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  • unmanneddrone 6:01 am on September 22, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Kane & Lynch 2,   

    @scribl My recommendation would be Metal Gear Acid 2. Nothing else comes close for uniqueness and mechanics. Everything else feels like a bit of a grind, including the classics, in comparison. My pick, at least.

    @RedSwirl Yeah, K&L2 – despite running on an engine that isn’t cutting edge – has some of the most beautiful filters over the top…my hope is that they take their time with a third, revel back with Hitman 5 (which will be damn awesome) and keep working on what they do best – mood and architecture. The way K&L2 ends certainly could lead to any number of wild situations in the third.

  • unmanneddrone 9:45 am on September 9, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , Kane & Lynch 2   

    If anyone wants in on the fun with @mcstabwithlies and myself (PC and Mac), there’s a new teaser trailer fresh from the editing room floor.

    Worth every penny.

    In other news, I’ve managed to squeeze in some Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days recently. Still have to ruminate upon it more, but for the most part, it’s a grimy slog through Shanghai with such an eye for detail that it’s almost a shame the game operates at such a frantic rate. Probably the best sound design I’ve experienced this year…or in recent memory. The character portrayal won’t change your mind if you already hate or dislike them and it won’t pass any Bechdel tests. I’ll leave it at that for the moment. Having fun.

  • bigdaddygamebot 2:10 am on August 4, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Kane & Lynch 2   

    Strange…surprising, but certainly not unwelcome to see that K&L2 might actually be solid. 9 out of 10. Strange times. It will be interesting to see what other sites have to say.

  • unmanneddrone 9:22 am on August 3, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Kane & Lynch 2   

    Speaking of Gears, OXM has the first review for Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. A whopping and totally unexpected score of 9/10. (I was suspecting a low 8, if anything…going by the franchise being saddled by overblown baggage from the first game).

    Across a surprisingly large six page review, they state the following:

    • No soundtrack, emphasis placed on the ambient noises and atmosphere of Shanghai. Audio is utterly impeccable, beating the hallowed Dead Space with astonishing sound design. Every part of Dog Days’ aural experience is top quality, from the VA to smallest details.
    • Gameplay itself? “‘The no-expense-spared attitude to audio is found in everything, from voice acting to writing, to visuals, to the shooting, to the level design, to the multiplayer to the beautiful main menu.”
    • The story is praised for not ‘force-feeding you plot’, but comes with a warning that there’s ‘some genuinely disturbing stuff in Dog Days’.
    • According to them, “It plays faster than Gears Of War with less room for thought than Gears, but one containing more moments of rigid panic”.

    I’m curious to see if it gets similar critical reception across the board, but I’m just relieved to see Io Interactive doing what they do best – moody, brooding, atmospheric games.

    Love the fact there’s no soundtrack. I love Jesper Kyd’s work as much as the next man, but purely ambient sound is a tantalising prospect given the location. My limited time in Shanghai made me consider the only guys who have the propensity to really get the nuance and suggestiveness of a modern concrete jungle would be either Remedy or Io Interactive. Must be something in the Scandinavian water. And Io look like they’ve come up with the goods!

    To quote the great J. Parsons, this pleases me.

  • RedSwirl 12:50 pm on July 28, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Kane & Lynch 2,   


    Maybe I’ll have to rent Dead Men or something to catch up on the story because it does seem pretty interesting.

    I will confirm though that at the beginning of Dog Days it seems like Lynch is in a significant relationship with a Chinese woman.

  • unmanneddrone 7:48 am on July 28, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , Kane & Lynch 2, , ,   

    @bowlisimo Oh man, I definitely agree on that game you’re searching for. I’m on the quest as well. Europa Universalis was kinda cool, but I agree…it’s bland and Paradox-dev’d games need someone to work on their user-interface. I love the time period covered in Victoria, but that game is remarkably unwieldy…put me right off.

    One grand strategy I can recommend, in a similar vein to Civ, is Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI. It’s got a good, clean interface and meaningfully character-centric. Warfare is relatively limited in comparison to something like Civ, but augmenting regiments with specific characters makes every little army that marches out from your cities feel that little bit more personal. The strategy abstraction – our feedback bang for buck – is actually really responsive, with battles themselves accessible and fast-paced. There’s nice city management, and less RPG-ey than, say, RotTK 8 or 9.

