This morning I sat down with a copy of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, the upcoming buddy-shooter from Eidos, and though I've always thought the premise of the title was the sort of hackneyed pabulum you'd get from a Michael Bay movie, I was pleasantly surprised by the actual gameplay.
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Obviously, with a title like this, you're going to be treading familiar ground as far as the actual controls and gameplay scheme of the thing. You run around, you shoot people, maybe they shoot back, maybe they die -- you've been here before. What sets this one apart is the utter reliance on teamwork. Obviously you can opt for the one-man-army route made famous in every action film from 1988, but more often than not, that kind of thinking will just get your junk shot off and your e-mother will be presented with a mangled e-corpse as she e-weeps for her fallen e-son.
Aside from that though, the gameplay just feels very solid. While the graphics were obviously unfinished -- rows of neatly arranged tires in lieu of cars was a dead giveaway -- the visceral impact of the rounds you fire is easily one of the more satisfying sensations I can recall from a game recently, and I'd even go so far as to say it rivals Gears of War for the pure escapist joy of shooting a cop in the face.
Though, as I type that last sentence, I should probably prophesize a good deal of media backlash for this title. In a game where the entire goal is to elude the police -- or, more likely, lift a page from Ice-T and fire rounds into their faces until their e-mothers ... yeah, you get the drift -- the Jack Thompsons of the world are going to have an aneurysm the moment this game starts seeing more press.