PAX 2007: Hands-On with Kane and Lynch: Dead Men

kanelynch1-1.jpgTo describe Kane and Lynch: Dead Men is to describe almost every other scene from any great crime movie. You like “Heat?” How would you like to actually play one of the robbers in that major street shootout? Or what about “Collateral?” How about stepping into a night club filled with people, while you try to stealthily take out a few guards. Essentially, that’s what Kane and Lynch feels like: some of the best moments in action cinema right in the palm of your hand.

Shawn described the demo he played at E3 as being just a basic build and a little glitchy. Well, it looks like the people at IO Interactive have been hard at work since then, because the demo I saw at PAX looked and played perfectly. The level I played involved first clearing a rooftop of guards, rappelling down the side of a building, and smashing through a large window to steal a briefcase from a room full of armed thugs. That comprises just the first couple of minutes of gameplay. From there, you have to get yourself and your crew away from the building to the getaway car. This is a lot harder than it sounds, especially considering there are several squads of heavily armed police to go through. You’ll have to use cover and move slowly, all while keeping an eye on your crew and your surroundings. If you get killed, one of your crew will come and revive you with a shot of adrenaline. Get killed too often in a short amount of time though, and that next shot will cause you to overdose and die permanently. The same can be said of your crew; if one of them goes down, you’ll have to rush over and revive them to keep going.

The city you move through feels very alive too. Police will arrive from all directions, and you’ll stumble across NPCs trying to hide and protect themselves (I was told you can even take them hostage, but I never got a chance to try it out). The AI in this game is top notch. I played through this level several times and never once saw the enemies or the innocent bystanders behave the same way twice. Even my crew’s AI seemed to respond quickly to my commands, either to defend an area or kill someone specific. There are even a few story elements built into the middle of this firefight, as Lynch starts to lose it, and Kane tells him to stay calm.

This is the one game that haunted me when I was trying to go to sleep later on Saturday night. I kept replaying the level in my head, trying to think of ways to do it better. As PAX started to wind down on Sunday, I made sure I had another go at it before they started packing things up.

Check back here later on for an interview with a representative from Eidos.

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