Kane & Lynch: Dead Men

PC, XB360, PS3 / Action / Release: Nov 13, 2007 / ESRB: M

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Kane & Lynch: Dead Men Engine Q&A

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PCGH Extreme has a technical Kane & Lynch: Dead Men Q&A posted, asking the people at Io Interactive about the Glacier engine powering the game. Thanks Blues.

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Kane & Lynch: Dead Men Preview

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Also on GameSpot is this Kane & Lynch: Dead Men preview. It offers impressions of the PC and PS3 versions of the game.

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Kane & Lynch: Dead Men Previews

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GameSpot and IGN have Fragile Alliance previews posted, checking out the multiplayer mode included with Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. IGN also has singleplayer impressions.

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Kane & Lynch: Dead Men Preview

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There's a Kane & Lynch: Dead Men preview on bit-tech.net, offering hands-on impressions of Io Interactive's new third person co-op action game.

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Kane & Lynch Retailing November 20

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Hitting store shelves just in time to take advantage of the traditional American post-Thanksgiving shopping splurge, Io Interactive's squad-based heist shooter Kane & Lynch: Dead Men will retail November 20. Publisher Eidos announced the release date today for the psycho-duo shooter, coming to PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Oddly, the developers have yet to reveal the specifics on the game's multiplayer component. The developers said previously that the two player co-op will be limited to splitscreen offline play, but the only details given in the announcement concerning the ambiguous eight-player online multiplayer is that it "will shake up the online gameplay experience." It's squad-based, so four-on-four team battles seem likely. Known for both the underappreciated squad shooter Freedom Fighters and the Hitman franchise, Io Interactive has a chance to cross into the mainstream gaming world with Kane & Lynch. Read the Shack's previous coverage to learn more about the developer's first game exclusive to PC and current-gen hardware.

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Kane & Lynch: Dead Men Preview

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Over at IGN you can find a Kane & Lynch: Dead Men preview. The article offers impressions of the game's first mission.

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New Kane & Lynch Trailer, Film Moving Forward

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After a period of silence regarding Lionsgate's film adaptation of IO Interactive's Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (PC, PS3, X360), IGN is reporting that the studio has selected a script and hopes to begin shooting it this fall. Of the two scripts that were commissioned earlier this year--one by Kyle Ward, the other from The Air I Breathe director Jieho Lee and co-writer Bob DeRosa--Lionsgate has apparently chosen to progress with Ward's interpretation of the events depicted in the video game. Whether or not this will affect the Lee's rumored role as the film's director remains to be seen. As for casting of mercenary Kane, self-medicated psychopath Lynch and their foes, IGN claims that "several big-name actors...including one A-lister" are being discussed. To learn more about the co-op-centered game and its violent tendencies, scope out the new trailer below and Shack editor Carlos Bergfeld's recent impressions and interview.

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"lets jsut hope they get multiplayer coop back on the table. This game looks awesome."
- gyokuro    See all 18 comments


Killzone 2 Interview

Over at Computer & Video Games you can find an interview with Guerilla Games director Mathijs De Jong. He's asked about the PlayStation 3 exclusive Killzone 2, which is wowing everyone with its graphics.

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PAX 07: Kane & Lynch: Dead Men Hands-On

The creator of the Hitman series as well as the underappreciated Freedom Fighters, Io Interactive has a history of making games that never quite achieve mass appeal. I went hands-on with the Danish studio's new original game, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, at PAX 07 to see if a game about a sociopathic Odd Couple could be the developer's breakthrough title.

