As an experienced player of KNL, I've had a lot of time over the years to compare the two online experiences, and this is what I've found.

First of all, I'm an avid FA player, I don't have any crew that I run with consistently. I've always preferred to run alone in this game.

Anyone who plays this game online consistently for 360 knows that the KNL community is a small one, and is tightly knit. Everyone pretty much knows everyone to some degree. Because of this, many people become friends and form alliances. It's also well known that these groups of people have understandings, even if they aren't the best of friends, to not shoot each other in certain situations, and to instead, band together to take out anyone in the room who is either unknown to them, or those who they have problems with.

Because of my personal style of gameplay, I'm not on good terms with most of these groups of people, and constantly find myself in situations where I'm in a game with anywhere from 2-7 people that have a mutual understanding to try to all shoot at me at once... Which is fine! However, being CONSTANTLY in that receiving end of concentrated gunfire and team work, has helped me to see major differences in gameplay experience between 1-2.

So my comparison will be based off of my point of view, and how the gameplay differences affect a player like me.

I'll start with KNL1.

In KNL1, I was being "jumped" on a much higher scale than on KNL2. However, many things about the set up of the game itself made it easier for someone who rides alone to come out on top more often.

The aiming reticle for hipfire shooting was a small dot centered in the screen, and your bullet trajectory went exactly where that dot was. This caused you to have to be very precise with your shots.

Not only that, but the recoil on any of the guns available was high, so consistent uncontrolled fire in shoot outs could cause your aim to be thrown off completely. You had to be disciplined with your shots, and, while shooting in long segments, you had to slightly pull the right stick down to control recoil. This made it so that those who were good at controlling the recoil, with good aim, were able to take out players with just a couple bullets, shooting from the hip, at long ranges. And on the flip side, players who were not very accurate and had trouble controlling the recoil found shooting from the hip more difficult than others. I think that set up is genius.

There were no such things as yellow cards, so if you killed someone, even if they hurt you first, you became a traitor. That was fine for me, because even if you died as a traitor, you respawned as a cop. I was able to take on groups of people at once, by myself, without caring about becoming a traitor, because I had a chance to finish off remaining enemies as a cop.

There was NO auto-aim in KNL1 FA, the physics of the game caused bullets to hit where they were aimed, nothing more, nothing less. This was good for me because, even with five people shooting me at once, the fact they couldn't control their recoil, weren't precise, and had no auto aim support, made it so I could easily dodge their bullets and take them out systematically.

Two head shots from any gun caused death, which made it a lot easier for me to handle groups. I could kill 3 people shooting at me simultaneously within seconds with some good aim and footwork.

The fact that money worked as a shield helped a lot when you're one person being jumped by three respawned cops that you just laid down as mercs.

The capability of body armor also made being a one man team much easier.

When shooting it out with other players, bullets that hit you did not cause your character to slow down in running speed, making it easier to run to cover when being shot at by multiple people, as well as dodging bullets to take on more than one person at once.

Killing did not have to wait until loot was touched, making it easier to dispatch enemies early in the round.

Getaway vans were much easier to explode, even possible by one person with enough time, making it easier for someone who got jumped and respawned as a cop to stop the group from escaping.

Spawn points were more protected for cops, and much further away from the Merc's reach than KNL2, there was also a much longer invulnerable period in KNL1, making spawn killing a cop harder.

And with KNL2...

Dying as a traitor causes you to be unable to spawn as a cop. If you know you're getting jumped, you can't become a traitor without high risk of the other mercs finishing you while you're hurt, and putting you into spectator mode until the next round. This makes it so that the best course of action in that situation is to wait for a yellow card, then kill the person who yellow carded you without becoming a traitor.

But there's the problem! Because when shot in KNL2, your character loses speed. So even if you wait for a yellow card, first of all, you have to be damaged enough for someone to yellow card you in the first place, which practically places a health handicap on you from the start of the shoot out. Not only that, but because you are slowed down from being shot, many times the other players jumping you won't open fire completely on you until you're slowed down in your movement, making it that much harder to retaliate. This makes running to cover difficult, a well as juking bullets.

If that's not bad enough, because you're able to be downed in KNL2, when multiple people shoot you, percentage chances of being knocked down are high, and once you're down with even 2 people shooting you at once, it's hard to bounce back, because even when you get up, you're likely to have your
movement slowed down by bullets from the attackers trying to finish you, making it difficult to recover or even find cover.

