Kane and Lynch Hands-on Preview

Written by Joe Martin

October 6, 2007 | 11:45

Tags: #blood-money #dead-men #hands-on #hitman #kane #lynch #microsoft-xmas-show #msxs #preview #the-seven

Companies: #io-interactive

They call me Agent 4…um, Kane…

The other main draw of Kane and Lynch has been the promise of some realistic, brutal and cinematic gameplay moments which call for players to take hostages, subdue psychopaths and make dramatic entries through windows on the 300th floor of a building.

How much of this is actually incorporated into the game and how much is just the usual spin from the marketing department has never really been called into question, to our knowledge.

You should start by knowing that Kane and Lynch isn’t a bloodbath type of a game from what we could see. You do a lot of killing, sure, and in our hands-on we got a chance to mow down dozens of guards and cops as we exited the Retomoto Highrise, but the game violence itself is never anything like Manhunt or GTA.

Instead, the game has a bit more of a tactical feel that we expected and felt a lot like playing a fusion of Hitman and Gears of War. While the former is evident in the level design and in the little touches, the latter is a noted influence on the combat itself, which sees Kane running around and using cover a lot.

Kane and Lynch Hands-on Preview Thoughts and Conclusions
Neither Kane or Lynch are what you'd call good guys

There’s also the squad tactics to mention which, while perhaps a little basic, work just fine from what we can see. Kane and Lynch are able to bulk up their firepower by hiring new allies and in the levels we played we were joined by two other hardened criminals.

The order system seemed a tad on the simple side, but the streamlined approach to it let it work very well in the middle of a fire-fight and we could easily switch Lynch and our mercs between a selection of different ‘moods’ which govern how they fight. Having the odd extra hand about the place was useful for more than just throwing more lead in the air too and on the many, many occasions where we died it was often possible for a team-mate to nip over and revive us.

Before you ask, yes, it is something Kane can do in return should a hired-hand or resident psycho take a turn for the worse. This slight tactical twist away from what we were expecting made Kane and Lynch a little hard to get used to at first and it was quickly apparent that the best way to progress through the levels was the slow and steady method.

Kane and Lynch Hands-on Preview Thoughts and Conclusions
Each member of the team has different strengths and weak points

Of course, bringing our thoughts full circle, this is something which is deliberately built into the game and is in fitting with the personality of the player. Kane, the professional killer, moves slowly throughout the game, exhibiting great finesse and picking off his targets with as little drama as possible.

Lynch on the other hand is often vying for a brawl and can be heard yelling or charging forward into the thick of the battle. This again throws up more ways in which the gameplay and characters are fused together and players will no doubt start to develop odd opinions about Kane and Lynch themselves.

Not only is there the obvious envy of Lynch being able to charge thoughtlessly into battle, but the added annoyances and problems caused from having to pick up the pieces and revive the poorly medicated monster.
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