The month of July has arrived. Okay, I know it’s almost halfway over, but sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. Ugh.
I was thinking of renaming it to Games with Gore, though, as Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days has you playing the role of criminal and greatly reducing the numbers of breathing policemen and hired goons. Kane and Lynch 2 is available for free until July 15th.
Grow Up is the second game that’s free from July 1st and is available the whole month until July 31st.
Available July 01 – July 31
Grow Up is the inevitable sequel to the popular Grow Home, rather than a game about an adult man being irresponsible (which I initially thought it was). Just me? Oh. Well...It’s an open world adventure platforming game where the emphasis is on exploration, progression, and experimentation.
The adventure begins with your character, B.U.D, crashing his ship into a moon. Really, B.U.D? All that space and you had to crash into that? What’s worse is the things that make your ship fly are now scattered all over the nearby planet, and if you ever want to get back to your old job, you’re going to have to collect them all!
In Grow Up, much the time you’ll be climbing the world and collecting objects you might need to further this goal, and it can be a lot of fun doing so.
One of the cool, new things you can do is to scan and replicate the various plants on the planet and effectively make your own platforms. There isn’t really a need to do this as you can get to most places via existing flora but it’s still pretty fun to mess about with.
You’ll find and use items to help you traverse the landscape like the glider which lets you, erm… glide from island to island, and the bumblebee suit which allows you to fly ungracefully while wearing an unbecoming bee suit.
It’s gratifying to just fly around and explore the world that way, like driving around for fun in GTA V and that adds to its longevity.
There’s something to be said for surveying the world from the heights of a star tree before diving off and flying around like some deranged lunatic.
Available July 01 – July 15
If I’d have to explain Kane & Lynch 2 to a very impatient friend, I’d describe it as a gritty action movie with a pair of anti-heroes leaving a couple of cemeteries’ worth of corpses in their wake.
It’s a shooter with an over-the-shoulder perspective with a dark and fairly compelling story that serves well as your motivation to kill every sumbitch that comes against you.
Set in Shanghai, you’ll get to fight your way through its crowded streets, intermixed with a few quiet instances before the cops realize where you’ve gone. You’ll fight firstly for survival, then for revenge, which will take you to ever more dangerous areas, including airports and high-rise buildings.
You’ll use cars, pillars, walls, tables, and whatever else you can find as cover, and you’ll sometimes have to plan your attack rather than just blindly charging through, especially if there’s a sniper.
The best experience to be had is playing the game as a co-op split screen, cackling gleefully with your partner as you mow down enemies, barely survive ambushes and pick up a new deadly weapon.
The actual combat can take a little getting used to. I didn’t feel comfortable with the controls for a while, and I’d played a lot of Call of Duty in all its forms, as well as Gears of War. Once you’ve worked out how to move and shoot like a normal human being, though, the game is worth playing at least until the conclusion.
Kane and Lynch 2 is a linear game that relies on the story to keep you going, and I enjoyed it for that reason. It could be described as an “on the rails shooter,” and that term is often used in a derogatory way, but games often work well with a linear mindset, especially when you enjoy the story as much as I did with Kane and Lynch 2’s.
Seeing as you can now own it for free, if you like shoot ‘em ups at all, I’d definitely check this game out.