Metascore
65

Mixed or average reviews - based on 57 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 57
  2. Negative: 6 out of 57
  1. Kane and Lynch is quite a good crime drama experience and serves as a plausible move away from the Hitman stealth series that IO Interactive is very well known for.
  2. Kane & Lynch: Dead Men is a solid heist game and a solid co-op game. The premise is very interesting but some of the core gameplay isn’t as polished as some of the other shooters you’ll find this holiday season.
  3. Part thug brutality, part capers and hijinks, the latest wild ride from the developer of "Hitman" has its fair share of rough edges--maybe even more than its fair share--but its epic missions are so thrilling that they'll sear away the nuggets of disappointment you'll ocasionally feel. [Dec 2007, p.68]
  4. The right combination of gameplay elements and design decisions make Kane and Lynch easy to recommend to crime junkies and anyone who enjoys a little therapeutic videogame violence. A well-executed plot really makes the game, while the multiplayer additions add replay value and variety.
  5. Puts player in a rather awkward role. You essentially play a person who hasn’t made a single good decision in his life. When none of your actions hold any kind of moral high-ground the whole experience starts to feel like a total downer. While the story certainly has an impact, the actual gameplay does not. Shooting behind the cover has been done much better. The real let-down is the last third of the game which is simply not fun to play. [Dec 2007]
  6. The already strong story is helped along the way by some really good voice acting and a fantastic musical soundtrack that fits the game perfectly.
  7. 75
    We rarely see scenarios and story structure this good in a game, and that makes it easier to forgive some of the more hardcore technical game-design issues. It's definitely more of a popcorn game for the action-movie crowd than a hardcore shooter, but there's nothing wrong with that.
  8. In a year that has seen more than its fair share of outstanding titles in the action/shooter genre, Kane & Lynch manages to set itself apart with an outstanding compilation of levels that are a joy to play through. Therefore, it is all the more disheartening that at the same time, it manages to fumble some of the fundamentals, chief among them the broken hit detection.
  9. Kane & Lynch is entirely about story and style. The gameplay is years old, but Kane, Lynch, and their tale(s)? Fantastic. If you want a good story, pick this game up. If you only care about pretty things that blow up nicely, go with something else.
  10. Kane and Lynch could have been a fantastic game had they have spent some more time on it. Instead we are left with a fun but short and buggy game.
  11. Kane & Lynch is a fun game to fly through in a couple days on "Aspirin" (easy) mode, but not deep or hardcore enough to hold up long term. [Holiday 2007, p.75]
  12. Factor in an exceptionally short single-player campaign, an undercooked tactical squad element and a distinct lack of gameplay variety and it's impossible not to see this as a very big missed opportunity.
  13. It capably provides its gun and grenade ridden action entertainment, but disappoints only because of the massive marketing campaign that led us all to believe we were in for something extra special, rather than the adequate but ultimately not stand-out shooter we have here.
  14. The single-player/co-op mode is underwhelming at best. With poor AI and thematic blurring, even the easiest difficulty – Aspirin – will leave you with a throbbing headache.
  15. A missed chance at an iconic franchise that literally shoots wide of the target, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men will be enjoyed by a select few, so try it without expecting too much and you might just find yourself won over.
  16. If you enjoy games with decent plots, developed characters and brilliant dialogue, this violent, offensive and witty action game is probably worth your attention, and if you're a shooting game purist, try not to expect too much and you'll still have plenty to enjoy.
  17. Artificial intelligence problems are present throughout, with squad mates continuously running in the line of fire. Furthermore, the promising co-op mode isn't available online, only locally through cramped split-screen.
  18. 70
    Kane & Lynch is a game that many people will play through and enjoy simply because of the forceful story and characters. Others will find the gameplay isn’t up to speed with the rest of the gaming world and wonder why anyone would bother.
  19. The single-player game starts off well enough but becomes grating and tedious as it progresses. It's a great shame because the multiplayer offerings truly are unique and, with the exception of some flagging visuals, the game could've been great with a better main campaign.
  20. While the fast-paced and action-packed chapters have their share of spectacular moments, the game is held back by characters we do not really care about and dated gameplay that just doesn’t feel like a next-generation game.
  21. Refining the cover and inventory systems would have gone a long way in making Kane & Lynch: Dead Men more user friendly. Hit detection needs work. The story is engrossing and well-executed.
  22. There’s certainly a lot here to love, and a lot more that you want to love, but most of your time in Kane & Lynch is spent shaking or scratching your head. The problems are just too visible for it to be taken seriously as a gritty thriller.
  23. Popcorn-crunching blockbuster in need of better scripting.
  24. Only die hard action fans will find reasons to be interested, and only if they can get over the terrible plot structure and some of its gameplay problems. It had a lot more to offer, but leaves a bitter taste of disappointment. Not Io’s greatest moment, a company that’s really capable of so much better. [Dec 2007]
  25. 70
    For everything it gets right – the gritty storyline, adrenalin-fuelled firefights and epic set-pieces – it falls flat on its face in other areas, like the stupid AI, disappointing co-op and occasionally by-the-numbers level design. Visually, it’s equally as unbalanced.
