Kane & Lynch: Dog Days decides to take an interesting and unique approach on how to do the in game graphics. The entire game is shot from a hand held video camera. Sun light casts glare on the screen, there's pixelation, and the camera shakes and wobbles when you run. It's interesting but once the euphoria wears off, and it will fast, your left looking at bland backgrounds and dull character models. Almost the entire game consists of the colors black, brown, gray, and occasional splotches of purple. The pixelation makes it difficult to distinguish what is environment and what is a person, and the camera wobble simply leads to motion sickness (luckily the wobble can be turned off). The game just looks plain bad. The developers said that "gritty" and "dirty" look of the game is suppose to represent "the world as it would be Lynch's shattered Psyche." What a load of [email protected]^%. When it comes right down to it the camera just serves as a mask for the fact that the game just plain looks bad.
Taking place in China's underground mafia it's not surprising that curse words and cussing abound. The most common words, and some of the only words I actually remember from the game, are F*ck, $hit, and Goddam*it Kane. If violent video games were ice cream cursing is like chocolate syrup, to much and all you taste is chocolate syrup. Kane & Lynch Dog Days is definitely over bored in chocolate syrup. The game has two major sounds, guns and talking. The guns are extremely loud but the talking is extremely quite. I was using Turtle Beach headsets so it was easy to flip the volume back and forth, but on a television it would be more difficult. I said guns were loud, but I didn't say that they sounded good. They all sound the same, and they're all terrible.
The story was decent, until the end. *Spoilers* Basically you work for a crime lord, who in competition with another crime lord, and they all work for a bigger crime lord. You accidentally kill the Big Crime Lord's daughter. The $hit hits the fan and you are trying to run away. After your girlfriend dies you take the fight to the Big Crime Lords. The story is decent, but the part that really kills the story is the end. *HUGE SPOILER* At the end of the game you Hijack a commercial airplane and fly out of China. Seriously? There is going to be about a million S.W.A.T. officers and Military personal swarming the airport as soon as that airplane lands. FAIL.
Okay, this is the biggest failure of the game. This is what really caused the game to fall. In any action game you would expect the combat to work well. Unfortunately it doesn't. Kane & Lynch: Dog Days is a third person shooter at it's core. With about a dozen guns you would expect a few to be awesome and some to be ok, but none to be really terrible, right? Wrong. In the game there are 4 pistols, 2 shotguns, 4 sub-machine guns (SMG), 2 assault rifles (AR), 1 sniper rifle, and 1 large machine gun (LMG) (With one or two attachments per gun.) So let's get down to it. Pistols are accurate but so weak a head shot doesn't kill. The shotguns are powerful but difficult to aim and have terrible range (at least they got that right). The SMGs are fast but the bullets spray everywhere, except where your aiming. The two ARs are decent but underpowered. There are only three instances in the game where you get a sniper rifle. The LMG is the best gun in the game, but it's so rare you only get it for a short time. ARs are fairly common but generally don't appear till late in a level, while the SMGs are abundant and worthless. Spam, use, and abuse the ARs because your not gonna keep them long anyways (more on that in a second)**. Bullets go everywhere so it's really just shoot and hope it hits. Enemies take bullets like painkillers and fire back with snipers accuracy. You can hide in the broken cover mechanic or try to get away and hide around a corner, but the enemies ALWAYS know right where you are and will not hesitate to open fire as soon as they see you (Which is before your even in their Line of sight). There are occasionally dogs but good luck trying to see it before it kills you. This is not a challenging difficulty it's just a plain bad design with a lot of cheap shots.
**Side Note with Spoilers**
As I mentioned earlier you don't keep the ARs long. Why is this? Here's why. In the first level you start with only a pistol. As you progress you get one assault rifle for the level. After that level is over (about 5 minuets later) and level 2 begins you lose your weapons and start with a shotgun. You do not get an AR until hours later in the game. When you finally get an AR you get knocked out shortly after and lose your weapons. You fight, get your weapons again and get arrested. You lose your weapons. You fight, get ambushed by some mafia men and lose your weapons. You fight get arrested, lose your weapons. Than while being transported to "prison" by helicopter you beat up the guards take their ARs and rain havoc. Than the helicopter crashes and you lose your weapons. You get more weapons, fight some more and you shoot down a helicopter. That helicopter crashes into the building your in, you fall and....drop your weapons. Shortly after you get your weapons back, again, you advance to the final level in which case you have only an silenced pistol and nothing else. You get the only actual good guns for about 1-1 1/2 hours of the entire game.
Online Broken Beyond Play/10
The game features a few multiplayer modes. The standard and one interesting idea. Fragile Alliance is a game about bank robbery. you play with 6-8 team mates. You break into a bank, steal a million dollars and get away in an escape van. The problem and fun is when players get greedy. The money is split among all of the surviving robbers. If one robber kills another robber instead of the money being split 6 ways it's now split 5. When a person is killed by a robber they become a cop. If a player cop (note there are CPU controlled cops) kills a robber the robber is dead for good. If all of the robbers die the cops split the money. It's an interesting idea but everyone betrays everyone, every game. The game also record how often you betray others. If you look at the player cards before the game you can see if they're trustworthy or backstabbers. This takes the suspense out of wondering if your going to get betrayed. The other problem is the leveling up system. When you level up you can spend your money on better guns. The only problem is that the game does not a balancing matchmaking. You could wind up in a game where everyone is using LMGs or ARs but you only have an SMG. This all would get an actual score except for the fact that the lag makes the game unplayable to everyone except the host.
The game had good potential but didn't live up to be what it could. Even with bullets that go everywhere, lack luster to plain bad story, bad graphics, and unplayable multiplayer Kane & Lynch: Dog Days is leaps ahead of the first game. But that's like saying I burned a piece of toast, it tasted better than the last piece of toast I burned. It may have tasted better, but it's still burnt toast.