The Happy Crappy Gamer: Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
This is the true story of two friends, brought together to smuggle weapons and have their lives videotaped. Find out what happens when James and Adam stop being polite and start being real. Welcome to Shanghai, boys.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days starts with Lynch inviting Kane to Shanghai for a smuggling operation, but before that happens, Lynch asks Kane to tag along while he “sends a message” to a guy named Li Lung. A chase ensues with Lung and his boo (girlfriend to those who aren’t from the streets), gunfire erupts, Kane accidentally shoots Lung’s girlfriend, and before Lynch can shoot Lung, he commits suicide. It’s just another day at the office for Kane and Lynch when they meet up with their smuggler friend, Glazer, the next day.
The group never gets a chance to discuss the plan in detail because their car gets ambushed by a barrage of bullets (seriously these two guys have the worst luck), and the pair now must shoot their way through the mean streets of Shanghai in search of safety. Soon after, the ever so crafty tag-team learn that the girl Kane shot was the daughter of a high ranking official named Shangsi. As revenge for killing his daughter, Shangsi has his crew of flunkies capture Kane, Lynch, and Lynch’s girlfriend, Xiu. Xiu is murdered, while Kane and Lynch get real friendly with a box cutter. All seems lost, but have no fear, Kane and Lynch escape and the rest of the game is a killing spree as the dynamic duo carve out a path of terror as they desperately try to get to the airport.
Now let’s transition into the part where I tell you what I love about this game. I loved the overall look and feel of this game. While some hated the camera work and dirty, dreary looking underworld of Shanghai, I found the shaky, over the shoulder, 480p, documentary-style camera work a welcomed edition. I think that adds to the lore of the characters. Kane and Lynch are low class, so doesn’t it make sense for the production and presentation of the game to fit that bill as well? That’s just a genius move on the developer’s part. Maybe gamers have been spoiled too much: Can’t games have semi-unresponsive controls, a flawed cover system, super linear paths, and short campaigns? Can’t you have fun shooting it out in the same looking alleys, hallways, and streets during a campaign that’s less than five hours? I know I can.
Speaking of shooting, I loved that it takes almost a full clip to kill a person in this game. Too many times I’ve been frustrated with all this one shot, one kill garbage in shooters now days. I find it extremely satisfying to pop out of cover, shoot someone in the face, watch them not die, get shot by four other people, almost die myself, drop back into cover, wait for my health to regenerate, and do it all over again three more times. That takes real skill and patience, not like that “I fire one bullet and you’re dead bullshit”, who wants that? I feel it’s totally acceptable for you to get behind cover and then have the A.I. shred your cover to pieces, leading to your death. I also think it’s acceptable for you to get behind cover, get suppressed by gunfire, and then get flanked by the enemy, or to walk around a corner and get ambushed by a group of enemies, then die.
I praise the development team for creating a mission where you’re naked (don’t worry your ramrod is blurred), left for dead in a dumpster and bleeding from multiple lacerations from box cutters. It’s actually pretty damn cool that after you’ve killed your torturer you now must escape through a bus depot with no weapons, just your birthday suit. After that sense of accomplishment from when you make it out to the rainy streets of Shanghai, only to take a cop hostage, steal his gun, shoot his buddy, execute your hostage by shooting him in the head, and then have a firefight with the rest of the police force, no other game comes close to that level of adrenaline. Not to mention all the while withering in pain from your cuts and expressing yourself with Oscar worthy lines of dialogue like “I don’t fucking care. I’m fucking naked. Fucking people shooting, screaming.”
To me, games like Kane & Lynch 2: Dogs Days are a breath of fresh air in a super saturated video game market that has adopted the American motto of, “Bigger, better, stronger, and faster.” I love a good challenge, and Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days certainly delivered in that department for me. From the crazy shootouts, to the shaky camera, and even to the blurred out dongs, this video game is a decent third person shooter that any fan of the genre should try. I sound like a broken record, but I am truly mesmerized at what you can accomplish when you stop worrying about what other people will think. Thank you IO Interactive for creating this awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, overwhelming breathtaking third-person shooter.
P.S. Sorry Lawrence about you not getting that achievement.
The Happy Crappy Gamer