  26. Kane & Lynch is more "Freedom Fighters" than "Hitman", so it should appeal to action junkies looking for their next fix. [Dec 2007, p.67]
  27. What’s more, the swearing is simply over the top. If you want to make a gritty crime drama, a few F-bombs here and there are expected, but this is just f***ing ridiculous.
  28. Kane and Lynch reeks of an undercooked effort that should've baked a few more months in the development oven. If the care and polish that went into the wonderfully cinematic level presentation had also been applied to the writing and gameplay, it could've been a bar-raising effort for the third-person shooter genre.
  29. Poor aiming and dodgy weapon accuracy ruins what is otherwise a spectacular story. [Christmas 2007, p.54]
  30. In a season of really great shooters, Kane & Lynch is pretty much a dud. It’s sort of a style over substance kind of game, except the style isn’t even terribly impressive. The substance, what there is of it, amounts to a fairly so-so action game that’s kind of short.
  31. Kane & Lynch is a good idea that is plagued by poor controls, unbalanced weapons, a boring story and some questionable writing.
  32. 65
    An engrossing story and above-average presentation. However, flawed gameplay elements make the game less enjoyable then it should be.
  33. 65
    A sadistically satisfying experience that just feels too rough around the edges to become a true classic.
  34. An average game made all the worse for having come from a superb team. A letdown. [Jan 2008, p.64]
  35. 65
    Multiplayer aside, the single-player story is short-lived, clocking in at around 7 hours from start to finish. Despite this though, you’ll be left with some great memories and a soft spot for the two characters before you’re finished.
  36. Kane & Lynch is very much a case of what could have been. With a little more time for polish and tweaking Eidos could have had a game worthy of the hype and its British Academy Video Games Award nomination (which was somehow secured before the game’s release).
  37. Its scenarios are striking in scope, but its gunplay can’t quite keep pace. It features some moments of truly cinematic vision, but the technology and framework can’t quite do them full justice. [Christmas 2007, p.90]
  38. Consistently entertaining until its final third. [Chrismas 2007, p.110]
  39. Struggles to implement its idea with any real purpose and falls completely flat towards the end. There's definitely fun to be had, but don't really expect too much. [Issue 27, p.88]
  40. Kane & Lynch promises much more than it actually delivers. It’s still a fine game, but is let down far too frequently by a number of minor issues that could have been corrected with more development time. It’s got some great elements, just not enough of them.
  41. 60
    IO's next big thing is a mish-mash of a few phenomenally great moments hidden inside a clusterf--- of nearly unplayable controls, bad level progression, unpredictable AI, and some seriously broken gameplay scenarios.
  42. Kane & Lynch: Dead Men has a lot of promise, but nothing in this game works out nearly as well as you'd hope.
  43. There's an inconsistency to the overall design quality that really kept me at a distance while playing Kane & Lynch. [Dec 2007, p.75]
  44. With frustrating, glitchy gameplay, lackluster and boring graphics, and perhaps the least likable cast in video game history, it's difficult to recommend Kane & Lynch over the many similar, but better titles currently on the market. Even a unique multiplayer mode does little to salvage the title, and the lack of online co-op shoots its biggest feature in the foot.
  45. Sadly the implementation and impact on the player the game has will most likely be overshadowed by the numerous flaws. The lack of replay-ablity of the single player, the omission of playing as Lynch for lone players, the poor graphics, terrible enemy AI, and the mundane Havana levels, really kill the single player experience for me.
  46. 60
    Overall Kane & Lynch is an interesting -- if overly violent -- take on the “buddy” game. The tag-team setup adds something to what would already be a solid action game and makes it that much better.
  47. 60
    For everything cool that the game does, from the heightened tension of breaking into a prison to a shootout in a Tokyo nightclub to some amazing chase sequences, it shoots itself in the foot with a terrible cover system, artificial incompetence, and a multiplayer mode that sums up everything that's half-baked about the experience.
  48. 60
    Sure, the gritty atmosphere and balls out gunplay offers up some thrills, and yes the multiplayer options hold some potential but the hard-boiled noir tone and interesting amalgam of varied ideas never truly comes together to form the cohesive action thriller that the game aspires to be. [Dec 2007, p.121]
  49. So if you have some extra time on your hands, Kane & Lynch is just barely worth a rental. Were it not for its story, we would undoubtedly give it a “Skip It” recommendation. However, it should be able to tide you over for a small while. Don’t expect anything great out of it though.
  50. 58
    As it is - in this unfinished state - Kane & Lynch's all-too obvious lack of Q&A follow through makes it impossible to recommend for anyone other than hardcore shooter fans willing to trawl through hours of mediocrity in return for minutes of unfulfilled promise.
  51. Sloppy and muddy controls, a broken aiming mechanism combined with a couple of characters who you’ll never really care for at any point make for a dull and tedious gaming experience. Compound that with the shoddy squad mechanics, lack of online co-op, and a seemingly broken online experience doesn’t make the game sound appealing in the slightest.
