Kane & Lynch 2 is an ugly game in almost every sense. It's aesthetically ugly, it's thematically ugly, it's even mechanically ugly, a clumsy and chaotic third-person shooter with a sticky cover system and AI thicker than asbestos soup. What's interesting about it all, though, is that most of this ugliness (although admittedly not all of it) is deliberate, in what is a fascinating example of a developer exploring its own mistakes and mishaps through another creative work.
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Microsoft's announced July's Xbox Games with Gold titles.
300's Gerard Butler and Riddick star Vin Diesel are in talks to take the title roles in a new Kane & Lynch film, a new report suggests.
Hitman developer IO Interactive has announced that it's laying off "almost half" its staff to "focus resolutely on the future vision for the Hitman franchise."
In a statement obtained by Eurogamer, Square Enix VP of corporate communications Chris Glover said, "The studio will focus resolutely on the future vision for the Hitman franchise and is in pre-production on a new AAA Hitman project. However we have taken the difficult decision to cancel other studio projects and initiatives at IO and reduce the workforce in this studio, which will impact almost half of the employees currently at IO, as we make internal adjustments to face the challenges of today's market."
"For those affected, we are extremely grateful for the hard work which they have contributed, and where it's possible and appropriate to relocate staff to open positions at other studios within the group, we will try to do so. We are also reaching out to other companies for outplacement opportunities. We sincerely wish them well in their future careers."
Danish Hitman developer IO Interactive will work on new IP following the completion of Hitman Absolution.
A recent IO Interactive recruitment call has offered the strongest hint yet that a new Kane & Lynch title is in the works.
Square Enix is blaming a bad year on a "weak" console performance; the "continued delay in billing" for embattled MMO Final Fantasy XIV Online; the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan; and the write-off of goodwill - i.e. companies bought by the publisher now not being worth as much.
Few people I know have anything nice to say about Kane & Lynch. No one I've personally talked to about it has had anything particularly noteworthy to say - most of the time general chatter among gamers isn't exactly on par with Shakespeare - but the gist is that the series is bland, full of clichéd characters and generic cover-based gameplay.
Sales of Square Enix games during the first nine months of the financial year were down 28 per cent on the same period the previous year.
Operating income also took a tumble, down 58 per cent.
It's all down to low console game sales and tough comparisons. In the first three months of the 2009 financial year the Japanese company launched both Dragon Quest IX and Final Fantasy XIII.
It's lucky the bookies left the ticket on 'Most Incongruous Gaming Cameo of 2011' open to the last minute, because we have a late winner. As of today, sketchy Eidos badboys Kane and Lynch are playable in Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.
Violent action duo Kane and Lynch will return despite the mixed reception to their previous outing and lay-offs at Danish developer IO Interactive.
You "either love or hate" Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, creator IO Interactive has admitted.
The Kane & Lynch film adaptation is currently without a director and there's no word on when production will begin, one of the companies financing it has said.
Square Enix has released three add-ons for Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days.
Doggie bags available from today.
Mask Pack DLC.
IO Interactive has claimed to be "satisfied" with the reaction to Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days.
Stay ahead of the pack.
Square Enix's third-person shooter Kane & Lynch 2 has entered the UK all-formats chart at number one.
I can't help wondering what the atmosphere in the IO Interactive office was like when EA announced details of Army of Two: The 40th Day. Both sequels were revealed within a few months of each other last year, and the similarities are startling.
Obviously, they're both follow-ups to third person co-op shooters with a heavy focus on cover and flanking, so the gameplay echoes are to be expected. They're also both set in Shanghai, in the aftermath of one last job that goes disastrously wrong. Both concern themselves with helping our foul-mouthed amoral anti-heroes battle across the city to freedom. Even the dual animation for opening doors feels familiar.
It's the depth of gameplay, or lack thereof, that proves the distinguishing factor. Army of Two wasn't the most innovative game around, but it at least included a robust co-op system and weapon customisation. Kane & Lynch 2 offers... shooting. Lots and lots of shooting. And pretty much nothing else.
Local co-op play on Xbox 360 and PS3.
Like-for-like scenes on PS3 and 360 analysed.
Edited version of the recent launch trailer.
Publisher Square Enix stripped down a Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days advertisement after regulators deemed it too violent for telly.
The heist is right.
Sure why not.
Three short clips of the boys at work.
We are told to do many things in videogames. Slay zombie hordes. Battle within the intestine of a giant worm. Prevent thermonuclear armageddon. Get fruity with aliens. I'm not sure we've ever been instructed by a game to "shoot those fucking c****" before, though. It's strangely liberating.
Square Enix has made the demo of Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days available to all players, and announced that the PC version of the game will ship with Valve's Steamworks features.
Today, PlayStation Plus subscribers will be treated to an automatic demo of Kane & Lynch 2.
A motivational team talk the K&L way.
Gritty shooter Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days has been moved forwards to a 20th August release.
There seems to be a certain formula for a great many third-person shooters in this console generation: target 30FPS, slip out of v-sync if you need to, perhaps use Unreal Engine 3. Square-Enix's Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days immediately makes an impact because it breaks away from that recipe. IO Interactive has targeted 60FPS, making for far more responsive controls and more arcade-like visuals.
Shakycam Shanghai shootouts.
Update: Square Enix has been in touch to tell Eurogamer that PC and PS3 demos are still very much part of the plan.
"There will be news on a Kane & Lynch 2 PS3 and PC demo at a later date," a spokesperson from the publisher told us.
Original story: Square Enix is offering an Xbox Live demo of Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days to anyone who becomes a friend of the game's official YouTube page.
Love and tenderness in Shanghai.
Multiplayer mayhem with a financial twist.
Filthy, rotten money. It's mankind's dirtiest multiplayer game, bringing out the very worst in humanity, and capable of making backstabbing bastards out of even the most benign soul - and Danish game developer IO Interactive knows it.
First shots of Undercover Cop mode.
New multiplayer mode puts a rat among the pigeons.
Set a thief to catch a thief.
Grab the cash, flee the scene, kill your friends.
Arcade mode shots.
"It was not a nice experience."
6/10. Haha only joking.
Actor Jamie Foxx has signed up to star as one of the titular characters in the forthcoming Kane & Lynch film.
Square Enix has sent word that Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days will be released on 27th August.
Eidos' bad boys make a return.
IO Interactive has spent the last year or so thinking about what's real. That doesn't mean the developer's selling its car, renting out the flat and heading to Goa with an acoustic guitar, some awesome liquorice sticks and a dreadlocked chick named Mary-Beth it met on the Circle Line, however. Rather it means that the designers of Kane & Lynch have been studying the kind of things people associate with reality - prodding through the internet in search of whatever it is that has the power to jar and shock by virtue of its authenticity. They want something that will make you drop your ice lolly and think, "Ooh, that's a bit raw for a videogame". Sorry, Mary-Beth.
Now and then. Has Lynch changed?
The next instalment in the Kane & Lynch series will feature an online co-op mode, along with the offline co-op and competitive online modes of the first game.
Bowling and burgers criminal style.
Square Enix Europe has officially unveiled the rumoured sequel to 2007's Kane & Lynch.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days thrusts the titular criminal duo into the Shanghai underworld and is due out on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2010.
"Gamers are always looking for something new and that is exactly what they are going to get with Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days," said Niels Jørgensen, general manager of developer IO Interactive.