This weekâ€™s preview is a hands-on special of a game we first previewed a few months ago. The game in question is none other than IO Interactive’s Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days and we here a GGUK were lucky enough to be invited to an exclusive demo on Xbox live. It included one of the multiplayer maps from the game, upon which you can try out three of the online modes, and one of the campaign levels from the full game. The demo was aiming to give you a full taste of the final game.
So first out we had a go on the single player level, to see how campaign was shaping up. Sadly, although the full game campaign will feature live co-op, the demo was only a single player affair. At the start of the game there is an FMV which shows Kane and Lynch in two very different situations. This time round Lynch seems to be settled down, whereas Kane is stuck in the thick of it and, from the looks of things, the job he was doing has gone wrong. So he meets up with Lynch in Shanghai and thatâ€™s where it all starts.
The level opens with the pair in a restaurant having a cold one, but then it all kicks off as Shanghai police storm the restaurant and you have to fight your way out. In the demo we got to play as Lynch who starts off with his signature shotgun and within seconds of playing we could tell that the game has changed a lot from the pairâ€™s first outing.
For a start, the game has a Gears of War style cover system, letting you snap from cover to cover. But trust us when we say cover doesnâ€™t last long, with both AI and the player being able to blow cover apart in the heat of a fire fight. This adds a great sense of tactics to the gun play, because you’re never quite safe. But on the other hand, neither is the AI. As for the guns on show in the demo, there were a good range of SMGs and handguns to get to grips with. All are well weighted and carry a good sense power.
After the fire fight in the restaurant, the pair run down the back alleys of Shanghai trying to work out who theyâ€™ve ticked off this time to want them both dead. On top of this, Lynch is trying to save a women called Xiu, who is maybe a love interest though it isnâ€™t clear from the demo. From the looks of this, Lynchâ€™s back story is looking to be more fleshed out this time.
From alley to alley, the pair make their way to a busy street buzzing with life, where buses are going by and people going about their business. The pair decide to make their way through the street and try to avoid the police at all costs. The plan goes well for all of 5 mins and then all hell is unleashed as they’re spotted and the street explodes into panic and terror, with civilians being caught in the cross fire between the pair and the police.The big set piece in this part of the game is where you blow up a shop front, which just happens to give you a handy escape route over the roof tops, leading you to a massive building site. This is where the pace of the game changes to a more stealth style, where youâ€™re having to sneak through the rubble of a building and taking out police snipers, fighting in a CQB style as this sees you being able to grab lone police and use them as human shields. Then, just like that it was over. The level ends with the pair jumping a fence to get to a meet with a crime lord. To say it leaves us wanting more is an understatement.
On top of the gripping story and intense fire fights, the games graphic style makes it stand out, looking like it was filmed on a handheld video camera. There are some really nice graphic effects in the game, like when you blow up the shop front the screen goes like a damaged video tape and goes out of sync for a few seconds. Even better than that, if you get a headshot on an enemy the game pixelates the body part out like a scene from Crime Watch, because it is too graphic to see. These little touches show just how much time and love have gone into making the game.
After being blown away by the single player missions, it was time to get stuck into the multiplayer side of things and try out the new modes that the game has to offer. The new modes are Undercover Cop and Cops and Robbers, and fan favourite Fragile Alliance makes a welcome return. All modes see 12 players having to fight it out or work together in teams of six.
First off, letâ€™s look at the map that is playable in the demo. Itâ€™s a straight point to point run from one side of a street to the other and you have to make your way through back alleys and loading bays of the seedy Shanghai city. Your goal is to grab Intel from a group of gangsters and get out before the cops can get you. This is the same story which runs throughout all three modes in the demo.
So what modes can you play? Well, Fragile Alliance is back but it has had some changes. All six players have to work together to pull off the heist before they can turn on each other. If you are a traitor you will not respawn you just die, whereas if you are killed as an NPC or are backstabbed, you will come back as a member of S.W.A.T to try and stop the other players making it away with the swag.
Also on show was Cops and Robbers. This is a first for the series and is team deathmatch, plain and simple. Six cons vs six cops. The winner is the one with the most kills and this adds a refreshing change to the game, letting you settle the score player to player.
The final mode in the demo was Undercover Cop, which is the same as Fragile Alliance but with a twist. The twist is that one of the cons is really an undercover cop who has to stop the cons without being spotted. He canâ€™t kill other cops or civilians, so he has to think on his feet to avoid being found out and killed. This is a really tense mode and adds the â€œcan I trust the guy next to meâ€ feeling to the game.
While playing the game for the preview, we were lucky enough to have a game of Undercover Cop with one of the IO Interactive developers. We found the undercover cop and the second we shouted to the team, the developers shot us in the back. IN THE BACK! Come on, if you canâ€™t trust a developer, who can you trust?
So, that was a quick hands-on preview of how things are shaping up. With new style and modes, hopefully this game will shake the stigma of the first game. To find out our full verdict, be sure to check back for the full in depth review coming this August.
Watch your backs