Previews

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men

Exclusive: We get dead serious as IO Interactive's new shooter is blown wide open in our comprehensive reveal!

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"Kane is a little bit more complex." explains JP Kurup. "He starts out as a normal father of two: he has a daughter, a son and a wife - life is generally good. He works as a consultant for large companies who outsource work in other countries; Venezuela in this case." So our lead character is a talented man, although presumably not doing the sort of outsourcing that puts our energy supplier queries into the hands of a Bangladeshi lady with a working knowledge of EastEnders. Tragedy, however, isn't far away: his two-year-old son finds his gun and shoots himself, dying two weeks later. Kane can't cope and skips the country.

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Two years later and he's a mercenary - using his negotiation skills and brute force to bring home the bacon to an empty house - presumably with a hammock, as that's what mercenaries generally sleep in. Four years later and he's contacted by a shadowy group known as 'The Seven' who are interested in becoming 'The Eight'. If Kane joins them, which he obviously does, then he gets the moon on a stick and the sun on a flagpole - but if he ever breaks their rules, then he's all kinds of buggered.

"It's a brotherhood of unlimited power, but you've got to behave." explains Kurup. "He's with them for about 13 years and everything is fine - they're working on their last big job, their retirement job in the US, but it all goes horribly wrong. Kane, however, manages to survive and get away with all the loot. He gets to Venezuela, but is caught, brought back and sentenced for the atrocities he's committed and is sent to death row." One Kane? One Lynch? Sitting together in an armoured car? That makes it bust-out o'clock, don't you think?

Let's leave them there for the moment though; I don't want to shovel too much back history down your throat. And, coincidentally, neither do IO - which is why so much of the narrative will be told through the conversations you have as the game progresses or, cleverly, in brief aural flashbacks of Kane's son dying or past conversations on the occasions that your ineptitude will have him near-dead.

LOOKS FAMILIAR
The action that will have left him in this position, meanwhile, is very, very similar to what went before in Freedom Fighters. So similar, in fact, that a keen eye could spot that they'd even borrowed its squad command icons for the purposes of the demonstration put in front of me.

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Essentially, members of your crew can be distributed into strategic points through right-clicks of the mouse, and each will mimic your own tactics - so if you're attacking then they'll surge forward, if you're taking cover then they'll do the same. The aim is to rob squad-shootery of its complexities and drown it in fast-flowing simplicity - action being viewed from a third-person perspective which can be drawn into an over-the-shoulder viewpoint should a sharp shot be required.

All of the guys you're ordering about, one of whom will always be the psychopathic Lynch, are in it for themselves and won't necessarily risk their neck for you - but there will be quite a few of them. Generally, you'll have four or five guys to order about, but in later stages of the game each of them will be able to have four or five 'satellite' hoodlums following their moves. This means you'll be heading up attack forces of more than 25 characters; which is less third-person action and more all-out war.

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