I didn’t play the first game, mostly down to almost overwhelming negative reviews, despite the fact I actually liked the look of it. I chose to make up for this by buying the sequel, a game that has been received marginally better than its predecessor, but still is blighted by very negative reviews. Which is a shame, because this is an enjoyable, somewhat simplistic but thoroughly engaging shooter, with two shouting, sweary leads that seem to have come out of any half-decent crime thriller of the last twenty or so years.
The gameplay consists of run and gun action, taking cover behind scenery / vehicles, killing the enemy and trying to get from point A to point B without dying. A little depth is thrown in with the ability to flank your enemy by taking alternative routes through a level, but mostly it’s aim at enemy and shoot. I understand the criticism that it’s repetitive, but I don’t really mind as the gunplay is solid, the level design eye-catching enough (its set in Shanghai, so expect lots of Neon, grimy market towns and office buildings), and the story serves its purposes, to make the action feel intense and life-threatening.
What immediatly jumps out is the documentary-style camera perspective, as if it’s hand held, and the grainy filters and blurring give it that old Super-8 look like a 70s cop show. Also for added effect, violence is blurred out, which doesn’t take away from the adult nature of the game, instead hammering home its realism all the more. Just try gunning a bad guy down then stepping over his body to notice his face is all blurred out – and not shudder. Your imagination of whats left of him does the rest.
The game also comes with several multi-player modes, that borrow heavily from Grand Theft Auto IV, and also online Co-Op for the story mode. Some have said the single player is short lived, but this is a game that was born to be played on at least Hard difficulty for that extra bit of intensity, and so it should last you a few nights at least. Multiplayer should then fill in the rest of your money’s worth, especially if like me, you get it at a reduced price.
Again, a game that is a lot better than the critics will have you believe.