excellr8's Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (PC) review

An Average Ride w/ Above Average Visuals

I will admit, I did not play the first game--so i really had no idea what to expect from Dog Days. I was weary of the game's relatively poor reputation but I decided to give it a go anyways.
I'd like to point out that the game is not terrible, but lacks severely in some areas. Unfortunately, one of these areas is the combat itself which you really do not want to hear in a shooter. The gun physics are a little strange to say the least, with assault rifles behaving like shotguns and shotguns behaving like sniper rifles. It's a little hard to explain, so you'll have to play the game to see what I mean... or just take my word for it that the guns are messed up. The amount of bullet damage some of your enemies take is a bit absurd too at times, but I will get to that in just a sec...
On to how the game looks, which is very good to say the least. The camera is so that it appears to be held by a chasing party and is constantly out of focus. There are nice little lens effects that complement your surroundings and even some subtle audio discrepancies to match. It can be a bit disorienting at times, but for the most part it works really well with the pace of the game and allows you to get into the action a bit more. I can't think of any other game that does this, at least in real time. On top of that, the environments are highly detailed and the character models are fairly well rendered, save for some instances.
The gameplay itself is pretty bland, with basic cover mechanics and fairly dumb AI. Your enemies (sometimes in slightly overwhelming numbers) will pop in and out of cover and fire with unrealistic laser accuracy. There are variants but they are all pretty much the same thing, some with better armor and dexterity. There are a variety of weapons, but most of them just suck outright. There are no grenades at all (Kane and Lynch are just too cool for that) just combustables that you can toss-and-shoot to clear out enemies. There are also stationary explosives scattered about for the more passive-aggressive player. At the end of the day the combat is forgettable but does the job I suppose.
Overall, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is a fairly mundane shooter that doesn't offer much. There is plenty of action hidden amidst the flaws but you really need to be creative in order to find it. The story is pretty boring, but does offer some holy sh** moments that keep you interested. The graphics are great with all of the eye-candy enabled, and the dialogue is harsh and realistic. The single player is only 4-5 hours long depending on what difficulty you choose and doesn't allow for much replay value, but there is cooperative mode. To be honest this game is a bit hard to recommend and doesn't feel nearly as polished as most 3rd person shooters available.


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