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Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (Windows)

Mature
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
70
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.2
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Joakim Kihlman (270)
Written on  :  Oct 04, 2008
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  0.86 Stars0.86 Stars0.86 Stars0.86 Stars0.86 Stars

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Summary

A joke, and it's on you, the consumer.

The Good

The starting premise is, indeed, promising. To play an amoral criminal on the way to death row is definitely original. Don't get me wrong, Kane IS a cliché, but as far as video game characters go, he is surprisingly fresh and exciting. The same goes for Lynch, the nut job you are forced to team up with.

In some few places, the graphics live up to the pictures we got to see beforehand. Two levels comes close to living up to the potential of the game; the level set in a club in Japan, and the one where you repel down a skyscraper.

The Bad

Although some levels look pretty good, most of the graphics in the game are far from good. There are many graphic bugs, as well as other, more serious bugs (and no patches whatsoever). In my case the game sent me a message (every time I played) after a few minutes telling me there was a serious problem and the game had to be terminated. If I ignored it and just flipped back into the game I could continue playing, although now I wish I hadn't.

The main character, Kane, is not just amoral, he is an idiot as well. He never uses his brains, and you can't do anything to improve this. All you can do is shoot at everything that moves. Even Lynch, who is supposed to be the annoying whackjob, seems to have more brains than Kane. This is not good. I don't want to play an idiot. It makes me feel like an idiot.

Speaking of playing, the gameplay is useless. The controls doesn't work (even the parts that aren't buggy doesn't work) and controlling Kane is a nightmare. He only takes cover when he pleases, not when you want to, and both aiming and moving is flimsy at best.

The sound is very uneven. The music is good, as always with IO Interactive's games, but the SFX and the speech is very buggy and badly implemented in the game. For me, a lot of the speech just vanished at times, often in mid-sentence. But the dialogue is tiresome anyway. It's the same routine throughout all the levels. You get the point from the first frame, and since there is no development of characters or themes whatsoever in this game, it gets old real fast, despite the game's short length.

By the end of the game, the story takes a horrific turn as you suddenly find yourself in some civil war fighting a mysterious crime syndicate whose intentions remains cloudy, to say the least. In fact, everyone in this game acts so dumb and makes such illogical decisions that the story makes no sense at all at the end. And speaking of choices, the last, and only, choice the player has to make is at the very end. I guess the developers tried to create something of a Sophie's choice, but it doesn't work. It's too obvious, and both possible endings fails miserably. They try so hard to be dark and unforgiving and gripping but they end up with a shrug of the shoulders at very best.

Kane and Lynch is a game that fails on almost every account. It had a promising premise, but as soon as you start playing you realise that this game has not intention at all to live up to the expectations. This is just a badly made shoot 'em up with bad graphics and buggy, broken gameplay. It was supposed to be something different and smart, not this mess of unoriginal shoot-at-everything gameplay and a moronic script.

The Bottom Line

A total misfire. Not much is done right in this game. It's buggy as hell, and there are no patches out there yet. This is a joke, a bad joke. And it's all on those who bought this game.