Throughout history there have been some pretty dynamic duos; Mario and Luigi, Batman and Robin, even Laverne and Shirley, but no pair is quite as interesting as Edios’s Kane and Lynch. Usually a partnership requires some semblance of mutual trust and respect; not even close in this one, these two pretty much hate each other. So why is this awkward couple together you ask?
Kane and Lynch: Dead Men starts off with these two men on their way to death row, although both have taken very different paths to get there. Kane lived a fairly standard life with his wife and children, until one day his son accidentally kills himself with a gun kept in his house. After his wife and daughter leave town, Kane is unable to cope with life and ends up becoming a mercenary in a crime syndicate called The Seven. He works for The Seven carrying out numerous dirty deeds around the world until an unsuccessful job in South America from which he ends up in prison. Lynch, in similar style was your average American working in an office coming home to his wife at night. Lynch on the other hand was a schizophrenic having to take his medication every day to keep from having an ‘episode’. Even though he took his medication religiously, he still suffered from blackouts from time to time and one day wakes to find his wife murdered. When he can’t explain how or why she was killed, Lynch finds himself on death row and on his way to his execution he meets the other half of this dynamic duo.
It’s not long before The Seven decide this is the perfect time for them to recoup on the losses suffered by Kane and break him out for one last mission. The mission includes tracking down the down the diamonds lost in South America, with his wife and daughter being held hostage in case he decides to bail on the mission. To make the matters worse for our “hero”, they decide to recruit Lynch to keep an eye on Kane and report on any indiscretions.
The back and forth bickering between these two is sure to be a key element throughout the game. You play in the third person as Kane, but are able to give Lynch commands which, depending on the situation, he may or may not follow. In combat, Lynch flies into a blind rage killing just about everything in his path, enemy or not. So at certain points it will be better if you just tell the big guy to stay behind. You’ll have command of your squadmates through a basic system of commands that controls one or all of them. You’ll have the standard ‘wait’ and ‘attack’ commands as well as the ability to switch weapon with them. From what we’ve heard, the AI for your squadmates is pretty solid though, but it’s nice to know you have that option, ya know?
The graphics in Kane & Lynch: Dead Men is looking quite sharp, more ‘next-gen’ than Eidos’s last venture Hitman: Blood Money, that’s for sure. In the scenes we saw, our two buddies were in a crowded nightclub looking to kidnap a crimelord’s daughter. You’re forced to move shoulder first through the crowded dance floor in order to find your way to your target. After grabbing the club owner, a quicker, less subtle, exit is needed. Firing a couple quick shots into the air causes the dance floor to erupt in to chaos, while the dynamic lighting in the club helps you to pick out approaching security guards in the bedlam.
Another scene we saw showed our two boys on the roof of a Tokyo skyscraper with a couple of their closest friends all dressed like window cleaners. The mission here included retrieving a briefcase from a boardroom by rappelling down the side of the building to the correct floor, placing a bomb on the window, and taking out about a dozen guards. The environmental damage in here was quite impressive, with little piece of everything flying around in the firefight. But what we did notice in this little skirmish is there is no health bar, health returns after taking cover for a short period of time and when coming close to death, you’ll see snapshots of Kane’s life flash before his eyes. This is a trick taken from film and is a great way to explain characters backstory without falling into the cliché: movie-clip, level, movie-clip routine.
From what we’ve seen from these two levels, the game seems to be shaping up quite nicely. There are sure to be many other original and creative levels sprinkled throughout this game; all while serving up stylish visuals and an intense character-driven story line. We’ll have more on this as we get the info, but keep an eye out for this one coming sometime in 2007.
“You stay classy, My Gamers”
By: David Mackiewicz (DaveMack@MyGamer.com)