On our recent trip to X'07 Canada in Toronto, we encountered more than just sequels to groundbreaking titles; we encountered some wicked looking siblings to groundbreaking series. The masterminds between the Hitman series, which has now become a theatrical release, have returned to make what looks to be another hit (pun intended). We got our grimy gaming hands in on the fun to give you our two cents about its upcoming release.
Kane, Lynch, and a small crew lower down in an elevator exchanging dialogue to make sure everyone is aware that they have ensued madness among the building and that they should be able to duck out of harm's way with the hysterical crowd. Just then, the doors slide open and a Japanese police officer pops into view. The officer yells at them to evacuate the building immediately. With not one drip of hesitation you comply, walking down the arched modern stairway of the large lobby. You can see you're escape within reach, and thus is a perfect time for someone to identify you and take you out. The crew is now surrounded by police both in and out of the building and it'll take some fancy footwork and a ton of lead to bring them all down without total annihilation of you and your team. Your clean cut suit and deep pored and scarred face are now hidden as best as possible behind a pillar or desk of some sort, being shot at in approximately four different directions. Your team isn't exactly scoring a ten in accuracy so you'll have to take out most of those yourself, and as a tactical shooter this is not where Kane and Lynch excels. Where it does excel, is in the story. Hence why there's been so little shown of this Michael Mann emulated video game and why we were so excited to see and play it. PAX was the first available hands-on, so we're among the few to enjoy the opportunity.
The story, as mentioned, looks incredible. Drawing strongly from such films as Heat and Collateral, Kane and Lynch is all about a flawed mercenary named Kane, and an extensively medicated schizoid named Lynch who join forces to take down "The Seven", who have Kane's daughter held captive. The proceedings of which we have no more information. But we can tell you about some awesome gameplay mechanics and how well the glacier engine is performing, as seen in an incredible Japanese night club scene. Although no video was allowed to be taken due to an exclusive with another outlet, we were given a closed door showing of the scene. Kane and Lynch start the cutscene in line at a popular night club, highlighted figures defined by the surrounding indigo neon lights. They bicker back and forth about the idea of storming into the club, developing the tension and planting ground to the fact that they are simply acquaintances of opposing views and not friends at all. As Kane steps foot into the club, the player is immersed in a crowd of at least 300 people (the engine boasts it can handle 900), dancing and moving about individually. He pushes throw the crowd to navigate and decide the best plan of action, and notices an armed guard in the shadows, the perfect target to acquire a gun inside the club. If one were to choose the guard in the middle of the club, the crowd scatters and splits, heading for cover or exits without any slow down at all. Shooting into the crowd will clear a path, as the AI avoids the area under fire. Basically, all hell breaks loose and it looks awesome. Speakers pound and lights flash whilst bullets fly, bottles explode, and people scream and scatter.
As suggested by the title, Kane and Lynch will also be a two player game featuring co-op play so you and a buddy can both get in on the action. In single-player campaign you play directly as Kane and shout directions to Lynch and up to three other members. Being open is a sin and so finding cover is as easy as approaching what you find suitable to hide behind. Using your team to your advantage really comes in dire need in levels like the playable one in the lobby as getting through the swarm of police is not an easy feat to do alone. The auto cover system worked well for me but seemed to be holding some people up in spots. Effects, destruction, and models all look incredible even at this stage so it will be exciting to see the final product. Audibly Kane and Lynch is amazing, mostly because Jesper Kyd is back to do the soundtrack.
A special thanks to David Bamberger over at the Eidos booth for walking through the title with us, and we're definitely psyched to get our hands on Kane and Lynch: Dead Men when it releases this holiday season.