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View Full Version : Article: Bittersweet look back at 'Dead Men'



Unpaid Intern
12th Dec 2009, 02:42
Interesting article about Dead Men:

http://www.destructoid.com/revisited-kane-lynch-the-best-game-that-ever-sucked-157594.phtml

Pretty well-written and objective article but I strongly disagree with this bit:

"In some ways, it makes the game even less forgivable than a game that was never intended to be good in the first place. A game with wasted potential is worse than a game that never had any potential to begin with."

IMO, making an earnest effort and taking chances is worth 100x more than pumping out uninspired, derivative crap...

Kent-45
12th Dec 2009, 04:00
Kane and Lynch are never redeemable. They are killers. Even Kane, who is relatively sane in comparison to Lynch, is a sociopathic murderer and a selfish coward who uses other people for his own ends and only cares about his family -- if he even truly cares about them more than he cares about his own residual guilt. Kane's only saving grace is that he knows he deserves to die, and has at least come to terms with the fact that he's a worthless and vile piece of ****. Lynch, in several ways, is both better and worse than Kane. Better insofar as he's insane and the majority of his murders are committed due to hallucinations. Worse insofar as even when he is relatively stable and reasonable, he still refuses to accept responsibility for his actions and possibly hides behind his mental illness to escape any sense of remorse.

This is completely wrong. Kane is the only character in the game that has any shred of "higher" motives. Look at every character in this game, and then look at their motivations. Retomoto is driven by money, The7 wants their money, Lynch wants prestige, all the mercenaries want money. What's the theme here? Money.

What does Kane want? He wants something *higher* than money. It's this simple fact alone that makes Kane the most redeemable person in this game. Kane is a traitor and a coward? Kane spends the entire game arguing that he's NOT a traitor, and that he thought they were dead.

This story tactic of "doubt" is used heavily. Lynch's wife's murder COULD have been framed. Kane COULD have left them to burn. How do we know the truth? Well... let's look at Kane's behavior. There is an underlying sense of compassion in the way Kane deals with people. When he approaches Yoko, he tries to be diplomatic. He's always very diplomatic. He tries to be diplomatic with Retomoto. The7 are shown over and over to be twisted, ruthless, and evil compared to Kane in every way. They are the types that would take a family hostage. The kind that would "Cut you up right now."

Kane is perfectly redeemable... but not in your traditional anti-hero way. He's redeemable because his motives are not driven by greed. He's the only character in this game that has any sort of grip on what it means to care about something other than money, greed, or power.

This article is wrong in so many ways. I don't have the energy to list them all.

vaspas803
12th Dec 2009, 05:34
This is completely wrong. Kane is the only character in the game that has any shred of "higher" motives. Look at every character in this game, and then look at their motivations. Retomoto is driven by money, The7 wants their money, Lynch wants prestige, all the mercenaries want money. What's the theme here? Money.

What does Kane want? He wants something *higher* than money. It's this simple fact alone that makes Kane the most redeemable person in this game. Kane is a traitor and a coward? Kane spends the entire game arguing that he's NOT a traitor, and that he thought they were dead.

This story tactic of "doubt" is used heavily. Lynch's wife's murder COULD have been framed. Kane COULD have left them to burn. How do we know the truth? Well... let's look at Kane's behavior. There is an underlying sense of compassion in the way Kane deals with people. When he approaches Yoko, he tries to be diplomatic. He's always very diplomatic. He tries to be diplomatic with Retomoto. The7 are shown over and over to be twisted, ruthless, and evil compared to Kane in every way. They are the types that would take a family hostage. The kind that would "Cut you up right now."

Kane is perfectly redeemable... but not in your traditional anti-hero way. He's redeemable because his motives are not driven by greed. He's the only character in this game that has any sort of grip on what it means to care about something other than money, greed, or power.

This article is wrong in so many ways. I don't have the energy to list them all.

perfectly said Kent, i agree with you 100% Yes, Kane's morals may be somewhat crooked but you are still able to salvage a decent man from the ashes. That's what makes him so interesting, the fact that he did all these things yet he did them all for a higher purpose like you stated. He just loves his daughter.

Kent-45
12th Dec 2009, 06:11
People always seem to "sympathize" with Lynch, and I understand that... people see him as some sort of victim. Some sort of outsider that doesn't really belong in this big mess of mercenaries (Kane included) that make their livings the way they do.

Lynch wasn't a part of this from the beginning, so we empathize with him. I don't agree with the author of this article saying that we empathize with Lynch because his hallucinations make him less responsible for his actions, and that he's hiding behind his mental illness.

If anything, Lynch is neglectful of his illness... he doesn't realize what power it has over him... and as such, he doesn't give it the seriousness that it requires. He's routinely running out of pills, and pulling all sorts of crazy ****. If he full understood what his episodes did to him, he'd be damn sure to take those pills on time every time.... but he doesn't...

