We asked you what you wanted to know about Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. You gave us some questions. We asked director Karsten Lund to answer them at a London event just before Christmas. Find the result after the link.
That was easy, wasn’t it? Get a bunch of new, grimy, bald, Shanghai-based, shotgun-touting screens here.
VG247: OK. I’m going to ask you some questions from our community. So some of these might be quite rude.
Karsten Lund: Interesting. Let’s see if I can answer them. If I will answer them.
Is it a free-roaming game?
So it’s linear?
It’s linear and story-driven, but it does have multiple paths throughout the levels. There are various ways of completing the different accounts.
And you can play as both Kane & Lynch, right?
In co-op, of course, but if you play the single-player campaign you only play as Lynch.
OK. Is the whole game in one city? Is it all in Shanghai?
Are there any dogs in the missions?
Lots of dogs?
Not lots of dogs, but there are dogs.
Which ending from the original game is used as the basis for the sequel?
You can choose.
You can choose? So it’s got different starts?
This game is kind of detached from the first game. So whether Kane saves his buddies or not, he’d still be in this scenario. So it doesn’t really matter.
How have you managed to differentiate your third-person cover combat from other titles on the market? There are a lot of them, obviously.
That’s true, there are a lot of them. I think in some ways we don’t, because it’s fine. And in other ways… The down-and-dead feature really latches onto the whole cover mechanic, and gives it a new dynamic feel. You not only stay in cover, you have to crawl into cover to get back up, to use cover in a different way. We have a lot of breakable cover, so you have to figure out which should be taken and which shouldn’t be taken.
Can you just explain that down-and-dead mechanic?
Yep. While you’re in combat, instead of having this one-shot kill situations that are really annoying, you get a second chance. Going down-and-dead when you get that bullet impact, you get a choice. The camera will turn to the guy who downed you, and you’ll get a chance at shooting him, or you’ll need to crawl into cover and get back up.
So, a little bit like Left 4 Dead?
Yeah, but I don’t think you can move in that, right?
In this you can crawl away from the whole thing and move around on the ground.
Will you have to command troops again?
No. We made a conscious decision of trying to go for a more intense in-your-face shooter experience than tactical elements.
Will it be more crime-caper focused than the original?
What games have influenced you between Kane & Lynch 1 and 2?
A lot of games, I think. From a mechanics perspective, everything from Call of Duty to Uncharted. Even Gears of War, and stuff like that, that gives us that intense feeling. But we needed to give it a different twist, so the whole urbanising and the new aesthetics put is somewhere where it’s not of these; it’s its own. We look at all sorts of games. We play a lot of games.
Obviously, the “YouTube” style of it is probably your big differentiator. When did you decide that you needed to separate it visually from the competition?
Very early, I think. Something that always interests me is to see how far you can go with credibility and realism, and see if there’s a different way of doing it that what other people are doing. Photo-realism is what people are trying to achieve, and they’re doing it with texture resolution and photo-textures and stuff like that, and I don’t think that that’s actually what you need to do. I think there are lots of other ways of exploring this, and we’re proving it here. You don’t have to be photo-realistic to be real, to be perceived as real.
How much focus has gone on multiplayer this time round, and how many modes are in the game?
There are a lot of game modes, but I’m not going into how many this time around. We do multiplayer and the eight-player co-op turning into a versus. We also have online co-op. But we have many more modes. There was a lot of focus on multiplayer. There are a lot of new mechanics that we’re not showing you yet; they work in multiplayer as well to create a unique multiplayer experience. We’re going to do a separate launch for multiplayer, because it’s pretty huge.
Is there offline co-op in it?
That’s good, apparently.
It is. Because then you can play with a friend on the couch.
OK, this is a slightly rude one. The first game didn’t do so well in reviews and sales. Do you think this’ll affect people’s views on Kane & Lynch 2?
What makes you think it didn’t do well in sales? I would like to know that.
I don’t know. Ask him.
It’s not true. It didn’t do well in reviews, but it did very well in sales.
How many did it sell?
I think we did 1.7 million.
That’s pretty good for a first shot on a franchise, so it makes a lot of sense for us to do a sequel. And I think people will want to check it out before they buy it, and they should be my guests.
What platforms are you doing? Are you doing a PC version?
So PC, 360 and PS3?
Is Kane & Lynch going to be a long-running series?
The Kane & Lynch franchise?
I hope so.
It hinges on how well this sells, obviously.
It always does, right? But I definitely think there’s room for more in this. I don’t think we’ve seen the last.
Why are you doing Kane & Lynch 2 and not doing another Freedom Fighters?
[laughs] No comment. We get that a lot.
Going back to the visual style, do you think your competition are going to be surprised by your direction?
I sincerely hope so. I think some of them are. Our goal is to push the boundaries a little bit. And I think the world needs that. Everybody’s playing it very safe these days, and I don’t think you have to. As long as you’ve got a good experience going on, and I think we do, I think we need to try and do something new.
Has working with Square Enix given you the freedom you need to do that?
I don’t see any change in the freedom we have at all.
Has there been any change in terms of working with Square?
I couldn’t tell you anything about that. Our focus at IO Interactive is to create new franchises and good experiences for gamers to enjoy, and that’s what we’ll continue to do no matter what.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days releases for PC, PS3 and 360 this year.