One of most innovative things about the first Kane & Lynch was Fragile Alliance, a multiplayer mode where you formed an uneasy partnership with your online compatriots, knowing that any of them could turn traitor and grab your share of the loot on offer (unless, that is, you decided to turn on them first). Fans of Fragile Alliance will be happy to hear that the mode has been confirmed for the game's sequel--Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days--and we recently managed to play through a few matches in this (potentially) treacherous multiplayer offering.
Fragile Alliance in Kane and Lynch 2 plays quite similarly to the first game, but for those unfamiliar the backstabbing antics to be found here, the mode begins with you and your allies (up to seven other players online) tasked with stealing as much money as possible within an allocated time frame. In Dog Day's case, that's $4 million in four minutes. Cooperation is key at the start as you make your way to where the cash is stashed within each location, but once you've got the money, things turn decidedly dicey. At any stage after you've first started grabbing the loot, you can become a turncoat to your fellow thieves. Killing another player will gift you any cash he may have stolen, which is a decent incentive to be a slimy traitor. Of course, you and your teammates could also go through the entire mission working as one and get away with an equal share of the takings. But as we saw in our hands-on, it always seemed to be much more fun to be a true baddie.
The location in our Fragile Alliance demo started above a subway station in Shanghai, with our gang of thieves making their way underground and into some tunnels that opened up into a large underground vault. As friendly fire was turned off at this stage, we were forced to work cooperatively, clearing out security and police forces that blocked our way. Once our group started collecting stolen cash, however, we were free to turn nasty at any time. This is where the fun really began. Do you try to work together to take on the waves of police now rushing the subway station? Do you wait until the last minute to attack your teammates? Or do you go rogue from the start, trusting in your own skills to make it out intact with or without help?
Naturally, being a villain to your teammates is not without its disadvantages. For one, shooting a partner will instantly flag you as a traitor to your other colleagues, even if there were no witnesses to your deed. This means the truly treacherous types will have to plan their actions carefully because once you've been tagged as a traitor, it becomes open season on you. Secondly, any partners you do kill will respawn into the game as police officers, increasing the number of opposition forces you have to fight through. Respawned players can also get some bad-cop action going with the ability to take any money from fallen criminals.
During our demo testing, most of the matches we played turned into vicious shoot-outs, with our fellow players turning traitor on numerous occasions. The level itself provided plenty of good cover points, particularly in the subway station itself, thanks to numerous pillars and platforms that could be used to hide from gunfire. Complicating issues, however, were trains that would regularly speed down the tunnels, instantly killing anyone loitering on the tracks.
While we only got to play in the Shanghai location, an Eidos rep assured us there would be as many as nine more varied locations in the game. And while Arcade and Fragile Alliance have been the only two confirmed multiplayer modes for Kane and Lynch 2, Eidos says there will be more to reveal in the next few weeks. Keep it locked to GameSpot for more information on Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days.