I guess I will start by saying I never played the first Kane and Lynch game, so if any expectations or standards were set by that game I had no chance to be influenced by that. I grabbed the second outing of our troubled protagonists from a bargain bin after being diverted away from it by some less than encouraging reviews.
I had initially felt an interest in the game upon it's release due to its unique art direction. The shaky handheld cam, low quality digital video look, the Eastern setting. It looked like some care was brought into the presentation (or lack thereof depending on your stance).
Unlike our resident reviewer Jim Sterling however this game really worked for me. Provided I did not spend full asking price (infact I spent less than a tenner). The pace of the game is constantly ramping up and the short play time of about 4.5 - 5 hours ensures that it doesn't really ware out its welcome. I thought the style they were going for and how the narrative is presented added something unique and intense to the usual third person cover based shooter.
The controls were fine and the shooting was intentionally sloppy as bullets often spray around the target and only a percentage of them hit the mark. This seemed to be quite intentional and I think being able to perform precise head shots in the busy messy gunfights would weaken the experience.
The plot is pretty minimal but since its presented in the fly on the wall fashion in the middle of choas it works just fine. There is actually a lot of unique dialog constantly being delivered by better than usual voice actors. The goal I think was to create something that felt like the famous bank heist gunfight in Heat and I think this often successfully came through. The AI was pretty weak and didn't do anything other than provide a steady supply targets. The nature of the story and the fact that by the time you end you are fighting the military might be a little bit much considering the set up and the skill level of the protagonists.
In the end though I had fun. I had alot of fun infact. I was able to get caught up in the simple we got in over our heads narrative the gross out scenarios the gunfights which I think often used the setting well to add variety. The weird little visuals and camera distortions were nice as well as the blurred out faces of victims and nudity as if it had been edited for the news later.
I would definitely recommend giving this game a shot at the very low price it is now being sold at its a quick nasty little diversion with enough unique elements to make it a memorable experience.