... I really don't. Perhaps this is gaming Marmite, and you're forced to one extreme or the other by it's yeasty-vileness?
However, as much as I hate Marmite, I found myself warming to Kane & Lynch.
The game's story revolves around the two eponymous characters - who form an unlikely partnership in a story of revenge, criminality, and gunplay. It's a familiar formula, but it's also one that works.
The story was award-nominated and has now been optioned for a film - as well it might, because that's what it's intending to replicate. From the start of the game to the very end you feel you're playing through HEAT, or some other slick action/crime movie. Rather than blasting from checkpoint to checkpoint you're on a real journey, as Kane & Lynch attempt to redeem themselves. From first to last it is guns and action.
Complaints have been made that the game is repetitive. Well, in shooting games you shoot - and in Kane & Lynch you shoot. The action in Kane & Lynch maintains a healthy pace, moving from gunfight to gunfight. Perhaps there could have been more diversity, but Kane & Lynch is attempting to work the gameplay around it's story - rather than stretching the story to match it's gameplay.
It does give you some glorious levels in which to work your trigger finger though - shooting through a nightclub in John Woo-fashion; rappelling down a Tokyo skyscraper for a gunfight in the boardroom; gunning your friends out of a prison...
Thematically - brilliant. Technically... well, ok.
Control is GTA-esque, 3rd person. The controls are simple enough and lend themselves well to the action. As with all 3rd person shooters, it suffers from being less precise than it's 1st person cousins, but not enough to compromise the gameplay.
The cover system is an enigma. Whilst dishing out the pain is easy, avoiding it can sometimes be complicated - by running up to objects your character will settle into cover automatically. Unlike GoW and GRAW this is a more subtle affair, and player movements will break you out of cover quickly.
The squad combat system is elementary at best; but, importantly, it does the job required of it. Attack; defend; follow - it was barely going to set the strategy world alive, but it does what's required in the middle of a firefight.
The graphics are well executed. Some of the immediate detail is missing, which other reviews have commented on - they're certainly not going to challenge the likes of Unreal Tournament 3 or Far Cry 2 - but they were never meant to. What they do, however, is give you a real sense of what the game is about; thematically, they work, blending well with the sound, dialogue and action. The overall sense is a 'this is good' rather than the graphics alone providing the wow factor.
The co-op play is the real gem, though does throw up the odd annoying moment. Online play is fun, and the achievements are a nice touch - they're a good spread, and offer some solid replayability, as opposed to "why can't I do it" headbanging.
I read the reviews and waited; and after playing it, I now think I wasted a lot of time that I could have spent playing this game - because it's a lot better than people would have you believe. Three and a half stars.