Kane and Lynch: Dead Men Review

Player(s): 1-2, co-op: 2, system link: 1-8
Memory: 60KB
HD Support: 720p/1080i/1080p
Sound Support: Dolby Digital, custom soundtrack
Achievements: 47
Xbox LIVE Support: online multiplayer: 4-8, leaderboards, voice chat

Developer IO Interactive first shocked gamers around the world with their Hitman series a few years back. Straying away from the stealth gameplay of Hitman, they have now taken a chance on an action-based crime story, Kane and Lynch. Kane and Lynch captures the overall atmosphere and style of gameplay that fans expect from IO Interactive while taking a break from most of the stealth elements from their most popular series.

While on his way to his execution, Kane is broken out of a police van through an outside interference and Lynch, one of the fellow prisoners, revitalizes Kane with adrenaline and the two escape from the police. The group that broke him out of the police van (known as The7, a group that Kane previously worked with) orders Kane to find a stash of loot that he took from them in exchange for his wife's and daughter's lives. With the help of Lynch, Kane sets out to retrieve the stolen loot and save his family.

The story takes place in many different areas that are far different from each other, so you're constantly placed in fresh surroundings. The game's atmosphere can get quite immersive throughout the stages. There is one nightclub area that Kane and Lynch must work their way through in order to meet-up with a certain person. Before long, guns are fired and the whole crowd inside goes frantic during the middle of the gunfight - it's quite an eye-pleasing experience. Other stages will take you through many buildings and city streets and many other areas as cops and other groups pursue you.

For a game that is called "Kane and Lynch", one would think we would learn some information about both characters equally, but the majority of the plot deals with Kane. Lynch's past is basically only hinted at through his actions and the dialogue between the two - Lynch appears to be a very troubled character with quite a past too! Even though the story mainly focuses on Kane, he is a very strong character and the entire game is very character driven even in Lynch's case. We learn much about Kane and Lynch's personality through their cutscene and in-game dialogue and they are both interesting characters that make a great team.

The overall gameplay is pretty standard third person run and gun. There are a few breaks in the gunplay such as repelling down a building or meeting up with a certain person, but for the most part you'll be shooting quite a bit.

Shootouts require you to take cover any place that you can find it. Walk up to the edge of a wall and Kane will automatically lean up against it. This automatic cover system can lead to problems where Kane will not lean up against a wall or face a desired direction at times, but for the most part it works well once you get used to it. While leaning up against a wall, Kane can lean out and aim or he can target an enemy and fire blindly. Blind fire reduces accuracy quite a bit, but it works quite well for tense shootouts.