previews\ Aug 26, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men - PS3 - Preview 2

PAX 2007 Preview

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men is the latest title from I/O Interactive, the creators of the successful Hitman franchise. In that series, the developers were able to weave a compelling narrative without actually giving out a whole lot of background information on the lead character, Agent 47. However, the team behind Kane & Lynch is going a different route with this one, crafting a complex plot and story arc and letting that pull the action. Kane & Lynch is shaping up to be a fascinating action game with a heist-thriller plot to it and some real exciting moments and will be one to keep an eye on this holiday season.

In Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, you play as Kane a man who used to be a member of a mercenary organization known as the 7. After a particularly nasty double-cross, you end up losing some money for the group during a mission gone bad. During this mission, you are hauled in to prison and put on death row. On your way to your execution, you are sprung by your organization. However, it wasn’t exactly the act of kindness that you’d think, as they only got you out to get you to tell them the location of the money (which they believe that you stole and stashed) or else they’ll kill your wife and child. You are then required to run a series of heists and shoot ‘em up missions in order to get the missing funds back or your family will be killed.

Kane and Lynch: Dead Men Xbox 360 screenshots

The shooting mechanics and gameplay felt a bit like Hitman, but the action is amplified a lot more than in that series. Instead of running stealth missions, you perform a variety of run and gun missions with a crew of fellow mercenaries. Lynch, a somewhat reserved psychopath who desperately wants to be a member of the 7 but is often times a liability, is performing these missions with you in order to gain respect from the organization. He’s a member of your crew throughout much of the game along with about three or four others. You have some leadership abilities with your fellow squadmates, ordering them to go into unexplored areas before you and clear out wild situations. These elements are easy to pull off, requiring a simple point and command mechanic, and your team’s AI acts very effectively, taking cover quite intelligently should the situation require it.

The gunfights are pretty heavy in this game, with full-on destructible environments throughout and tons of bullets flying through the air. The game doesn’t give you a whole lot of hit points, so you must take cover or else fall in battle. However, should you fall, your comrades will be able to revive you using adrenaline syringes. Still, there is a downside, as taking too many adrenaline shots in too short of a time will cause you to overdose and die.

Kane and Lynch: Dead Men Xbox 360 screenshots

The game will utilize a two-player co-op mode, allowing you and a friend to go in as Kane or Lynch, respectively. This mode will not be online and requires two players on the same box, though the game will have 4v4 online combat.

Kane and Lynch uses the Glacier engine (the same one used in Hitman: Blood Money), and the graphics look quite good. In the Tokyo level featured in the PAX demo, the destructible environments were very well done, with chunks of pillars and display cases splintering and shattering realistically as cover was busted down. The game will also support up to 900 on-screen characters, making for some truly intense gunfights throughout.

Kane and Lynch is shaping up very nicely, with high-octane action, great gunfights, and a compelling original storyline. Fans of action games can look forward to Kane and Lynch this holiday season.

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