Review by ApochWeiss
An amazing game with that "rush for the holidays" feel to it.
Was Kane & Lynch: Dead Men one of the most over hyped games of all time? It is obvious to see that yes, it was. This doesn't mean that this game is completely unplayable though. Sadly, it just has more cons then pros, and no, we're not talking the main characters here.
This incredibly short video game's story revolves around Kane, a hitman on death row, who winds up being broken out of jail and "rescued" thanks to the help of Lynch and a group of other men. Kane later finds out it's his old team, and they're none to happy with him. Kane tries to defend himself against the allegations from his former team mates that he is not a traitor, but of course his former buddies are too pigheaded. Kane has to do what they ask of him, with the mandatory assistance of Lynch, or his family, whom they conveniently kidnapped, will die. What comes next is a swear filled ride through insanity, distress, deceit, remorse, and sheer aggravation for the unsuspecting gamer.
Sounds great, right? Yeah, the story is phenomenal, and often brutal. However, most of the time the dialogue seems as though a sixteen year old kid with tourettes wrote it. The voice acting is done well most of the time, but a good majority of it is just done poorly and comes off completely unbelievable and amateurish compared to the brilliant story and back stories.
The controls are another issue all together. The good thing about this game is that it's not easy. For the most part you need to actually be able to aim. There's no auto-aim or red targeting sight to show you'll get a head shot. For many people, this would be a turn off, so don't think you're getting an easy it-does-everything-for-me kind of game.
However, there are certain commands with the controller that just don't seem to work out well. For instance, you can sprint with the left control stick pushed down. Sadly, it only worked a few brief times. Perhaps it was just this disc, but you never know. It also does't help that while you're being shot at, and you have no idea from where, when you try to turn, you move slower then a turtle.
And of course, what game can be complete without the glitching? Oh god, the glitching! There have been many complaints made about the game being rushed and full of glitches, and sadly this copy proved it to be true. Sometimes the audio would mess up by having a character start saying his line, and then sound as though it's skipping. Other issues included in-game problems, such as people dying without taking damage, characters not dying after repeated head shots, as well as certain triggers to start the next part of the chapter from working.
Even the X-Box Live feature glitched on this disc. It could never enter any games through quick play to join a random lobby, and it would freeze after the second round of the second scenario in a row while playing multiplayer. It's unclear if all discs have this issue, but this one did, so it means that there must be more discs like this one. It also doesn't help that, when you play, people are able to cheat and are unable to die, and people who don't fully appreciate the traitor feature of these on-line scenarios that leave mid-game wind up ruining the experience.
However, that very traitor feature that many on-line gamers just don't seem to fully comprehend is what makes the on-line play so special. You are given your choice or four scenarios, ranging from a jewel heist, to local government assassination and drug smuggling. And it doesn't matter how well you play or how much money you collect with your crew, you're able to go traitor and kill your team mates and take the entire fortune yourself. But, here are some words of advise that many people probably didn't consider to even think of: When escaping, don't walk in the way of your get away van. Just like in real life, you can be run over without any remorse from the driver.
The same can also be said about the campaign, as there are many elements, including that of vehicular manslaughter, that will get you killed. But, with that and all other fears aside, the game sweeps you away to exotic locations! Yes, travel the digital world quickly and safely through the use of cut scenes that are utilized to cut time between events in the game, but also leaves out a lot of room for both character growth (which is sorely needed in this game to fully understand the plight and wrong doings of these two outstanding citizens), to more information about what is going on in between chapters that could, perhaps to some, prove useful in figuring out more then just the basics of this obviously once complex story line.
While it is creative, he achievements don't tell you what exactly has to be done to trigger them, so if you work specifically on your gamerscore, you may be a little out of luck here. Most of the ones for the campaign scenario unlock as you play the game. There are a few that require you to do certain things, but not a lot. You also have achievements for the X-Box Live aspect, as well as for off-line co-op mode. So, if you're a fat kid who has no friends and is picked on daily at school, good luck getting that one thousand points unless, for some strange reason, your family loves violent, cuss-filled video games where you become the murderer.
But, if you're not one of those individuals, then the co-op gaming will reveal more to the world of Kane & Lynch then said fat kid will ever get to experience. It goes further into the history of Lynch, and you even get to experience what causes the "madness" in the bank. No, there will be no spoiler regarding the bank, so don't worry. Let's just say it's a little obvious, but at the same time kind of comical in a twisted sense of humor way.
The AI in this game is something that will leave your head scratching. One minute your partners seem to have a good handle on the situation in front of them, and then the next these same geniuses become mentally challenged and just walk in the line of fire. But, the good news for them, as well as you, is that you can revive thanks to the wonderful invention called "Adrenaline". But, use that sparingly, as two or more shots within a few minutes of each other will prove fatal to you. However, most of the time your teammates aren't affected by this (and what a surprise it is). Just make sure that, from early on in the game, you learn how to use the team commands attached to the d-pad, which include to move forward, hold positions, and attack. But, of course, with every order comes Lynch's sarcasm and insults, so if you are easily offended by foul language in a video game, prepare yourself.
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men could have been a fantastic game, but it's obvious that it was rushed for the holiday season. If you have a local video rental store that carries the game, do yourself a favor and rent it for at least one play through. It's easily worth the time and aggravation (and believe that there will be a lot of aggravation) to go through the mind-blowing story and mediocre dialogue. But chances are, after that run through, you'll officially be done with the game.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (US, 11/13/07)
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