Grindhouse Game #4. In contrast to mediocre filler like BULLET WITCH and ONECHANBARA, KANE & LYNCH 2 feels like a much more polished and professional product. Unfortunately, simply being technically competent isn't enough to warrant an immediate recommendation. My main problem with this game is that, as a 3rd person shooter title, it just...doesn't stand out in any particular way. Okay...it brings one novel idea to the table: the entire game is played out like a video from an old camcorder, complete with shaky vision and washed out colors, buzzes and defects. While the effect is kind of neat at first, it becomes counterproductive when you're trying to appreciate the detail the designers have put into the environment and character models. And indeed, the highly diverse and meticulously constructed fictional recreations of the slums of Shanghai are one the game's best assets.
But my main beef lies with the action...I felt it was really bland. It's like MAX PAYNE without the Bullet Time. The weapons sound powerful, but they lack impact. Opponents just crumple on the floor in an very lethargic and unexciting way. And you're almost always seeing this effect from afar, since you'll almost always be firing at them from across the distance of a room. Most of the time, they'll be hiding behind boxes and the only way you'll know they're dead when they stop firing. Boring. Given all the work they put into the production design, couldn't they have made the actual gameplay more exciting?
Overall...do you have an overwhelming craving for foul mouthed protagonists causing trouble in Shanghai? If you don't mind repetitive, underwhelming shootouts; annoying camera shakiness, and an extremely short single player mode (4 hours...I beat it in one sitting), then you might like this game. I would recommend you pay no more than $10 for it though.
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