    I’d recommend it. It looks silk-screen beautiful, runs on anything and let’s face it, outside of super-niche games like the Sango series or super-abstracted versions in EU, it’s kinda hard to find a nice Asia-centric grand strategy. Plus, you’ve got the option to play minigames within the main strategy, like strange card-based debates and horseback duels. You could find it for a song (heh heh, contextual humour! *crickets*) online, I’m sure.

    @scribl That’s where I heard about Neptune’s Pride. Remo was really sold on the game, he’s one enthusiastic chap! And in regards to @RedSwirl’s pronouncement, I’d interested to know what he prefers in his RTS games, too. If it’s the lack of slow-paced majesty that’s bothering him, then I can kinda understand. Probably why Homeworld was such a hit with this tired old geezer. I spent a long time in the hard vacuum with the soundtrack turned up and my tiny fighters in delta formation arcing against gas clouds.

    @RedSwirl K&L2 certainly makes an impact. The post-processing and grain certainly make for a striking style, and help to cover over a relatively pedestrian engine as you mentioned. I know ol’ Bowley wasn’t too keen on the original, but there were moments within that game that I haven’t found equaled in terms of setpieces. Walking into the Tokyo club for the first time blew my mind. Jesper Kyd rocking out the soundtrack, hundreds of people all dancing…and here I am, a one-eyed mess of a guy, sidling between these hip young things…about to ruin the evening. ( http://bit.ly/bgsAcd ) It certainly had its faults and flaws, but what I really like about the franchise is the chance to inhabit some really different characters. They’re not an easy criminal parody, ala Grand Theft Auto, and the fact many of the enemies you drop are law enforcement officers meant every shot – at least for me – was tinged with a certain level of “I can’t believe I’m doing this”. What’s more, it’s interesting to play from a point of view where motivation is a tangible self-interest, so the idea of heroics are incredibly subjective. Kane pretty much loses everything in Dead Men, but despite that, he seesaws between having motivation a player can understand and a man who oversteps the mark a number of times.

    I still can’t recall where in Dead Men where the allegation of Lynch being a sexual predator came from, though Bowley and Jeff Gerstmann did mention it (the latter in the Dog Days quick look), but I’m incredibly intrigued at having him as a main character in the sequel. In Dead Men, what was originally the “psychopath” quickly became the moral compass of the story. Kane seemed almost mad with intent by the end of it, with Lynch offering up the voice of reason. It was one of the more subtle writing aspects that many folks seemed to miss. I was appalled by some of Kane’s actions through the spiraling downfall, swinging back and forth between feeling for this guy (in itself, a peculiar thing to empathise with an out-and-out mercenary) and outright despising him.

    Lynch’s backstory, where an alleged psychotic episode led to him murdering his own wife (not confirmed), is one of the reasons the character might be seen as such a reprehensible piece of work. Even so, under the blunt-force trauma of the game, Lynch seems like an unfortunate sort of guy with a swathe of problems. This is the weird thing again, where a player gets the chance to step into the gray zone of true criminality, but see it from their perspective. It’s totally wrong, and everything that happens in Dead Men goes from bad to worse…but there’s nothing quite like it elsewhere.

  • RedSwirl 1:54 am on July 28, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Kane & Lynch 2   

    Maaaan. The Kane & Lynch 2 demo is slick, and this is coming from someone who basically blew off the first game after its own entirely mediocre demo.

    I mean mechanically you’re still doing literally nothing more than shooting shit and taking cover, but the demo shows off some of the most unique and uncompromising visual styling I’ve seen in a long time – as far as action games go at least since the last console generation. The whole game looks like it’s from the point of view of a cheap camcorder – there’s fake artifacting here and there, the camera shakes Bourne Supremacy-style (which i appreciated), and strong light are exaggerated. The title screens are also all shaky in-engine shots of the cityscape. I personally think this enhances the game’s core graphics and probably goes a long way in compensating for whatever flaws the engine might have.

    What I saw of the first game looked like some kind of cheap Heat knockoff run on the aged Hitman Blood Money engine. The Dog Days demo looks entirely like its own beast.

    It still isn’t a $50 day one purchase for me yet – maybe a $30 or $20 later down the line, but even it it doesn’t turn out to be the greatest shooter ever, I can definitely tell that I will still appreciate the game fore being as inspired as it is.

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