A typical chapter to describe, meanwhile, are the periods of calm and chaos you'll experience as Kane, Lynch and two other members of their 'crew' descend through a Tokyo skyscraper, pausing only to massacre a group of businessmen in a meeting, steal a briefcase and for Kane to give a dead foe a scar on his cheek to match his own. Seeing the four guys rappelling down from the roof with the blue open sky above, tiny cars below and office workers busying themselves at their desks (some noticing the action outside, others not) through the glass is a true sight to behold.
As soon as an explosive charge has been set outside the meeting room's window and the music starts pumping, however, you won't have time for 'oohs' and 'aahs'. The combat that follows is also notably grenade-heavy, especially since IO are also introducing smoke bombs and tear gas - the wafting of which we're promised will be far prettier on a PC than in the simultaneous release on our bastard cousin the 360. The action then progresses through the Japanese skyscraper's lobby, with our anti-heroes cowering behind samurai works of art as they're slowly pummelled into pieces by enemy bullets, before spilling out onto the street.
It's here that the influence of Michael Mann becomes most apparent, the scene instantly recalling the intense street battle that follows Heat's bungled bank robbery. Huge crowds scatter, cars screech and cops open fire - the action is just pure grit, and liable to get grittier with other set-pieces due to cover actual bank robberies and breaking other characters out of jail. Bundled with, surprise of all surprises, a co-op mode that will actually see the light of day on PC and a multiplayer mode Io believe is so revolutionary, they're not going to show it off for a very long time for fear of other developers cribbing off them, and this is set to be quite the action package.
SHALL I GO ON?
But why are two men who hate each other so dearly going on such an extravagant global killing spree? Let's return to the set-up of the piece. I believe we left the pair together in a prison transit van, tasked with delivering them to their doom. Well, the next thing that happens is that Lynch tells Kane to cover his head; he does so, there's an almighty crash and then his already screwed up life gets even screwier. He also breaks his nose, which presents him with the rather fetching plaster-cast he has in all the screenshots.
"We then have a fairly grand-scale bust-out scenario where a group of armed mercenaries herd you through the location," explains JP Kurup, as he describes what at first seems to be a rescue attempt but is in fact a high-profile kidnapping. "Later, you meet the guys who busted you out - four members of The Seven. They survived and have come back to the US, and quite rightfully they blame Kane for being a traitor: he left them in Venezuela to burn and he got away with all the loot."
Kurup continues: "That's the main theme of the game: is Kane a traitor or not? The Seven want to kill Kane and his family, but the problem is they really need this loot. So they bend their rules ever so slightly; if Kane brings them the stash then they'll still kill him, but they won't kill his family. Kane accepts the deal and Lynch has been given a phone and instructions - he's there as a watchdog. He'll be with him throughout the game - just to make sure he doesn't go off and do something crazy."
BUMP AND GRIND
As if to underline this, I'm suddenly presented with the 'Collateral' club scene - and Kane and Lynch are making their way past the bouncers and trading unsubtly hateful repartee. Lynch is bitching, at this stage becoming increasingly batty without his medication, and Kane is responding with one-liners like: "Don't answer back to me you arrogant f***." Dialogue like this takes place throughout the game, and when you're tired of it - just like in real life - you can just walk away and Lynch will shut up and stare at you with unbridled vitriol.