Games and movies are getting close by the day. Though there are stark differences, there is common ground to explore. In fact, every developer working on a new IP for this generation of hi-def consoles swears blindly that their's is the one that will genuinely guarantee an experience mirroring a million dollar popcorn blockbuster. Where other developers hire big name movie talent to inch closer to the feel of a film, IO Interactive doesn't need any of this.
Hitman was always genuinely cinematic in scope and execution and Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, IO's latest foray into the sinister underbelly of the criminal world, goes even further. Kane & Lynch wears its influences right there on its bloodied sleeve for everyone to see. There's absolutely no qualms about it, K&L relies not on name actors, Tinsel town scribes or blockbuster scorers, instead on sheer brute force, bad attitude, high-class medication and an adoration for the men-in-suits gangster flicks made famous by the Hollywood hip generation and veteran helmers.
It's a Mann's world
Kane & Lynch is best described as a blisteringly anarchic ode to Michael Mann, Tarantino and Scorsese flicks while serving as a spiritual successor to IO's 2003 novel squad-based shooter, Freedom Fighters. Not the prettiest looking game of its generation (in fact, we'd go so far as to say this may have even started out as a PS2 title before shifting platforms) it packs in a wedge of action, reams of shoot-outs, some of the most colourful language of late and a body count that's worthy of its own place on the mantle of gaming's history of violence. Check out some of our screens and the moment where you have to shoulder and shoot your way through a heaving nightclub.
Sinister, sick and just downright dirty, this grit-spitter tale sees both Kane (the one with the broken nose) and Lynch (the one with the mullet) thrust together on a mission to hell and back. You see; Kane was once a family man, driven to the brink of insanity after his two-year-old infant son shot himself dead with one of Kane's pistols in a freak accident.
Nearing the mouth of madness, he finds himself hip deep in shit with a crime syndicate known as The7 and right in the middle of a botched heist in Venezuela that takes with it the lives of 25 innocents. This then leaves Kane with an opportunity to break away with a cache of cold hard cash, leaving The7 out of pocket and out for revenge. Queue a shift to the present and Kane is en route to Death Row and The7 aren't going to let their money go up in smoke with their Judas' corpse. Shoehorned into this murky and murderous tale is the foul-mouthed trigger-happy Lynch, Kane's crime spree chaperone who's been brought into break Kane out of prison and grab the stolen cash - or his daughter will be killed.
Naturally they don't get along, leaving plenty of room for caustic face-offs, savage swearing bouts of abuse and moments of complete and utter madness at the hands of the extremely unhinged Lynch. He's a paranoid schizophrenic in constant need of meds, especially when you branch off into Co-op mode. Just wait for the pig head hallucinations when Lynch starts to wiggle a toe over insanity's edge.
From the moment the game kicks into action with Kane & Lynch's breakneck prison break at the hands of The7 (and possibly one of the slickest tutorial missions ever), which culminates in a very Tarrantino doughnut shop shootout, it's pretty clear where IO is going with this. Kane & Lynch wants you to hurt; it wants to bring out the worst in you as you slowly become sanitized by the duo's downward spiral into madness and murder. There's no room for redemption and murder is a necessity for survival. Easily offended? Then this is absolutely not the game for you.