I find Kane & Lynch –franchise extremely interesting for various reasons, not the least of which is the well-carved and unique characters. As we all know, gaming industry suffers of so-called Matt Damon –syndrome, which means most of the (male) characters simply look too clean, generic, and healthy.
That been said, it came as a surprise how much the characters’ appearances had changed from Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (2008) to Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (2010), especially the Lynch –character. One would think that the developer would focus on the recognizable characters, considering how much the Kane & Lynch -franchise relays on them. And I’m not talking about only the shape of sunglasses, the clothes, or the facial hair, but the whole underlying facial features and bone-structure.
First Lynch looks unmistakably like a real bad ass, even without the beard and accessories. In contrast, the second Lynch from the sequel looks a little wimpy to such extent that it’s almost comical. Naturally, you don’t see Lynch stripped down like that in any point of the game, but still, the dissimilarity affects the overall look and feel of the character, there’s no question about it. And what makes it even weirder is that there’s no technical reason for not using the same geometry in both games, since they basically belong to the same generation, meaning the polycount is consequently similar in both models. In fact, geometry found in back of the heads including the ears are identical, so obviously the first Lynch -model has functioned as a basis for the second one, after all. Or they both just share the same proto-model.
Ok, there are franchises, such as James Bond, in which the actor, and thus the protagonist’s appearance, has changed multiple times over time, but there’s always been good reasons for it, say, aging, for one. But those issues are non-existent in the realm of real-time imagery, since geometry stays the same no matter how much time goes by.
Interestingly, another character-centric series Max Payne did use completely different characters in the first and second installments, which I really wondered at, back then. However, I recall writer Sam Lake saying that he just didn’t want to provide his face anymore, and wanted to give a change to a professional actor to do that. I really liked the original Sam Lake-Max, though.
So, choose a character and stick with it.