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. 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.
  2. Kane & Lynch: Dead Men has a lot of promise, but nothing in this game works out nearly as well as you'd hope.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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]
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Poor aiming and dodgy weapon accuracy ruins what is otherwise a spectacular story. [Christmas 2007, p.54]
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  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. 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]
  17. 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]
  18. There's an inconsistency to the overall design quality that really kept me at a distance while playing Kane & Lynch. [Dec 2007, p.75]
  19. 65
    A sadistically satisfying experience that just feels too rough around the edges to become a true classic.
  20. Consistently entertaining until its final third. [Chrismas 2007, p.110]
  21. 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.
  22. 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]
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Kane & Lynch is a good idea that is plagued by poor controls, unbalanced weapons, a boring story and some questionable writing.
  26. 65
    An engrossing story and above-average presentation. However, flawed gameplay elements make the game less enjoyable then it should be.
  27. 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.
  28. 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]
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. Popcorn-crunching blockbuster in need of better scripting.
  34. 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.
  35. 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]
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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).
  40. 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.
  41. Kane & Lynch is more "Freedom Fighters" than "Hitman", so it should appeal to action junkies looking for their next fix. [Dec 2007, p.67]
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  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. The game is merely frustrating until you get to Havana, when it becomes a nightmare of trial-and-error repetition.
  47. An average game made all the worse for having come from a superb team. A letdown. [Jan 2008, p.64]
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. This had all the ability to be a top notch 360 game, instead it ends up being a painful gaming experience.
  51. 30
    Being blunt, Kane and Lynch: Dead Men is a sickly mess of a game with the multitude of negatives undermining every positive.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. 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]
User Score
3.0

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 317 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 80
  2. Negative: 33 out of 80
  1. Jan 2, 2014
    1
    Playing this game made me cry. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. Why was this game even made. I having nothing to say about this game. I give it a 1 because some of its story was alright, and if the game was remade with normal controls, mechanics, physics, gameplay, online and this wasnt the most cliched thing ever, it would be sort-of playable. Full Review »
  2. Jun 25, 2013
    8
    The multiplayer is undoubtedly a failure and some of the gameplay is a little bit predictable, but "Kane And Lynch: Dead Men"s delightful co-op, engaging narrative, and interesting characters leave it at a fairly worthwhile level. Full Review »
  3. Jan 18, 2012
    7
    Yes this game does have it's share of issues. The aiming can be off at times. There were a few occasions where I had to restart a section because of a glitch. And lastly the cover system really does not work very well. Actually I found myself hoping I could turn off the cover system all together. However, this game is so gritty and stylish, I would play this over the commercialized games like Modern Warfare 3 any day. Yes, I said it. Full Review »