Why Kane and Lynch 2 is my game of the year

IO Interactive’s Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days is said to be one of the worst, if not then the worst game of the year. Gaming media alike have called it to shame, and that IO Interactive are a corpse of something that once resembled stealth perfection. I stand with these men, these executioners, and a tear befalls my left cheek. The guillotine rips open the corpse, and the head of IO pops off the neck. It falls on to the floor and rolls around, leaving a trail of crimson behind it. It reaches the cheering crowd, and one little boy picks it up and looks into its deathly eyes. A moment of emotion halts the room as we all look at the child looking deeper into the windows of IO’s soul, it’s as if the world has suddenly stopped.

The ever sexy Jim Sterling gave the game a 1.0 out 10, saying that Dog Days does a damn good job at making Dead Men look good.

I have to agree.

But yet the title beckons a question, why in the name of fuck have you given a game of such ill-regard such a massive regard? Why, above every game and every indie triumph do you reward the most sickened effort and the most vile creature to spill out of IO’s corpse?

Because, I want to change game of the year.

Quality, schmality, game of the year doesn’t have to mean the best of the best.

It’s in our blood to be astounded by beauty, by quality, of an experience. I’ve felt my life this year has been enriched by the likes of New Vegas and Mass Effect 2, and for that you always owe games like that something back. A part of you beckons them with a simple reward, that everyone has a label for, a label of supreme quality. That’s why I’ve separated my end of the year awards into both quality and importance, and this ‘game of the year’ award is simply the one I will remember. Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days gets the award not because it’s so good but because it’s so bad.

I had nil point fun with this game, nothing. No little substance or trace of forgiveness is in my body resonates with this game. If this game was a human being, I would have it decapitated and installed in bathrooms across the world. People would be able to just waddle over to it, and just gush their liquids all down it. That’s what Dog Days deserves.

It’s very, very important in the world of today

What do you see around you, in gaming industry terms? If you had to describe it in one word? Generic. Every first-person shooter on the market, every third-person shooter on the market and even most games ever all have the same core mechanic. Shooting people in the face. I am sick to death of just this repetitive motion that swings and swings without any resonance, without any care of commitment that the likes of Mass Effect 2 or New Vegas or Far Cry 2 have done with the age-old bullets. Is this all we’re capable of? To echo Anthony Burch (who?) what does it say about the industry when Bioshock, one of our most treasured games, is still (at the end of the day) about finding inventive ways to kill people.

This is also why 2010 is my most favourite year of gaming ever… ever. The big giant mainstream is crumbling before my eyes, with the worst (Kane and Lynch 2) just showing how bad of a point it’s reached. This giant big turd of a market is now looking like exactly that compared to the indie gaming market. Minecraft, Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV, Give Up Robot 2, Sleep is Death, ilomilo and hordes of others have all shown the power of indie gaming. 2010 truly was the year that indie gaming finally hit the stride, with a punch with delivery enough to show people how damn awesome video-games can be. Guess what all the above games have in common? Or what do they not have in common with mainstream titles?

They don’t want you to shoot people.

So, it’s a signal… init.

Yes.

Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days is in my books one of the important games of the year. Not in terms of cultural advancement but in terms of general creative advancement. It’s my game of the year because if you compare it to the likes of indie gaming, then you see this giant gap of dissonance, this giant gap of quality, that just shows everybody how damn awesome and how damn horrible video-games can be. Without Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days then the industry would probably be the same in the next ten years, but now reflected against the indie game scene of 2010, I can truly say that Dog Days needs to be remembered for bringing the industry finally to its knees.

This was more than needed now than ever before. A year ago, a indie ‘hit’ such as Braid was outsold by Modern Warfare 2 around 1:50. But now a game like Minecraft can reach 700,000 sales with nill advertising or marketing on the same level.

Celebrate good times, come on, let’s celebrate… yeaaaah

We need to celebrate quality, it’s what keeps us sane. It’s what leads to giant discussions about what we did in Mass Effect 2 or New Vegas – both of which I think showed violence not as an empowering device but as a device of connection between experience/player. Why don’t we celebrate in-quality? It’s not even a word, because it’s not needed when describing anything, but we’re describing the polar opposite of what people generally think when ‘game of the year’ comes up on big neon screens.

Why don’t we start celebrating not only importance and quality, but the abstract reflections of those things. I combined them both and called it ‘game of the year’, Kane and Lynch 2 Dog Days is mine. Know it, preach it, belieber it.

Baaah, baaah, y’all be sheeple ya peeple

Knock knock

Who’s there?

Game of the year

Game of the year, who?

Game of the year that everybody else is saying.

It doesn’t belong to you, you know. What IGN, Destructoid or whatever call game of the year or define as just that is… wrong. It’s what you think, and you shouldn’t play by their rules. Don’t play by my rules, go with your hearts and argue against me. Destroy my feelings, tell me I’m a bad person and that I deserve to rot in retro hell. I don’t give a damn, I’m not a sheep clawing at the same dictionary definition that game of the year means quality. It doesn’t and it shouldn’t, it should be whatever you want it to be. Mine just so happens to be considered the worst game of the year, but believe me, I was once like you. I once held Uncharted 2 over my head and called it the best game, but best doesn’t mean best. You’re not saying what the ‘best game’ is actually best at.

Homeskillet, respect y’all, but you be in the wrong.

I love every single one of you, I truly do. Every one of my readers goes along with my words and either nods in agreement, debates with me via email, comments childishly or doesn’t do anything. Each and every one of you is living through a time in which the very fabric of the gaming world is changing. The honesty of game journalists, the quality of video-games, mainstream versus indie and other issues. May I had that tens of millions of gamers have never heard of indie gaming until this year, and finally we’ve taken our steps to the ultimate artistic liberty of this industry.

Dog Days is my game of the year. Not because it’s the ‘best shooter’ or the ‘most enjoyable’ or the ‘well good designed init’, but because it strikes a common chord with me. I’m looking not for innovation or for enrichment or for anything, I’m looking for video-games, something else entirely. Dog Days is a mirror, showing me the full nude body of video-games. The indie scene, the fantastic enrichment; think of it as playing a game and gaining an introspective. That itself is exactly the raw power of video-games, that no other medium possesses. Dog Days gets my game of the year for simply showing me what a quality year we’ve had, and no other game than the worst game could have done that.

Jim Sterling eat your heart out.

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