From IO Interactive (part of Square Enix) in Copenhagen, Denmark comes the sequel to Kane & Lynch. Although the first game was released to luke-warm critical reception the newest looks to reinvent the well worn action shooter by adding a visceral amateur video look to the game and putting a lot of the focus on the multiplayer aspects. You can play co-op or you can play a variety of multiplayer matches.
IO Interactive created their own game engine, impressively enough furniture is destructible and the once your character has been shot you immediately see the camera swing around to face your attacker, enabling you one last shot at taking him out while you pull yourself back into cover. The color scheme for KL2 is the washed out look that has become incredibly popular in fps games over the past couple of years. The in-game camera presents a shaky digital cam look similar to what you might get from shooting video in a dimly lit room with your cellphone adding to the “I’ve seen this fight on youtube before feel.” This time all of the action takes place in shanghai so you can see the occasional open air food market of street vendor, but there are no locations replicated from the real life Shanghai of today.
Most of the scenarios for multiplayer allow you to take on the role of either robber or cop. As an extra twist you can play as an undercover cop during the heist, which adds an extra level of difficulty- shoot a fellow cop and you are exposed to everyone but if someone catches you not pulling your own weight you are in an equally bad position so its all about timing when you are the undercover cop.
There are a lot of systems in place to alert players to someone who betrays the team and you might think that this means that you are all supposed to work together in one big happy criminal team, but that’s not what you are in for with fragile alliance.
When you are in the middle of the heist you can be killed for the loot that you carry, the fewer players the bigger the reward. Which can lead to multiplayer matches resembling the opening sequence of the Dark Knight. Except in this case everyone who dies comes back as a cop. Consequently if you opt to carry no loot, you will be eliminated from the team on the basis that you aren’t pulling your own weight.
In the end it seems like a pretty intense multiplayer system which might be too complicated for most players, but the goal in Kane & Lynch 2 seems to be the game equivalent of any top grossing crime movie. You could imagine it as if Heat/Collateral/Breaking Bad were thrown in to produce one intense gaming experience. One word of caution though, there were comments from some of the gamers on the show floor that the shaky cam effect for extended periods of time might make you sick, but that may be part of the allure. This game is definitely for connoisseurs good crime stories.
Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days Official E3 Trailer
Interview with Karsten Lund
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is coming to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows PC in 2010