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Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (Xbox 360) artwork

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (Xbox 360) review


"It all went along according to plan: me and five or six other players charged a restaurant with the intent of getting a briefcase filled with money that a senator is holding onto. Of course, it wasn't gonna be easy, as displayed by the number of bullets that flew our way when we got closer to the shop. Guards outside did their best to keep us out of the building, but we pushed on, with our guns and with our grenades. Seconds later, with dead bodies littered everywhere, both guards and unfortunat..."



It all went along according to plan: me and five or six other players charged a restaurant with the intent of getting a briefcase filled with money that a senator is holding onto. Of course, it wasn't gonna be easy, as displayed by the number of bullets that flew our way when we got closer to the shop. Guards outside did their best to keep us out of the building, but we pushed on, with our guns and with our grenades. Seconds later, with dead bodies littered everywhere, both guards and unfortunate bystanders, lying around burning cars, we stormed the building. With only one guard left hiding inside, some of us finished him off, others killed a waitress just to get cash off of her, while I ran straight for the cash register and took everything inside. But the briefcase was still out of our range, as the senator, along with some guards, fled out the back entrance and into a warehouse.

Most of us pursued, while one decided to end his luck early and climb inside the van on its first arrival. Another big shootout began, as we tried to fight our way into the warehouse and get that briefcase. All of a sudden, it happened: someone on our team shot and killed me in the back. He became a traitor, and the rest of the team had a dilemma: take him out and get rewarded for it or continue after the briefcase. Well, I'm sure they split up at that moment, but I wasn't concerned about that anymore. Seconds after my death, I respawned as one of the senator's guards. That's right, after you die once, you respawn and have to fight against your ex-teammates. I quickly ran out the warehouse, climbed on top of a section of the building, and tried to gun down the robbers before they could grab the loot and escape in the van. I... think I managed to get one of them, but there was so much chaos, and more of the robbers respawning as guards, that I couldn't really tell. Finally, there was only one robber left: the traitor. I tried to gun him down, but then the goofiest thing happened: one of the player guards and the traitor stood out in the open and fired on each other. The guard managed to successfully kill the traitor, but just as that happened, he was standing in the van's path as it was driving away, and got hit. Match over.

The multiplayer mode in Kane & Lynch has got to be one of the more unique experiences I've had in some time due to the concept. You start out as a team trying to get all the money on the map, but things almost always turn sour minutes, and sometimes seconds, into a session. Players can easily decide to become traitors and attempt to get away with the money for themselves. Then there's the fact that robbers respawn as guards if they get killed in the line of fire. Now imagine both happening at the same time. Yeah, things can get pretty crazy sometimes, especially if you try to join a session with up to seven other players. It's almost a fresh experience every time, and it also gets people to say some pretty funny things during matches:

"Someone's gonna betray us. I can see it. I can see it in their eyes!"

"CHILL! EVERYONE CHILL!"

"Don't shoot me! I'll split the money with you!"

"Hurry up, let's get this started. I need money, I got a family to feed."

"Ahhhh! AHHHHHHHH!!"

I haven't laughed this much or this hard in a multiplayer game, like, ever.

Which is why it's really too bad that the multiplayer mode is very limited. There's a grand total of only four maps to play in, all of which are pretty small and doesn't have that many places to navigate around. There's always one way in and one way out. It doesn't help that one map pretty much sucks, which leaves you with only three maps to work with. It's a shame, too, because these maps are basically taken from sections of the campaign mode. That means they could have easily taken more sections and put them in multiplayer, but they didn't. Maybe due to laziness or they just ran out of time, but more maps would have meant the world. There's also another problem that occurs that I really hope can get fixed with a Live update, because it's irritating. Many people know it as The Black Screen of Death. What happens is that, usually, after you end the first match of a session and try to start the second match, all you'll see is a black screen. Nothing happens, and you're forced to turn off the system and try again. It occurs randomly, so you never know when you're gonna get it. Frustrating.

The campaign mode itself is full of action at almost every turn, but it too has problems. The biggest one being is the absurd accuracy of the people shooting at you. They could be on the other side of a section of town, hiding behind a wall, with only his gun sticking out shooting at random... and still manages to almost hit you every time. You'll get shot to the ground a lot because of that superhuman ability. The cover system could use more tweaking, your crew members normally do more harm than good by getting severely wounded in big gun fights (it's all over if any of them die), and the game pretty much falls apart in the end. It's not terrible (I enjoyed about half of the chapters), but it could have used a lot more work. If it wasn't for the fun multiplayer mode, even with its own problems, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men would have been a stinker.

Even though it's really unfortunate the final product turned out in the condition it's in, I really hope this game gets a sequel. The multiplayer shows huge potential, and I'd really hate for its concept to end with this title. All it needs is a lot more maps and some tinkering, and it would truly be a blast to play.

Rating: 6/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (November 27, 2007)

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