Okay, now check this out. It's obvious at this point that on KNL2, when being jumped, becoming a traitor isn't the best course of action.

Lets say I'm getting jumped by four
people, which is common for me. They all shoot at me when we touch the money, and I kill one off from a yellow card, and he becomes a cop. Since I'm hurt, someone shooting me from behind finishes me, becomes a traitor, now I'm a cop. So now, the person who I killed off a yellow card is now a cop, and they follow me around shooting me wherever I go. This causes my characters movement to be slowed, and for my name to be shown to any mercs in game, even traitors.

Pause right there. This was not possible in KNL1, why the hell can a fellow cop slow me down with gunfire?! Why should my name be shown to enemies when shot by a fellow cop?! Huge flaw in design, making it difficult for the lone player.

I've also had players who are cops follow me around with a gas canister in their hand, so that surviving mercs can shoot the can, killing us both. Another flaw, IMO.

Get this, I've even been in situations where I'm shooting it out with a merc, while being shot in my back by a fellow respawned cop trying help the merc. On more than one occasion, this has happened: I sustain damage from the merc and I'm hurt, but am on the verge of finishing him, and the COP'S gunfire downs me!!! I know this because when you are downed by an enemy, you face the enemy that downed you. I'm shooting it out with a merc, get dropped by the cop, and do a full 360 to face the cop that shot me, then killed by the merc i almost killed. This, to me, is a terrible glitch in this games mechanics, and it's happened to me a lot. A cop should not be able to down another cop if there's no friendly fire, it's ridiculous.

Also, the introduction of grabbing another merc makes it that much easier for the group jumping you. If its hard to recover from someone grabbing you, and dropping you on the floor, it's near impossible to bounce back and kill the one who grabbed you when you have thee other people shooting you while you're down.

My biggest issue isn't any of these things, however. For me, the thing that seals the deal is the auto aim factor. I've found that hip fire shooting in this game is most accurate when two mercs are not traitors shooting it out. It seems there's no auto aim involved in that. However, when one becomes a traitor, auto aim is extremely high. I've done tests with friends where I literally center my screen at the floor, and there's a traitor in my peripheral vision, and the hit markers show on the traitor rather than my bullets going to the floor, where I'm aiming! Auto aim is also engaged when a merc is fighting a respawned cop, but doesn't seem to be as high as a traitors auto aim.

I've found that the bullet path isn't decided by a players aiming ability, but rather whether they are a merc shooting with a merc, a traitor versus a merc or cop, or a merc versus a cop. THAT IS NOT SKILL BASED.

Think about it like this. I've done a test where I was a traitor, and my friend was a cop. I downed him, and shooting from the hip, centering my aim directly at his head, the hit marker showed on his chest when shot. Aimed at his feet, hit marker on his chest. The only way I was able to head shot him in that position was aiming down the sights.

For me, this makes things difficult. This means with auto aim, if I'm a cop, someone doesn't have to line up a small dot on my head and control recoil anymore to kill me. They just have to shoot in my general direction and the bullets will hit. I prefer the physics of the game to be solely reliant on the exact aiming of the player, not some auto aim system that is unbalanced based on your current status in the game.

It's even more difficult while being jumped. You become a traitor, you die, can't respawn. You don't become a traitor, you get hurt before even having a chance to kill the yellow card, or have the possibility of getting grabbed or killed before being able to finish the yellow card. If you do manage to kill him before you die, you have him constantly slowing down your movement and acting as a cheer leading suicide bomber. Then, when you do run into the mercs, the auto aim makes it much easier for them to take you out, because they don't have to be extremely accurate to land bullets on you. If they hit you enough, you fall down, then you're really done.

In KNL1, these were all elements that didn't exist. Things seemed much more balanced in that sense. As your precise aiming and leading people into bullets is what decided the outcome of a shoot out.

I don't think it was intentional, but it seems KNL2 has a gameplay that is BETTER suited for groups of friends trying to control the lobby, and much harder for the person that's by them self.

Even so, with all these factors, I'm a person that likes to defy odds! Ill continue to play KNL2 with no excuses, but I believe any true shooter in KNL acknowledges that KNL1 is where it's at. Thanks for reading.