Grind-Bastard

The first game was not that good. I have high hopes for this one though. It looks much better!

KingOfTheNubeis
KingOfTheNubeis

I have no will AND will OBEY the Ad managers at CNET. The review is a direct relation to the "Ad" money that EIDOS pays us. After cashing the cheque,they wrote me a script and guide for my " Independent Review" Game play too hard,replace will "challenging". Controls ridiculous ,replace with "Unorthodox" Graphics passable ,replace with "Cutting Edge & Amazing!!" Just incase I got any funny ideas they show me a pic of Gregg. He was leaving the building for the last time with a box of his belongings. "DID I TELL YOU HOW GREAT THIS GAME IS!!.......!"

Di3oxide
Di3oxide

I hope they really do well this time:). Cm'on IO you can show u can do it!

dirtyfunkmaster
dirtyfunkmaster

I wonder who will fired for reviewing this terrible game

2pac_makaveli
2pac_makaveli

the first game was actually pretty fun awesome shoot outs with the law! this game is looking pretty good so far.

Gazz_777
Gazz_777

Well, i did play the first one only by renting it through the video store and i found it to be an alright game. Good gun fights but the store line was a-little fast. I am wondering if the second one will be as good as the first one which was not really the best of games or can it be better.

davidoats2
davidoats2

Is the second one better than the first game?

taxonomic
taxonomic

@Noir2000 You beat me to it. I'm shocked they didn't even off-handedly mention the K&L1 fiasco here on Gamespot. The game actually looks decent, if that means anything.

mshbm
mshbm

This Game is Fuc*in' Sweet