Bouncing back for another dose of action, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days aims to raise the franchise to new standards with its unique outlook, while carrying on the traditional saga of crime from the first installment. The story of the game involves Lynch contacting Kane, his former partner-in-crime for a job, which is too good to refuse. Against the backdrop of the user-generated documentary type visuals, the duo stumbles across the ventures in the city of Shanghai. While the new angle seems quite unique, the story is not as compelling as it aims to be; and with all the running and shooting, it soon loses its novelty. The combat system has been improved with the inclusion of regeneration health, blind firing and a manual cover system, but the controls often feel very out of place. The weapons that you carry are not very diverse and include the standard selection of pistols, shotguns and rifles found in others of the genre. However, what does grab your attention is the recovery system in firefights. After taking a significant beating and being knocked out, you are given the options to either pick off the targets as a last-ditch effort or crawl to safety and recover – definitely a neat system that often keep flights interesting. Co-op and online modes return, with the trademark Fragile Alliance – accompanied by other variations – and create interesting opportunities to double-cross your teammates.
Though the gameplay involves mainly playing as Lynch, the online-enabled co-op mode also allows gamers to play as Kane. These are perhaps the only highlights of the game, since the campaign is merely five hours long and leaves the player wanting for more. The mechanics are definitely better than before, though they still feel lackluster when compared to other titles. The presentation is somewhat of a mixed bag though. Players will find Shanghai to be a lively and colorful city, with textures and lights done quite well. However, since the game supposedly tells the story as though it is being recorded on a video camera, the effects at times get downright nauseating. Head-shots are conveniently censored and the explosions and overall movement jostle the camera around, giving even the most experienced players a headache. The title certainly tries to stand out, but does not completely succeed in doing so. If you can overlook its flaws, Kane and Lynch will certainly reward you with its unique style and wealth of online fun.