Loitering

Backstabba?!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 | 01:26 PM | by

I'm looking forward to Kane and Lynch 2, more so now that I've seen evidence that the Fragile Alliance multiplayer is making a return.

Kane and Lynch wasn't a perfect game, and after the whole Gamespot fiasco it got a lot of undue negative attention from people who'd never even played it. However, three years after its release, when I think back, all of its flaws are blurred by a distinct memory of how much fun I had with the game.

I cannot attest to problems or frustrations playing the campaign solo. I can however say that playing the whole game through on co-op was a good time that outweighed the relatively minor annoyances, and I'm looking forward to doing that again.

The star of the game, for me anyway, was the Fragile Alliance multiplayer mode. If you havn't heard of it, here's the premise: Everyone starts on the same team (the criminals), and you're tasked with robbing a bank, a diner, a jewelry store, whatever. You storm the location, fight off NPC guards and gather as much loot as you can. You then need to proceed to the getaway car to make your escape with your hard-earned loot. More loot moves you up the leader board, and lets you purchase better guns and vests for the following missions.

The twist is player greed. At any point you can murder your teammates and take their share of the loot. The fewer people to divide loot between, the larger your cut. However, betraying your team marks you as a traitor, and fellow teammates now get extra money for taking you out. It's dangerous to betray your team, but if you're good, it can pay off in spades.

To add further twist to the game, if you die during the heist, you respawn as a police officer/security guard, tasked with bringing down your former teammates. This offers some great opportunities at revenge against the player that backstabbed you, as well as makes the game far more interesting for the escaping criminals, now that there are human opponents amongst the AI police.

When I'd first read about the game type, I'd hoped that the game would unveil the full spectrum of human depravity, as people fought to resist the urge to betray their teammates for the chance at more loot. I wasn't disappointed. While there was the very rare douchebag who came in to just shoot at everyone, 95% of the games were a very fun and tense experience, not knowing if your teammates this time would betray you, and if so, who/when it would be. I played games where everyone worked together and made it out alive. I played games where it was down to two crooks shooting it out with each other trying to be the only one to make it to the getaway car. And I played everything in between.

I loved it, despite some of the weird errors with connecting to/hosting games that I'm not sure ever got patched. It's not the kind of multiplayer that will be the next Gears of War or Halo 3 at the top of the XBL charts, but it was an incredibly unique and fun experience. I'm looking forward to playing it again, hopefully this time with some problem fixes.