Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Enough to keep you out the heat?

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Even company fails to elevate the experience, although two-player co-op at least allows for more satisfying flanking manoeuvres, which the single-player game's limited AI always struggles to provide.

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Counter strike

Online multiplayer fares little better. Dead Men's Fragile Alliance returns, but unchanged retains some of the original's problems. While it remains an interesting concept, in which teams carry out a heist, and individuals can turn murderous traitor to increase their booty, its delicate balance is all too often spoiled by the gung-ho tactics of players who simply don't care for the rules, or by groups colluding to outgun individuals.

These structural weaknesses also plague the new Undercover Cop mode. Playing a cop masquereding as gang member until the heist has taken place, the mode is further hampered by open level designs, which make it extremely difficult to break cover and take down gang members surreptitiously.

The last of the multiplayer modes, Cops and Robbers - a quasi team CTF mode – is the best. With simple rules and infinite re-spawns, it isn't as open to abuse. And its fast, definite gameplay complements the well constructed multiplayer maps.

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Holding it together

Verdict

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days feels like the developers assembled a crew to pull off one last job: to create the greatest crime shooter in gaming history. Perhaps it is testament to IO Interactive's beautiful realisation of Shanghai, and the game's alluring aesthetics and characterisation, that even though the job went horribly wrong, Dog Days feels more bungled heist than criminal catastrophe. ®

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Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Slick presentation and intriguing lead characters can't save Kane & Lynch from another dog of a game. Test on Xbox 360. Also available on PS3 and PC.
Price: £40 RRP