Kane & Lynch 2 is hoping to build on the foundations of its predecessor with a more bombastic single-player mode and a more robust multiplayer feature set. We got to see both aspects of the game when we visited Square Enix's E3 2010 booth, where representatives from developer Io Interactive were also on hand to answer our questions.
The multiplayer Fragile Alliance mode will build on the same heist gameplay from the last game, where you have to either make it out of a robbery alive or turn on your teammates to take their loot. Undercover Cop is described by Io Interactive as "Fragile Alliance with extra paranoia." One of the criminal gang members will play as an undercover officer, who can easily be identified by the cop team, but whose job it is to take the criminals out one by one. Finally, Cops vs. Robbers is a straight team-based shootout for up to 12 players.
There will also be an arcade variation of Fragile Alliance that is played offline, making it good for practicing or for those without access to the Internet. The idea of the Arcade mode is that you get three lives, and the game keeps ramping up the difficulty until you use up all of them. There will also be different types of allied AI to keep you on your toes--some will be more likely to screw you over, while others may help you make it to the getaway vehicle.
Fragile Alliance will feature a total of six maps, all "built from the ground up" according to the developer. The maps will feature scenarios based on real-life events, such as the gang that hid diamonds in fish--a true crime episode that supposedly happened in the Far East. When looting, you need to be next to the goal to steal it, and friendly fire is off until the looting begins. While we didn't get to play this mode, it looked like a lot of fun and offered quite a challenge even for Kim Krogh, the game's multiplayer director.
The E3 build was also being used to show off a new section of the single-player game, which saw the criminal duo aboard a helicopter. The two hijacked the vehicle and then circled a skyscraper, taking out enemies using machine guns. You'll be able to use the helicopter side door as cover, and you can shoot out the windows of the building to reveal the enemies inside. After a while, another helicopter pulled alongside Kane & Lynch and began attacking, at which point our demo ended. We were told that this section takes place quite a ways into the main game, around 75 percent through the campaign.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is due for release on the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on August 24 in the US, and August 27 in the UK. Stay tuned for more on the game as we get it.