GC '07: Kane & Lynch: Dead Men Impressions - The First Level

Eidos and Io Interactive show off a previously unseen level from their upcoming shooter.

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LEIPZIG, Germany--Io Interactive is pretty protective when it comes to showing off work-in-progress versions of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. We've practically memorized the Tokyo high-rise and Tokyo street levels at this point. We've also seen the nightclub level enough times that we can't help but look for partygoers that we recognize every time we walk through it again. We got to see two of those three levels again today, but our visit to Eidos' Games Convention booth certainly wasn't a waste of time because we also got to see a new level set in LA.

The LA level is the first in the game, and its intro sequence sees the titular antiheroes seated next to each other on a prison bus. In the role of Kane, you have no idea what's going on when the bus is rammed onto its side and masked gunmen come to your aid, but Lynch doesn't appear to be surprised at all. You'll get to familiarize yourself with the game's controls while stumbling around with blurred vision, and as you regain your senses, you'll realize that Lynch is trying to help you. At one point, you even collapse on the ground and appear to be close to death, but Lynch gives you an adrenaline shot (a mechanic that's used quite frequently in the game). Moments later, he stands over you with his shotgun and shoots your handcuffs so that you regain use of your hands.

At this point, there are around 15 guys in masks doing their bit to safeguard your escape, but with cops incoming from every angle, a few of them inevitably end up getting shot. The shootouts with cops are definitely action-packed, but we're pretty sure that you are never in any real danger. Asking one of the gunmen what's going on during a brief cutscene is enough to get your nose broken with a rifle butt, and after being reminded that you'd better do what you're told if you want to live, you really have no choice but to follow your rescuers/captors.

After running through a few alleys and scaling some fences, the group--which by now has lost about 10 men--heads into a deserted car workshop. Cops are still coming from all directions, but rest assured that someone in your group will get you out of there. After all, this is the first level of the game, and as a titular protagonist, you're somewhat critical to the story.

We won't tell you how the LA level ended, just that the level appeared to serve its purpose as a tutorial admirably without ever feeling like one. The rest of our Kane & Lynch session was spent checking out the latest versions of the Tokyo street and nightclub levels. But aside from a couple of noticeable graphical improvements, there was really nothing new to report. We look forward to bringing you more information on Kane & Lynch just as soon as we get to check out a new level or--we hope--get a look at the game's cooperative or competitive multiplayer features.

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