Though the game's title implies a duo, the single-player campaign has you exclusively controlling the mercenary Kane. It opens with Kane on death row for a botched heist that resulted in 25 civilian deaths, but Kane's former comrades, the criminal mercenary group The Seven, have a score to settle, and have planted the psychotic Lynch in jail with Kane to "rescue" him. The Seven want the loot they think Kane lifted in the failed filching, so they blackmail Kane into getting it for them, with Lynch tagging along to supervise. I played a street level in Tokyo that requires you to fight your way to a location indicated on the on-screen map. It's a third-person, squad-based shooter, and you directly control Kane while giving commands to Lynch and three other teammates. Io is using its own Glacier engine, a modified version of the proprietary engine from Hitman: Blood Money, on Kane & Lynch, and that's a pretty good description of how the game appears--at least on the Xbox 360 version I played. It has a similar style to Blood Money, and is still a little jaggier than you'd want in a 360 game. The demo was based on a fairly complete version of the game, so I wouldn't expect much improvement before the title ships. But in other presentational areas, Io's engine provides some great enhancements. The realistic crowd AI works well in Kane & Lynch, with hysterical pedestrians swarming to safe locations in the city like packs of roaches. And enemy AI seemed fairly proficient at finding better vantage points to shoot from--it was hard to stay even partially in the open without being pelted by projectiles.
Because of this, I made sure to take full advantage of the game's squad tactics. The portion of the game I played pits your team against a city full of sharpshooter police forces. I could cycle through individual squad members with the D-pad, telling each of them to attack an enemy in my sights, move to where I was looking, or follow me. By default, they attack enemies around them, but I had to direct them to attack specific enemies to get any real combat done. Though it was fairly easy to command the squad, I really only used the attack command in this portion of the game, assigning a different baddie to each of my members. It almost seems like it would have been more fun if my squad could have done this automatically. Some of it even felt a little more like babysitting than commanding an elite tactical outfit, which is partly intentional, but still a hassle. Lynch, for example, will torture civilians if left on his own. Cute, but not very helpful. Directly controlling Kane felt a little on the sloppy side. I had some trouble with the automatic cover system, which seemed to arbitrarily decide whether I could attach to a wall or not. Thankfully, it became more natural through the course of the demo, but aiming my weapon never felt quite right, and the only safe way to move between cover points, a crouched crawl-walk, slowed the gameplay considerably.
Hopefully Io will be able to add more polish to the game before it retails, as it seems to have a pretty interesting narrative behind it. To learn more about other aspects of the game, I chatted with David Bamberger, senior marketing manager at Eidos--Kane & Lynch's publisher. Shack: EA's Army of Two is coming out around the same time as Kane & Lynch, and also featuring a seemingly psychotic duo. Are these new buddy psychopath games the new Tango and Cash? David Bamberger: Well, Army of Two is a kickass game. They are heroes, though. They may be bad-guy heroes, but they're still heroes. Whereas Kane & Lynch, it's trying to tell a good crime story. If you look at Dog Day Afternoon, Bonnie and Clyde, or any movie that has two characters, part of what Io felt they could do with two characters is inform you of the protagonist [by] having the secondary character. And that dialogue helps deepen the story. We're very dialogue-intense, in that sense, and we're really kind of diving into the whole crime genre because it tells a good story. But yeah, the whole buddy stuff, I think you're going to see a lot of movie techniques, storytelling techniques in games where you'll see two prominent characters, maybe even three, as long as you can pull it off. Shack: There will not be online co-op, correct? David Bamberger: It's offline co-op. Split-screen. Shack: Why not have online co-op in a seemingly duo-centric game? Were there ever plans to do this? David Bamberger: Io was very adamant about making it an offline experience because of the story. As the marketing guy I kind of go, "Maybe you want to make it online? A lot of guys want it online." But Io's kind of that way. They figure if they can't do something new, different, they don't really want to do it because there's a lot of games out there that are like that. Like Gears of War, stuff like that. I don't know. I kind of feel like, you have [two characters], it's called Kane & Lynch, but, you know. When you play the game, they're doing some fun things with offline co-op that people can experience. Shack: But non-cooperative multiplayer will be online? David Bamberger: For multiplayer we're doing four-versus-four--up to eight player multiplayer--with a new gameplay mode that I think is going to be fun and interesting that we'll premier in about five weeks. We've had to keep it under a lid for about 12 months because it's an obvious idea. We want to make sure that our competition doesn't deliver the same idea. _PAGE_BREAK_ Shack: In the two-player offline co-op, Will there be "bro-actions" or buddy moves for helping out your partner, like in Army of Two or the Splinter Cell co-op mode?
