It is now dark when we walk home and birds are either dropping out of trees in frozen lumps or going somewhere much nicer for their holidays. And, as always happens, the shops are hoisting their Christmas decorations up and getting us all worried about buying presents because we never know what they want is it socks or aftershave. So, we thought we would join in.
"Play it like a soldier and you'll lose. Play it like a criminal and you'll win." That's the advice of IO Interactive on the online multiplayer mode in Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. It's good advice. You may have captured more flags than you've had hot deathmatches, but you're not in the army now. This mode is about strategy, not just shooting. It's about betrayal and greed and revenge. It's about working as a team in a world where it's every man for himself. But most of all, it's about swearing.
IO Interactive is trying to do something different with the online multiplayer mode in Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. As you'll know if you've read our preview, it's titled Fragile Alliance and it's all about greed, betrayal and revenge. You have to work with other players at the start of each round to take out police, but by the end it's every man for himself.
Having just spent about 15 minutes giving us the most intricate back story explanation we've ever heard for a videogame, IO's exhausted art director Martin Kramme Guldbaek sighs. "Doing this makes it sound like a movie pitch." Indeed it does. But in the best way possible.
If we had lazyitis, we'd probably take one look at Kane & Lynch and diagnose it as 'Freedom Fighters meets Hitman', with a more ambitious narrative. But that would be lazy, even if it turns out to be true. Instead, we'll continue to quote the official line in the absence of actually having had a hands-on. In Eidos' bestest PR speak, we're told to look forward to a "story-driven, fully co-operative third-person action shooter title, with intuitive crew mechanics, heavily populated destructible real-world scenarios, a volatile partnership and brutal attitude."