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.
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.
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.