No. There isn't the sort of thing like in Army of Two where they can get on each other's shoulders and that kind of stuff. Io didn't really want to have too many game mechanics, too many things that you had to try to do. They wanted to keep it really active on shooting. So the most active thing they have you do is the crew-based command. If you're familiar with Freedom Fighters, this is an enhancement of that idea. Their gameplay set is really a tactical shooter with crew-based commands that are accessible and not heavy. Some of the other stuff like you see in these other games is interesting, but they wanted to keep the focus on story and action. Shack: Will the story be different in two-player co-op? David Bamberger: The story's a litle bit different on two-player co-op. It's not vastly different. It's mostly, "remember the co-op." But I think the main thread of the story is the same. There's certain things that you'll experience in the co-op because you're playing two-character. But it's not vastly different. Shack: The gameplay is objective-based, but would you describe it as fairly open-ended? David Bamberger: It's open-ended in terms of how you want to use your crew and how you want to fight. Do you want to play run-and-gun and try to have your crew follow you through it? How do you attack the objective or what are your tactics for the objective? It's not GTA, we're not a freeform game. We're not about exploration in that sense. We wanted to keep the energy high. But if you ever played Hitman, Io is very sensitive to that--we don't want to be on rails. We don't want to be a Stranglehold where you're really kind of guided through the thing. We want to give the player choice in terms of how you fight. Shack: I was having a little trouble using the cover system, as Kane automatically sticks to walls. Why this setup? David Bamberger: I like it. I like cover systems that allow me to go right to it. I think they're very mindful of balancing that. [They] don't let the player make mistakes.
I think you experienced a couple times where you wanted to stick but it didn't happen, so I think that's kind of the tuning. The main intent is, we don't want another button to have you attach yourself to a cover system. We'd rather make it more fluid. We'd rather have blind-fire also be. There's only so many things you can do before it gets overcomplicated, and I think the crew command was probably the most daring thing you could do for a lot of players. And then adding the fact that you can give individual commands to your crew is going to add another level of complexity. They didn't want to get people thinking about save points, they didn't want them thinking about controls. So they trimmed it down to something that moved, and that's going to be where Io kind of shines. How well they design that, how well they get the controls smooth enough. Shack: I noticed whenever I didn't use the team commands, I got shot a lot. But also, there didn't seem to be a way to effectively move between cover points without getting hit. Was this intentional? David Bamberger: I think so, yeah. You could play the whole game crouching, but just try running while crouching. You know? I mean it's going to be slower. So I think that's part of it. Shack: Some gameplay elements from the Hitman series, like taking human shields, seem like a good fit for Kane & Lynch. Will we see anything like this in the game regarding NPC interaction? David Bamberger: There's melee attack, but I don't think that's the same. No, they didn't want to put that in there. They felt it took away from the rhythm of the game. It's interesting when you're looking at doing an action shooter versus a stealth game. They storyboarded the entire game like a movie. So every sequence has a beginning, middle, end, and it's almost like a comic book. And they built it off of that. They wrote the game as a movie script, which is probably why Lions Gate has already picked up Kane & Lynch to be a movie. With the next Kane & Lynch--because I think we want to make this a big franchise--how do we bring some of those other things in to make the world more alive? Like getting a SWAT guy's shield and using that as a defense. Shack: How long is the single player campaign shaping up to be? David Bamberger: We're estimating about 20 hours for single player, probably in advanced mode. If an advanced player plays the beginning mode, it'll probably go pretty fast, but 20 hours is I think what we're hitting. Shack: And how close is the game to being complete?
David Bamberger: It's really really close. What you played was a pre-circ, so that's past alpha, past beta, now getting into first submission into Xbox or Microsoft and the other guys. Shack: Is there a release date yet? David Bamberger: So we're looking at a holiday release, and it's exciting. This is the software business, so there's a lot of guys not getting any sleep right now, but there you are. No release date, very soon though. Very soon. Once we get past first revision gate, we want to then announce it. There's so much competition that we want to be very certain that when we say it, we won't have to say it again. Shack: Will we see a demo before the game comes out? David Bamberger: Yes. A demo is in the works. We want to announce it when we're locked and loaded for it. But it's certainly in their plans. All depends on how we kind of get through this next phase of development. Shack: Thanks for the interview

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Killzone 2 Preview

There's a Killzone 2 preview on Computer & Video Games, going hands-on with the game at the Leipzig Games Convention.

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Killzone 2 Previews

IGN has been updated with Killzone 2 impressions, as Sony Computer Entertainment is finally showing the game publicly again. GameSpot also has a new preview.

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"If this game actually lives up to the CGI trailer, I'm not really sure I'll know what to do next."
- CasbahBoy    See all 2 comments





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