Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days depicts transition, poverty, and the marginalized. In an interview within Heterotopias conducted by Martin and the game’s art director Rasmus Poulsen, the latter underlines an interest in showing unseen parts of the city such as alleyways and corridors lined with trash. Dog Days is a game about the ugly infrastructure of a modern city. Poulsen calls it “a love letter to the leftovers,” channeling players through liminal spaces like a partially renovated airport and a skyscraper construction site where half of a building is there and the other half is non-existent. Even beyond the trash and the back alleyways, the game explores the human beings who are similarly discarded and concealed on the margins of society. By routing the player through overcrowded tenement buildings and dingy sweatshops, Dog Days also allegorizes the effects of late global capitalism on human bodies. The mangled flesh of Kane and Lynch as well as the numerous non-player characters encountered in the peripheries reflects the bodies spit out in non-Western, economically developing regions of the Global South. Bodies are shown among the detritus of Shanghai’s alleyways and enclosed in the towering architecture. For the game, the city is not a gleaming destination but a suffocating site of oppression that must be escaped.
Read the full column at Haywire Magazine.