GAME: KILLER IS DEAD
Developer: SUDA51, DEEP SILVER, KADOKAWA GAMES
Release date: 30/8/13
Type/genre: 3RD PERSON HACK/SLASH/ADVENTURE
Spoilers Included in this review
Story: 7.5 / 10
Now then this is going to be a tough call, I’ll try keep it “spoiler free” so I don’t ruin it for others who haven’t played it yet. You play the main bad ass/ladies man Mondo Zappa, Soooooo it all kicks off chasing down a “contract” with nothing but death on your mind. Anyway things don’t go particularly to plan as our sexist hero Mondo ends up with a bullet between the mince pies…. And so it begins your life as an executioner! During your escapades of accepting contract kills, you start to unravel a bizarre, yet intriguing story of how and why Mondo is what he is! Along the way you will learn of lust, anger and loss but most of all MONEY AND WOMANIZING! It’s unashameably tailored to the “man’s man” audience, but without being too sexist in the process.
Control feel: 8 / 10
The controls are very well put together in KILLER IS DEAD, fluid, responsive and although hard to master they are very easy to pick up and use. (so don’t worry casual gamers) Anybody who is familiar with the DMC series will feel right at home here! It starts out as mere button bashing and giving the bad guys a beasting, but as you grow in confidence (you the player, not Mondo, he’s already an ultimate killer) and learn the art of how to add that bit of finesse to your armoury, you will be dodging attack after attack and dishing out your own world of pain with 15-20 hit combo’s with ease, even the “Monster Combo’s” are more about timing than having to hit every button on the pad at once and snapping ligaments in the process!! But trust me these are seriously satisfying! Character/camera movement is pretty much run of the mill stuff LS move, RS pans camera, the shooting/drilling mechanics are solid enough also, very easy to get to grips with. After the first two chapters you will be well on your way to do some SERIOUS ASS KICKING! On the whole it works very well, seems a little daunting at first but stick with it and you won’t be sorry!!
Graphics: 8.5 / 10
Oooh ho ho ho, these are some seriously lovely visuals to say the least, even if manga, cell shaded graphics aint your thing, you can’t deny that these are nothing sort of special! It’s one of the main reasons I wanted to get my grubby mitt’s on it. Anyway enough about my obsession with cell shaded graphics, time to get down to the nitty gritty. The character animation is very, very good, movement is fluid, camera pans around without any screen tear or pop up, its during combat the graphics really come to life. When your slicing and dicing your enemies the fighting mechanics shift to like a shadow/blur effect (kind of matrix style) as you glide around your target and the crazier the combo you pull off the more the screen explodes in to a vibrant montage of gorgeous violence! The back drops and locations are very well designed, everything from “The Office” (the main job hub) to clubs, hotels and even an Alice in wonderland inspired battlefield! There’s a lot of time and effort gone in to bring this futuristic world to life!! The in game cutscenes work great to, stylish, colourful, very manga/Japanese keep the story plodding along in true style!! A real big dollop of modern day eye candy!
Sound: 7 / 10
Probably the games weakest link if I’m being honest, but it is in no way a washout! The voiceovers are very good for what is a Japanese/Manga title, as we all know from recent titles, these can be a full on cheese on toast fest with very dodgy dialogue!! So I was rather impressed and it was a nice surprise. The more surreal levels have a great ambience to them, which draws you in to the dream like world the developer has created. It’s the combat that it falls on its own sword, through no fault of its own, as you can only have so many sounds of swords slashing armour and bullets piercing skulls, as is with the core background music, it’s not grating its just Erm…….. Forgettable! In no way is this a major fail, it’s just it never really jumped out, like some games musical scores do!
Gameplay: 8.5 / 10
Bonkers!!! In a nutshell, pretty much sums this up! This game is something else! The gameplay is split in to two sections, full on bish bash bosh combo, looking cool as ice, eye candy……. and then, in, ummmm …….. Nice words……. Well……… Urmm……….. (hushed tones) Soft porn voyeurism! Sorry folks but there’s no other way of putting it! Every mission requires you to have fight after glorious fight, I know I keep harping on about the visuals, but this game truely is stunning! Kicking ass NEVER looked this good! Every contract drags you deeper and deeper into the story of Mondo and the main part of the game! Unraveling the true nature of your now hero, is just great fight after fight… Your even spoilt further by epic boss battles! These really are something else, beautiful, stylish and make you think…… Don’t smash the X button and hope for the best, you WON’T win, think and prove your a worthy adversarie! Every chapter of this game makes you feel super cool and LETHAL!! Many times I thought to myself….. WOW, I’D MAKE NEO MY BITCH!! It’s the sense of how much you grow with character and game, every contract offers something new and YOU want to play it!! It really is that simple!
Now……… Time for the more “Seedy” side of things!! Now then people, this part of the game is like blind date, but instead of questions you oogle at a lady with your Mondo vision, (I was lucky enough to get x-ray specs in the DLC! Enough said!!) get them all hot and bothered to the point where it made a grown man blush, once the thowd blood pressure rises high enough, you get to do the right thing by offering presents to gain better upgrades. It’s a very low blow but it wouldn’t be the same without it!
So pretty much, you kill, kill, kill and kill some more, earn money, spend it on a beauty then kill some more……. WHATS NOT TO LIKE!?
This really is something special… Gorgeous to look at, and dare I say pretty much better to play! Great story, stunning visuals and gameplay that makes you……. SMILE!! A TRUE ACHIEVEMENT!!! Stop reading and go buy!! If your mum/wife/husband questions you, just say “Danger made me do it”