  52. Given the subject matter, Kane & Lynch never had a chance of being a fun game, but it had every chance of being a good one. It's not.
  53. The game is merely frustrating until you get to Havana, when it becomes a nightmare of trial-and-error repetition.
  54. If it had been given the proper treatment, budget, and amount of time, Kane & Lynch would have easily been an A-/90% game. As it was released, it feels like a preview build that somehow hit retail shelves.
  55. This had all the ability to be a top notch 360 game, instead it ends up being a painful gaming experience.
  56. 30
    Being blunt, Kane and Lynch: Dead Men is a sickly mess of a game with the multitude of negatives undermining every positive.
  57. All in all, Kane and Lynch is a bad game. With characters like Kane and Lynch, we should have seen more variety in the plot and gameplay -- with developers like IO Interactive, we should have seen better shooting mechanics and level design.
User Score
3.1

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 321 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 80
  2. Negative: 33 out of 80
  1. JohnP
    Feb 22, 2009
    5
    This game is so fun. But oh my god, the glitches and difficulty is can be atrocious. The story line makes up for the glitches. Would love to see a sequel with everything worked through. Full Review »
  2. Sam
    Mar 23, 2008
    4
    With the badass trailers and the very appealing character concept, I was expecting this game to be IOI's finest since Hitman: Silent Assassin. They proved me wrong. While this game isn't as bad as the Gerstmann sympathizers say, it's still pretty bad. Which is a shame, because IO had everything they needed, every tool to make this game great. They just didn't use them. First of all, the gameplay is trial-and-error based, and is overly frustrating. There's no open-endedness to the game at all, which was what IOI made their name from: letting you decide what you want to do. There's none of that here. You just go around shooting, escorting, and doing what the game tells you to. You don't get to plan out the heists, or any of that. The poorly written script plans it out for you. But the game does its best to keep you from sticking to that. It is a very buggy game. The controls don't do anything to help it, either. The aiming is horrible. You will never hit who you're trying to the first few tries. This applies for every time you attempt to shoot someone. And beyond firing and team commands, they're very hard to use, often involving drawn-out button combinations just to perform a simple action. What's worse is that after you've put in that sequence, the action you're supposed to perform has a high chance of not working. The biggest example of this is taking cover. Now, unlike the rest of the game's controls, the input for taking cover is pretty simple. Unconventional, but simple. You just run up to a wall and slap the analog stick to press up against it. The problem is, 9 times out of 10, it doesn't work, and even when it does, the horrible collision detection this game sports will get you killed anyway. Your character often just runs up to the wall, rather than sticking to it, often leaving you open to enemy fire. And speaking of enemy fire, you'll get it a lot. The enemies in this game have decent AI, but they are often crack shots, which is more than what can be said for the ally AI. These are by far the worst teammates you'll ever see in a video game. They pretty much do nothing but get shot, and when they aren't getting shot, they're either missing their targets or shooting you. Yes, it is just that bad where your friends kill you twice as much as the bad guys do. In actuality, you're better off just sending them to draw fire, as that's all they'll succeed at. Just make sure you're close to them, because they don't revive each other, and if they die, it's game over. The story doesn't do the game any favors, either. It's never particularly well written at any time, and what's worse is that it doesn't explain everything that it should. It also doesn't quite hold its own against several games that came before it, which is a total shame, but isn't totally unexpected. Strong plots and interesting stories have never really been a part of IOI's traits. But at least you'd think it has decent dialogue. Unfortunately, it fails there, too. First off, it's not cleverly-written, and it uses the F-word more than any single piece of media you'll ever find. There are very few sentences said in this game that don't have it. It was an obvious attempt to make the game seem grittier than it is, but all it did was just take away the drama and strong feeling that the word evokes. Most of all, it really just feels like they hired an angst-filled teenager to write out the dialogue. It's just that poor. However, the game has one good point: Its multiplayer concept. Fragile Alliance is a very well-thought out concept that follows the game's themes of trust and betrayal very well, in that the outcome of a match is entirely in the players' hands. You can stick to the plan and be a team player, or you can pull a Kane and leave everyone of your partners for dead. Unfortunately, the very same flaws that the Campaign mode has are carried over to this mode, save for the ally AI. You'll still have the same control problems, the same poor collision detection, and the same horrible aiming. It doesn't flat out ruin it, but it doesn't do anything good for it. All in all, this game could have been so many things, but achieves none of it, not even its main selling point: Its own story. The only way I can really recommend this game is if you have absolutely nothing else to play at all. It is a rental at best. Full Review »
  3. IntruderG.
    Feb 8, 2008
    4
    This game is not the worst game ever nor is it the best game ever. If anything it is terminally mediocre. Whie it has some fun scenarios, there are entirely too many technical flaws that make the experience below average. The graphics, especially in game animations, are are below average. The vertical split screen on co-op seriously hampers your peripheral vision. The controls are a little loose. The music and story are the highlights of the experience and the unique multiplayer is a nice diversion from Team Slayer and the like. Unfortunately, the few fun parts are outweighed by the bad. Kane and Lynch is worth playing, but only as a rental. It is definitely not worth $60. Full Review »