Kane and Lynch is a 3rd person shooter developed by IO interactive who are best known for the Hitman series of games and also the slightly lesser known Freedom Fighters. At first glance Kane and Lynch may look similar to Hitman but in reality the game plays very differently. Kane and Lynch is all about killing the “bad” guys with a full arsenal of weapons and usually with the help of your crew. The game doesn’t rely on stealth much with the exception of one 10 second part of the game near the beginning.
The game starts with some cut scenes and short game sections in order to introduce you to the characters and the storyline of the game. The gist of the storyline is that Kane (the character you play) is on the way to death row with some other criminals. There is a planned crash and you manage to escape the vehicle with another rather unsavoury fellow named Lynch. You are brought to safety where you meet some of your ex-associates called The7 that you assumed were dead. Kane escaped a job with two mysterious briefcases and now The7 want them back. With the help of Lynch you must retrieve the briefcases or both your daughter and ex-wife will be slaughtered. Sounds charming doesn’t it? Lynch’s role is to give Kane support, mission information and generally just make sure he’s not trying to pull a fast one on The7.
The whole Kane and Lynch storyline is really interesting and will keep you playing just to find out what happens next. This is the real strong point of the game and with a sequel and movie already announced the series can only get better and more interesting. The characters are likeable in an odd sort of way and it all has a big “movie” feel to it.
The various missions take you to a surprising amount of different environments which, along with the decent story line, manages to keep you entertained even though most of the game you are just gunning down enemies and moving on through a set of linear paths. The gun battles are great fun and towards the end of the game you will be blasting down a vast amount of enemies. Unfortunately the cover system can be buggy at times which can lead to some frustrating moments. When shooting at enemies behind cover even if a limb is poking out, the game seems to count them as being “in cover” and thus shooting them does nothing until they actually pop their head up to try and attack either you or one of your fellow allies. What’s also frustrating is that every machine gun seems to have a ridiculous amount of recoil so aiming with precision can be quite difficult. However, after getting used to this you start to use more accurate short bursts and learn how to compensate for the recoil.
Kane and Lynch has some decent squad based action and you have a few basic commands at hand for ordering around your crew. This works well and your team will usually do what you tell them. If you keep repeating the same commands to them they respond with some insults which we can’t put here due to their 18 rated nature. You’ll still find you need to do a lot of the shooting yourself which is a good thing as it provides you with more of a challenge.
Graphically the game is a disappointment. Some areas, notably the Havana level and inside the night club, look quite nice but many indoor sections look bland and jaggy, with at some points, a slight Playstation 2 feel to them. Fortunately the sound is good and the quality of the cut scenes are exceptional which makes up for some of the poor graphics in the main bulk of the game.
The game itself is quite short – probably around 8 hours on normal difficulty. The game has seemingly random difficulty spikes with the hardest part in the game being placed in the middle rather than the end which seems a little stupid and perhaps slightly rushed. The short single player lifespan is somewhat redeemed by having a multi player mode. Co-op was axed from the game due to time constraints so all that is left is “Fragile Alliance”. In Fragile Alliance you and a team of other players rob a bank and try to escape with the money. You can shoot your fellow robbers during the heist and take their money in order to become richer but, they respawn as police and try to stop you. This is very unique and fun but unfortunately it won’t keep you overly entertained for long as there aren’t many people that play it and it can get rather laggy.
Kane and Lynch could have been a fantastic game had they have spent some more time on it. Instead we are left with a fun but short and buggy game. Hopefully they can build upon this decent foundation and make a good sequel.
Originally Written By: Joe