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User Rating: 5 | Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days PS3
Kane and Lynch 2: Dog S*** is the sequel nobody asked for. And yet, here it is. Now I'm not condemning sequels to bad games, since most of them improve on the previous effort and turn out to be quite good, but some are bound to be mediocre games with bad value with one or two improvements. Let's talk about those improvements first.

One of the things a lot of people (including me, obviously) disliked about the first game was the incredibly clunky and awkward shooting mechanics: Those include aiming acceleration, hit detection and general weapon accuracy, among other stuff, and all those components were practically broken. Which kind of takes away the whole point of a game which is (or tries to be) a shooter. Thankfully, Io Interactive fixed the general gunplay this time around, with a variety of weapons and satisfying shooting.

And then there's the absolutely stellar presentation. Dog S*** packs an incredible level of realism. Gunfights are always intense and disorienting, loud and confusing. To me, that's a good thing, and I like to believe it's what Io was trying to achieve. There's also the amazing sound design, with great voice AND motion capture actors for the titular characters. They really portray actual characters, instead of the steroid junkies of Gears of War and Killzone. The characters' relationship changes throughout the story, and they are almost emotionally impactful.

But that's where the improvements END. Seriously. Let me mention all the flaws with this game now.

The movement is incredibly awkward. There is no fluidity in snapping in and out of cover. You press X (A on the 360) to go into cover, and you press X again to get out of it. Sounds simple enough, but it isn't. Way too often, Lynch will pop into the wrong object and think it's covering him, when he should have gone in the opposite direction.

They also don't have any melee attacks, the closest you get to that is pressing circle (B on 360) when close to an enemy to use him as a human shield. But since the guns can penetrate enemies (and ONLY enemies, nothing else. Not a thin wall of wood or plastic), it does you absolutely no good. When you have a human shield, you can either throw him or execute him. If you throw him, you'll see one of the most hilarious bad animations you've ever seen. Seriously.

There's also no grenades. Yeah.

Shotguns are overpowered, and if you try shooting with a machine pistol at MEDIUM range, taking out a target is a chore. The weapons are incredibly inaccurate, and it feels like the game was entirely designed to be played within close quarters. But the level design says otherwise: You, more often than not, will encounter enemies at medium range distances. At which points you'll be better off taking them out with a shotgun than any other weapon, except for the sniper rifle. You read that right. And it's worth mentioning, the zoom in of the sniper rifle is laughable. Something you'd see in Syphon Filter 3 on PS1. Oh wait... No you wouldn't.

The AI is TERRIBLE. Your partner's AI is decent, but the enemy is incredibly stupid. Which sometimes even comes to their advantage. Since they just run around the battlefield in a seemingly random pattern, and shoot you while just standing there, it can be hard to spot them. But it's just funny to watch an enemy stand still right in front of you while you're taking cover, shooting and shooting and shooting, not noticing you're not getting hit. I almost pity them.

There's also the UNACCEPTABLE length of 5 hours. And I'm being generous. And it's not a forgivable (or commendable) 5 hours like in Modern Warfare 2, with a great number of setpieces, non-stop, varied action, environmental variety and good story (I thought so). It's a lame story that's only well-acted. Very predictable. And the only setpiece is one particular scene in a helicopter, which itself wasn't all that much fun. Just you on a helicopter with an LMG, shooting another helo. As if you were carrying a weapon on-foot. Didn't even feel that much different from the rest of the game.

Multiplayer is meh. There are 3 modes which I don't feel like explaining. They're all really creative, and could be pretty fun, if they weren't infested by terrible lag, lack of host migration and the other numerous flaws of the game. You can buy weapons in between the rounds of the matches, but if you die, the weapons are gone. WHICH IS STUPID.

Kane and Lynch 2: Dog S*** has fun moments, but is a very, very mediocre game overall. Not so much as in glitches, but really, in poor general design choices. The multiplayer modes are great ideas, but just ideas. Maybe next time, Io.