A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is a gritty, violent, and visceral shooter that looks as though it has been filmed at street level with a handheld camera. Players take on the role of an utterly unlikable psychopathic criminal who kills countless cops, bad guys, and innocent civilians without remorse. The protagonists’ mouths are faucets for strong profanity, and there is one scene in which they are shown all but naked after having been tortured. It is a game clearly and explicitly created for adults.
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What's it about?
The follow-up to one of the more controversial games in recent years, KANE & LYNCH: DOG DAYS sees the return of the Kane, a remorseless mercenary, and Lynch, a balding, murderous psychopath, as antiheroes in an action-packed criminal adventure. The game is set in Shanghai where the duo tries to pull off one last big score together. It’s important to note that these are not criminals looking for redemption, but rather criminals being criminals -- killing police, civilians, and fellow villains to further their own agendas. The action is of the shooter-with-cover variety, and the online multiplayer modes basically pit cops against robbers as the latter tries to carry off a heist.
Is it any good?
The problem with this sequel is that, much like the first game, our heroes are hopelessly unlikeable. Other mature games starring criminals provide players with deeply conflicted characters who can turn on the charm when necessary; and while they’re ultimately bad guys, most players will sympathize with them. Play as sociopathic Lynch, on the other hand, and you’ll want to wash the hands that touch the gamepad used to control him.
The gorgeous graphics and jittery handheld camera shots nail the look and feel of lush Hollywood crime epics and create a vibe not entirely dissimilar to a Michael Mann film. Sadly, the combat doesn’t live up to the spectacle. The cover system, which forces players into sustained hiding while seemingly invincible enemies lay down fire and flank their sides, is unforgiving at best, frustrating at worst. There are plenty of good, mature-themed games starring rough-hewn antiheros. This just isn’t one of them.
Online interaction: This game features open voice chat in its online multiplayer modes, which opens the door to inappropriate language, verbal abuse, and the sharing of personal information. Common Sense Media does not recommend moderation-free online communication for pre-teens. We suggest using the parental controls built into game consoles to disable online communication features.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it means to play as a criminal in a game. Must such characters be unlikable? How can game designers go about making them more sympathetic? Should developers of such games make a point of somehow redeeming their protagonists by game’s end?
Families can also discuss the psychological repercussions of carrying out violent criminal violent acts in games. Is this sort of entertainment a safe outlet for dark fantasies? Why or why not?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.