Review: Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men has quite a bad reputation in the video game world. Not just concerning the Gamespot fiasco, but also for being a genuinely terrible game. It has since spawned both a sequel and an upcoming film starring Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx. So how is it even possible for a game that has been panned by critics to perform as well as it has? I ended up with a copy of the original Kane and Lynch title when it was included in a bundle of other games, so I decided I would see for myself what all the fuss is about.
The premise is relatively simple. Adam 'Kane' Marcus is being transported with other inmates to death row, having been convicted of manslaughter. Mid-way through the journey, James Lynch warns Kane to cover himself. Their vehicle is hit by a group of mercenaries, Lynch having planned his own escape. He takes a slightly concussed Kane with him to meet a criminal group known as The7.
Gameplay is similar to that of Gears of War, at least at a first glance. You control Kane (or Lynch if you are playing as a second player in co-operative) from a third person view. While the combat can become fierce, there are plenty of shallow walls to take cover with. The first problem is that the cover system works when it feels like it. To 'stick' your back to a wall you have to stand still for a bit and fiddle with the analogue stick until you lock on, and most of the time you will have died before this happens. The second problem is that regardless of cover, enemies can still shoot you. Whether this is intentional or not, I have no idea. Headshots count only when you have a sniper rifle, which is great for the one level you are given a sniper rifle. Oh, and you have to be playing as Lynch. In short, combat is lifeless, monotonous and dragged out.
Posted September 20th 2010