If you can make it out amid the din of gunfire, you'll hear the schizophrenic Lynch mumble to himself.
Kane & Lynch 2's Cloverfield-inspired shaky cam, now well documented, only tells half the story. It's not until you actually get to play the game for yourself that you realise this is the case.
The section I'm playing - level four - begins with Lynch on the phone to his girlfriend Xiu. He tells her they need to get out of Shanghai, they need to disappear. He wants to meet in a restaurant. Then we're in the restaurant. Lynch and Kane are eating noodles. You can tell things are going to kick off real soon. And so they do.
Immediately, there seems little to do but hug cover and hope for the best. Loads of cops storm the restaurant. Loads. And they're shooting the crap out of it. Bullet fire is relentless. There's shouting, screaming, shrapnel and all manner of madness spraying absolutely everywhere. Then, just as quickly, I realise that I have to move because my cover is disintegrating and I'm taking damage. So I move, hugging a fridge, popping out of cover every now and then to fire off some desperate shots in feeble retaliation.
Functionally, Kane & Lynch 2 plays like your average third-person shooter. You aim with the thumb stick, zoom in with the left trigger and shoot with the right. Reload and sprint are mapped to the bumpers. A, on the 360 pad, is your cover button (there wasn't one in the first game). X picks up weapons, canisters (which you can throw and auto shoot for extra boom), and kicks down doors. B is Human Shield, Y switches between the two weapons you have in your inventory, clicking in the left stick crouches, and clicking in the right stick switches the camera.
Kane & Lynch 2 is hard, and I'm playing it on the normal difficulty. Enemies aren't afraid to rush you down, and don't suffer from that silly whack-a-mole thing you see AI do so often in third-person cover-based games. Different enemy classes behave differently, too: crooks are ruthless, cops like cover, and SWAT teams, well, they're just double hard bastards. There's barely a moment to think, which, I imagine, is exactly what IO's going for. Really, you just focus on surviving and slowly taking down everyone in sight. The new Down but not Dead mechanic is incredibly useful - I am often downed, but thankfully most of the time I'm able to crawl into cover and get back up again.
The firefight is over quickly. Kane and Lynch agree they need to get out of the restaurant, and head towards a night-drenched ally. As they do, there's more killing. More violent, dark, shooty shooty bang bang. Outside, the environment is impressively detailed; neon lights, little bikes, record stores, 24 hour shops busting out Chinese pop songs, they're all there. People mill about, as you'd imagine, and yes, you can murder them in cold blood. And why not? The cops here in Shanghai do it, and it doesn't seem to bother them. Sometimes, a lonesome cop begs for mercy. "Don't shoot!" they scream. I ignore their pleas.
Eventually, the duo face off against a road block. Here, cars provide cover from the relentless spray of machine gun fire, but, as before, you can't stand still for long. The set piece feels like swimming upstream against a tide of bullets. Car to car to rubbish bin to car to that shop there until eventually everyone's dead, including unlucky locals. I'm constantly on the move, constantly in fear, and I die often. But reloading puts me back to a point just before my unfortunate deaths, so I don't feel frustrated.