Psst, hey, you, wanna see something unusual for 80p? Pick up Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days in Square Enix’s Steam sale. Made by Hitman folks IO Interactive, K&L 2 may be typical for a 2010 cover shooter in a lot of ways but I still find it interesting for:
1) An aggressively ugly look riffing on uploaded camera phone videos that are over-compressed, blown-out, glitched, distorted, and censored by video hosts.
2) Making you fight for ages with awful guns, scrabbling from cover to cover and desperately trying to grab new guns after yours runs out of ammo.
3) A stunning and bustling Shanghai.
3) That bit where they’re naked and drenched in blood.
I’m repeating what I wrote a few years ago but: Kane & Lynch 2 offers a fantastic experience of killers stumbling through a city they don’t understand, desperately spaffing bullets hoping it’ll solve their problems. You play a stupid god damn arsehole, a hired killer who’s barely good enough to keep himself alive as he bumbles through a mess he created. Our old partner is sick of our shit, we don’t know why gangs and cops are after us, and every gun we find is so inaccurate and has such limited capacity that every fight is bumbling, fighting for mere metres of space and hoping to find even a handful of bullets. All the while, it’s just so in-your-face ugly. Fantastic.
I’m not saying it’s super-amazing. Its relentless unpleasantness, while intentional, can be a bit much. And I understand why some people might hate the combat. Then as someone who does like the combat, I do think it’s spoiled when the game starts handing out guns which aren’t terrible.
But god, that look! Those rubbish guns! That city! Kane & Lynch 2 is £0.79/€0.99/$0.99 on Steam until Monday the 5th of March, which seems a great price even just for a peek.