September 14, 2007 // 1:33 pm
- Kane and Lynch dropped by the office this week, and what ensued was gruesome, gritty, and fun. We got to learn more about the background on these two killers, and see them in all their gratuitous murdering glory, going hands-on with the first mission of Kane and Lynch: Dead Men.
The first level unveils a lot of background on the main character, Kane. He used to belong to "The Seven," a group of top mercenaries, but the game starts off with him behind bars. Assuming the rest of The Seven died after a botched job, Kane had run off with a mysterious briefcase. He only learns that they're very much alive as they send Lynch to break him out of prison. Now, unless he brings them the briefcase, they're going to kill his wife and daughter.
The story is one of the intriguing parts of the game, and the action has the potential to set it apart. No, it doesn't have all the pretty textures of a lot of the games coming out this holiday season, but it does have a lot of stuff going on. Tons of cops were chasing us, destroying terrain and blowing up gas tanks, their cars screeching to a halt on the street (or crashing through walls), and everyone's bullets were flying. The game tries hard to feel like a heist movie, and in this first level it succeeds with flying colors.
The way enemy snipers work and how you interact with your squad really add to that heist theme. Whenever an enemy sniper has Kane in his sights, the view of the sniper's scope appears in the bottom left corner of the screen, allowing you to see exactly when and where to dodge. As for the squad interaction, we dug on how Kane could grab ammo from his team and revive them if they went down by giving them a shot of adrenaline. Little nuances like that solidify the feeling of having a team at your back.
But as John talked about in our preview of the game at PAX, the A.I. could use some serious work. We saw several cops just run out of cover for no apparent reason, only to be gunned down. We also never saw our enemies making any moves that could be called tactical, though they were definitely fantastical. Rather than having enemies that work together to outflank your own squad, so far the game seems to be relying on just having a ton of dumb enemies. Bad combat A.I. was tolerable in Io's other franchise, Hitman, because the action wasn't about shooting. Kane and Lynch, on the other hand, has a much larger focus on shooting. Hopefully by its holiday release, the enemy A.I. will gain some much needed refining.