previews\ Jul 14, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men - PS3 - Preview

E3 2007 Preview

Kane & Lynch are ruthless men. One's crazy, the other is a mercenary, and both work together in a game that doesn't know when to hold back. It's not Manhunt, but it's definitely R-rated for reasons other than polygonal blood. Lynch (the psychopath) is not opposed to using the F-word. Kane (the mercenary) is not opposed to shooting civilians, knowing that no penalty will follow for his crime. The two BS and annoy each other, partially because they know it would be impossible to complete their missions alone.

One such mission involved the infiltration of a busy nightclub. Dozens of dancers are packed into one small space, each moving with independent animations. It's very cool to watch. You will be able to walk and push through the crowd, leading to unique animations for every situation.

Kane's reason for being here isn't clear until you get past the crowd and enter a woman's office. Lynch continues to curse and mumble, but Kane stays tough. He has a rugged, don't-mess-with-me demeanor that makes him someone that no one will want to double cross. He says a few words, doesn't get the answer he's looking for, and decides to take action. Kane punches the woman to knock her out. Lynch is furious -- not so much that he hit the woman but that they are now in a bad situation. Kane wants to carry the woman out of the club, but someone needs to create a safe passage to the exit. That someone is Kane.

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men screenshots

Lynch picks up the woman, Kane leads, and the game shifts from real-time cut scene to Hitman-inspired action/shooting. Gunfire sends the crowd running, but it's so large that the club couldn't possibly empty before you're able to escape. Enemies rush in and open fire -- to survive, Kane must shoot back. This is where the civilian casualty element comes into play. It is likely to be a big part of the final game, since most of your missions feature interactions with innocent bystanders.

Eidos wouldn't show us them escaping, but it's doubtful that they're going to get caught. If they do, the game's over. Unless there's a come-back-from-the-dead or break-out-of-jail scenario in the works...

The next scene was another infiltration that is to be controlled by the player. Kane and Lynch are dressed as window washers and must rappel down the building, set a charger to the glass, and wait for it to explode. After that they'll come in with guns blazing, but not without using whatever cover is available. Coverage is obtained automatically whenever you're near a functional wall or object. I say functional because of the destructive nature of the game -- if a wall is ripped to shreds, it may no longer be big or strong enough to stop a bullet, leaving Kane open to an easy assault.

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men screenshots

You've heard me mention Kane's name a lot in regards to the gameplay and may be wondering why I'm not talking about Lynch. The reason is simple: he's not playable in the single-player campaign. He will, however, be playable in offline co-op, a feature that's going to make gamers crowd around a television set for something other than split-screen Halo deathmatches.

Kane & Lynch's story is very dark and its lead characters are to be distained, not loved. But one thing that is to be loved is the voice acting, which is very, very impressive. The movie sequences, though gorgeous with their lifelike textures, do not have all the right facial expressions tied to each character. However, if you just turn away from the screen and listen, you'll be amazed by what you hear. Kane & Lynch don't just look like scum -- their actors make them sound like scum as well.


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