In the meantime, I'm just a guy who writes about videogame theory and how the medium can achieve better cinematic emulation (while keeping its own indentity). Though, if that's too boring, you can always find something delightfully fluffy in the following:
For the music video to Dancing With Myself, Billy Idol finds himself in post-apocalyptic world where heís a guardian of a decrepit tenement thatís surrounded by zombies with a penchant for stegophily. Idol stops the zombies from storming the fort by blowing them away with the power of his crotch thrusts. This really happens.
Lyrically, Dancing With Myself is a song about onanism.
Still, one canít help feeling an affinity with the song when you attempt the videogame equivalent of masturbation; especially when the end result is a cheap re-enactment of Idolís electro-crotch scene.
The equivalent is, of course, playing a co-operative game by yourself!
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men might not be memorable to some, but it has a special murmur in my heart. Iíve mentioned several times before that itís not that bad; it just falls short of its spiritual predecessor, Freedom Fighters. All could be forgiven if it wasnít for one grievance that tested my patience to the point of desperation Ė the offline co-op mode.
Iíll freely admit to collecting achievements. If theyíre in my skill range, Iíll pursue them for the extra challenge and thereís no shame in that; though I outright ignore the demanding ones. Kane & Lynchís co-op achievements seemed easy enough - just participate. Itís a menial task if you have someone at hand.
Unless that person cannot comprehend the concept of using two analogue sticks at the same time. If youíre like me, then youíve probably reduced this someone to tears because their unfamiliarity has caused you to turn into Klaus Kinski during the making ofFitzcarraldo.
Plan B involved my maverick brother taking up the co-op challenge. Everything was fine, until the console died. After receiving the replacement, we tried again and this time, the downloaded patch wiped the saves.
He gave up on a third attempt.
A simple 50G achievement had defeated me. Its pointlessness had somehow morphed into a digital Holy Grail. The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre theorised that we create emotional attachments on to objects, when in reality they have no actual sentimental value, e.g. a wedding ring is fundamentally a rounded bit of metal. While I agree with the truth of this theory, by this point in my gaming life, I didnít really want to hear it.
Heís also dead and couldnít really berate me for what I did next.
Sometime ago, I had the crazy notion of finishing the co-op by myself. I already finished it twice, exploiting the weaknesses to complete the highest difficulty. So, using a new silver account along with my usual Gamertag, I set off on a journey of unhinged revenge (on "easy").
Kane & Lynch might seem relentless, but it heavily relies on team-based strategies and scripted attack waves. Since the enemies are mentally neutered in favour of large numbers and act as bullet sponges, so many levels involve you being in support. The trick to a solo run on this co-op is Ďfrog-jumpingí your respective characters and using cover. The real enemy is pad-swapping and an awful design decision involving vertical split-screen. When Kane & Lynch steps up with the offensive, itís brutal since the characters are often separated and youíre required to think like an schizophrenic accountant working on yearly balance sheets.
Honestly, what seemed rational to me is probably crazy to you.
Itís still just one guy playing a two player game!
Thatís the kicker though; once you get a handle on things, your mindset changes and a dumb idea is agreeably plausible. Where that mentality clicks in is during the robbery sequence. Itís an early part that forces you to simultaneously defend separate areas. Any sane person will snap and give up. Yet stubbornly, I restarted the same checkpoint countless times to the point of refined precision and it paid off.
All it cost was my sanity.
Though, like Norman Bates in Psycho II, every psychopath can be rehabilitated. A frustrating section like the construction site or the attack helicopter causes so much repetition that the plausibility of ďSolo-OpĒ is chipped away by your inadequacies, yet you regain a sense of justifiable cynicism.
Have you ever watched a desperately emotional scene endlessly until it loses all meaning?
Kane & Lynch has a scene like that. The mind wanders on to other things that could be more constructive, the attention wanes and one pad remains untouched. Then somehow, you get by on a fluke and like the Psycho II analogy, youíre back to your old ways.
Thereís a terrifying test of resolve going on and curiosity in how far your skills can take you. Well, my skills took me far in the end.
In fact, I finished the game.
My heart went crazy on the final run and I developed a nasty headache, but I obtained the one thing Iíd been obsessing over for three years - that utterly pointless co-op achievement. Sartre may be right on many nihilistic theories, but I AM THE TIME LORD VICTORIOUS!