Sunday, January 31, 2016

1PanelReview Kane & Lynch 1

"I'm so sorry...I'm sorry it ended like this, and I'm sorry I couldn't just die. But I swear. I'll find them all before they find Jenny. I'll kill them all before they even look at her..."
Time to dig out the past, M. 47! Reviews of the Hitman series:
What it is: Kane & Lynch: Dead Men also known now as simply Kane & Lynch 1

Which is: A Third Person Cover Shooter/Action game
Created by: IO Interactive/Eidos Interactive
Year: 2007
Available on: Xbox 360, PS3 & PC

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men is the first entry in the Kane & Lynch series. The game was developed by IO Interactive for Eidos Interactive, and released in 2007 right after Hitman: Blood Money. In fact it's even built on a few elements from the Hitman series, taking a definitively more action route over the stealth of the Hitman games.

The story revolves around this ex-cop named Kane, turned mercenary after the death of his son. He quickly joined the criminal organization "The7" and did a lot of jobs for them.. until an op gone wrong in Venezuela where he caused the death of over 25 locals. Now sent back to America, Kane finds himself sentenced to the death penalty. But along the road the convicted inmates broke out and Kane ended right back in the hands of The7. They got his wife and daughter as hostages and they want the money Kane owes them back. This adventure will take the player from the streets of LA to Tokyo, Havana and the Venezuelan jungle! Oh, and he's forced to work with this medicated psychopath Lynch, his watchdog on The7's behalf.

What's Good about it: Kane & Lynch is a pretty fun game all things considered.
It was one of the earliest third person cover shooters alongside the original Army of Two and Gears of War.
The plot is actually pretty good. Kane, our main protagonist, gets himself in one incredibly bad situation. Of course, nothing goes as planned and it quickly gets worse and worse...
Our Kane and Lnych characters are really fun protagonists. Originally Lynch was meant to act as just a sidekick, but they ended involving him a lot more into the plot. IO Interactive designed them to be very different unusual main characters. Kane is voiced by Brian Bloom (Blazkowicz in the recent Wolfenstein games) and Lynch is voiced by Jarion Monroe.
Gameplay takes a lot of elements IO Interactive learned over the course of the Hitman series, but instead of getting to play this invicible serial killer you're more or less playing the bad guys. Controls would be considered fairly basic nowadays, but it was the beginning of these type of cover shooters. You can hide behind cover, give simple commands to your partner(s). There's a lot of weapons you can find around and trade with said partners.
I wasn't a huge fan of the whole Venezuelan jungle sequence, it didn't work as well as the rest of the game, but it felt like IO having another shot at their jungle stages from the original Hitman: Codename 47.
The game does a lot great ideas. There's even 2 separate endings based on one final choice you get to make. Funny enough, neither of these 2 endings are a happy ending, one is a bad ending while the other's a "worse" ending (no real good ending, what did you seriously expect?).
The game allows you to play a fun co-op mode where the second player gets to play as Lynch. Playing as Lynch, the 2nd player even gets to experience his crazy hallucinations from time to time!
There's also a whole separate multiplayer mode, which I personally never got to experience. It's a mission based multiplayer mode where the players must also all escape alive at the end of a mission. There's this ingame money system to buy better equipment. They added a few mutliplayer maps for free as additional DLC.
Finally let's also mention the fantastic score, once more compose by Jesper Kyd. It was pretty good, even if not as memorable as his work on the Hitman titles. It was rather cinematic and really helped the crazy rhythm of this brutal story.

What's Bad about it: Kane & Lynch is not without its fault. The game can get pretty tedious, and some parts of the game felt like they stretched for way too long.
There's some weaker parts when the game went for a lot more combat oriented over the previous story-driven chapters. Particularly in the Havana and the Venezuelan chapter, those had a lot of really tiresome sequences.
I really like how this starts like a fun buddy cop action story, but the game suddenly slowly turns into a squad-based army game as you get more familiar with the orders you can give to your AI partner (even if you're playing 2-player co-op). You don't just have Lynch to order around but several other allies join your fight during the prison breakout. When you visit Havana you're thrown right in the middle of a civil war, commending an entire platoon!
I never got to personally try the mutli', so I can't talk for it, but despite the original mission-based premise it seemed to be a bit simple, short and repetitive.

Overall: Kane & Lynch was a really fun new ip from the Hitman creators, and the only one that really stood out over their different experiments outside of Agent 47's adventures.

It's far from perfect, and I know it. Like most Hitman games, there's a couple of very frustrating parts (like Hitman 1's jungle or Hitman 2's snowy mountains, anyone?). They always had some trouble with the jungle-ysh stages...

The game received pretty average reviews, but I think it's a really fun game all in all. With really great characters and dialogue. It's a pretty decent 3rd person cover shooter. A fun cinematic game. Most of the criticism came due to some stupid controversy with GameSpot at the time of the release of the game (thanks Eidos!...).

I really recommend you Try it Out! It's actually a really fun well made cinematic 3rd person shooter. Despite it's (many) flaws, it's a really fun action game that goes by far too fast but it's really enjoyable. 

The game received a sequel, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days in 2008. There also was an handheld spinoff planned for PSP and DS around 2007 called Kane and Lynch Tactics. The game was never officially announced and it was cancelled for some reason. Speaking of, there's been a film adaptation in the works for almost a decade. The first attempt to adapt the game into the film was written by Kyle Ward and it was set to star Bruce Willis as the ex-mercenary Kane and Jamie Foxx as the redneck Lynch (!! Really!?), although I would honestly switch the roles around if it was up to me...

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