The original Kane & Lynch, subtitled Dead Men, was a flawed gem but the release was surrounded with controversy when it was rumored that it led to the firing of a GameSpot employee after he gave it a less than favorable review. Although I enjoyed Dead Men, Dog Days has become too streamlined and while it looks unique, it plays like your run-of-the-mill third person shooter. After the events of the first game, Kane and Lynch parted ways, with Lynch living a new life in Shanghai, China with his girlfriend. When he happens upon a lucrative arms deal, Lynch calls his "friend" Kane to split the money but things take a turn for the worse when a simple job takes the life of a corrupt government official's daughter. Now, the two is forced to go on the run and fight their way through law enforcement and armed thugs to get out of the country, or die trying. The story here isn't as well-told as Dead Men but it retains the gritty, mature tone of two people forced to do violent acts because they don't know any better. Unfortunately, the game ends rather abruptly so you're left wondering what's going to happen. The fundamental gameplay is still the same but there's no more squad tactics and inventory handling. You're just running around shooting hundreds of people and it starts to get long in the tooth by the 5th chapter. The story mode is incredibly short and I completed in a mere 4.6 hours according to Steam. The cover system this time is more akin to Rainbow Six but it still doesn't feel as smooth because it always seems like some part of your body is still sticking out. The default difficulty is also rather hard as it throws 10 or more enemies that surround you. The visual style of the game is unique and it's done in such a way that it feels like its recorded on a cheap video camera so there's going to be lens flare and artifacts when you get shot. However, this style also allows the artists to be lazy with the textures and while you may not be able to spot the low-res art on a console, they're more apparent when playing on PC. Hell, while fighting in a cell phone store, all the phones are just painted on a flat texture! Still, the look is like nothing out there, even if it can be disorienting. Sound is good as well but doesn't exceed standards; it's mostly just people cursing and guns firing. The voice acting of the main characters are excellent though and the delivery of the dialogue sounds sincere. Multiplayer is very limited with the maps and if you want all of them, you have to buy all the DLC. Extreme nickel and diming here. There's a co-op mode for the story but there's no text chat and it's extremely laggy. I couldn't try any of the other modes like Fragile Alliance or Cops and Robbers because the game is virtually dead on the PC, but I assume the experience won't be great anyways. So for $50, you're only getting 4 to 5 hours of game time so its really not worth it. I did not regret buying the game but I do wish I waited longer until it reached bargain bin price. I suggest everyone do the same or just check out the demo.
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