I empathize more with Kane in a fundamental way because Kane is, in many ways, a sort of primal force. He's an old dog. He's been doing things a certain way for a long time, and it's clear that he can't really integrate into society. Instead of blending in with society's norms, Kane seems to plow through life.... not out of spite, or wanting to hurt people... but almost because he simply doesn't know how else to do things.

A perfect example would be ... when all you have is a hammer, all your problems start to look like nails. Well all Kane has is an assault rifle, and as such, all his problems just look like targets. Kane's skillset in terms of living a normal life is limited, and one could argue that it's limited because of the mercenary life that he has lived. I don't think this removes the responsibility for his actions, but I think it doesn't give you some sort of insight into why Kane does what he does.

The things I've noticed about Kane are that his motivations usually fall into 2 categories... inflicting violence for business, and inflicting violence for revenge. Kane has no interest in hurting innocent people, and this is proven by his shock when Lynch begins shooting hostages in the bank. Don't confuse that with compassion though... Kane doesn't care if every single one of those hostages die, it makes no difference to him, but in Kane's world... you just don't kill innocent people. It's bad business, and it's unprofessional.

Yes... the game beats us over the head with this concept that Kane is a "traitor" ... his merc pals are always calling him a traitor. His daughter calls him a traitor. Lynch is constantly hurling traitor-talk in Kane's direction. However if you look at Kane's actual behavior in the game, it just doesn't add up. Kane gives us no reason that he would lie to us, and when he says "I thought they were dead" ... are we not to believe him? I think the problem is that a lot of us don't want to believe that it's really that simple. Kane thought these guys were dead and he ditched em. I think any normal person would do the same in that situation. Kane just really lucked out in that they weren't actually dead.

GrievousOdyssey
12th Dec 2009, 09:34
I 'sympathise' with Lynch because i see a lot of him in me (for example when they reach the jungle , Kane will calmly ask Lynch "That potion i made for you ,is it working ?", Lynch who was out of pills for a long time ,and saw through his own eyes the countless massacres they lived through ,would then calmly reply "Not really , it just makes me care less" ... it's long to explain but i just see myself capable of saying that)...
But anywya that's just me ,so i won't go to deep into that ...

As for Kane ...
I already said it once ,but it's worth saying it again ...
The question is not "is he redeemable ?" but rather "does he Deserve to be redeemed ?"...

Alright fine he didn't do all this for thrill or money ,he doesn't know how else to solve his problems ,but are we allowed to actually feel sorry for him ?...
Of all this wild bunch of murderers ,Kane is probably the 'saintest' of the group ,but is that enough ?...

And will society even notice that or just put him with the rest ?...

Kent-45
12th Dec 2009, 16:19
I don't think it's a matter of do they deserve redemption... they both hypothetically deserve it... but like some sort of gem far out of their reach, they (with their respective skillsets in life) are unable to grab it. I think redemption will always be just out of reach for these guys.

People don't like that though. People have this ordered sense of justice in the universe when they play games. (To quote Way of the Gun) "There is a natural order. The way things are meant to be. An order that says that the good guys always win..." - That's what the game is trying to say. In fantasy, Kane would fight through everything... save his daughter and family, and live happily ever after grilling hotdogs and living the american life... but that's not the real world. In the real world you drag your ass through unimaginable ****, only to have your daughter shot at the last minute.

That's why people don't like this game, because it examines the senseless and hopeless nature of the universe. The concept that you can do everything right and still fail at your quest.

GrievousOdyssey
12th Dec 2009, 16:32
Well aren't you a optimistic person ...
" That's why people don't like this game, because it examines the senseless and hopeless nature of the universe. " ...
Are you sure people even 'realized' that ? ...

dark_angel_7
12th Dec 2009, 17:34
I enjoyed reading the article so thanks. But I still think the writer exaggerated on the "poor" quality of the game. DM was more average and disappointing rather than poor and disappointing.

Unpaid Intern
12th Dec 2009, 22:37
I enjoyed reading the article so thanks. But I still think the writer exaggerated on the "poor" quality of the game. DM was more average and disappointing rather than poor and disappointing.

I agree, and there were a few other things like this in the article. One of the nice things about K&L is that the story and characters are presented to us from several different points of view; The 7s, Kane's, Lynch's.. and much of it is open to interpretation. What I think is commendable about the article is that regardless of his personal interpretation, the writer recognized what a unique and ballsy concept K&L is. And, he was able to do this even though he thought the gameplay was poor.

GrievousOdyssey
12th Dec 2009, 22:51
Yes ... and it took him two years to figure that out ...

Don't get me wrong , it's nice to see that there's hope in humanity when it comes to recognizing 'art' ...

But at this 'break neck' speed ...
It's not good enough ...