This is a game that I've followed with a lot of interest from the moment it was announced, not only because the first informations left the idea of a great game on the making, but also because it was made from the same guys behind the Hitman franchise and the hidden gem called Freedom Fighters. When it was finally released, most reviews were pretty harsh with it, not to mention all the Jeff Gerstmann scandal, but I just ignored all that and kept my interest in it, willing to try it out and see for myself whether if it's a misunderstood game or if it deserves all the critics.
I finally decided to do it after finishing Army of Two (more on that later), since I was already in the mood for 3rd-person, cooperative shooters, and I'm really glad I did it, for despite all its flaws, this is still a great game. The bad parts are not that bad, actually. For once many complained about the graphics, but honestly, not only I didn't find them offensive to my eyes, I actually liked the sober look and the lack of shiny special effects. In an era of advanced lighting systems that leave you blind at times, with reflections everyone, to the point were the quality of the textures are irrelevant since you just can't see them behind the curtain of light that stands before them, it was really refreshing to play a game were you can always see what's surrounding you without any shiny shit distracting your vision. Not only that, but there's also a lot of interactivity with the scenarios, not at the same level of Stranglehold but definitely a lot better than with almost every other game out there.
Also, the level design and art direction really make up for the lack of a photo-realistic graphics engine, so in the end the presentation is definitely one thing the game does right, at least in my book. For me the real flaws are the bugs, the limited IA of our buddies and the excessive difficulty of some parts. Other than that, what the game does it usually does good, and the sound of the guns is way better than in Army of Two, for example. Here you really feel like you're shooting guns instead of pea-shooters.
Talking about Ao2, both games are similar in the way that they're both 3rd-person games based on a duo of characters. The main difference is that here you some times have other allies that you can command besides your "fixed" partner (Lynch) and that the main characters are not exactly as friendly as Salem and Rios from Army of Two. It's quite the opposite, since they're forced to work together and they hate that. This takes me to the plot of the game, and let me tell you, the story was probably what kept me most motivated to finish the game, because it's one of those cases were you simply have to know what will happen next.
It's quite a solid story for an action-game, and it's pretty dramatic. From the start you know that in the end your character (Kane) is not supposed to survive, and although your actions later on will determine the ending of the game, from two possible situations, this involves choosing between which lives to save, and you simply can't save everyone... Also, the canon ending is, in my opinion, the sadder, which from the start sets the tone for the future sequel. Despite the dark tone, this is definitely a story that deserves to be told, and I can't wait for the sequel to see how it ends.
So, in the end, despite all the critics and negativism that surrounded Kane & Lynch, this is definitely a game worth playing. It may not be a Triple-A title at the same level of some Hitman games (Contracts sucked...) or the masterpiece called Freedom Fighters, but look at it as a rough diamond. It may look flawed, but in it's core this is a very solid game, with a really engaging plot, that deserves to be played by every action fan.