Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Release Date: 8/27/2013
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Suda 51 is known for his crazy art style and weird games. He’s pretty much the Quintin Tarantino of the video game industry. You may know his other games such as Killer 7, No More Heroes, Lollipop Chainsaw, and Shadows of the Damned. His latest work isn’t his best or his weirdest. Honestly, the game is very short and lacks in every department. Let’s start with the story, you play as a hitman named Mondo who works for a hire-to-kill agency and takes on different people. The goal for this is never explained, and honestly, the story makes zero sense. There’s no wrap-up, no climax, no real anything. You just run around killing things for people with no real purpose. There’s something about a guy named David and he killed Mondo’s mom and then something about taking back the moon from him. I can’t tell you any more than that because there isn’t anything else, the story could have been interesting but it seriously sucks.
Suda 51 is known for having fun and flashy combat. The combat here is very flashy but very shallow and dull. You just mash square and dodge around a lot to hopefully trigger a slow-mo event where you mash the attack button and can do extra damage. Mondo also has a gun arm called the Musselback. There are 4 different weapons you can unlock through gigolo missions (more on that later) but I honestly never used any of them except the default machine gun attachment. Your arm works off of blood which you gain from killing things and this also fuels your blood drive. Holding R1 and pressing square allows you to instantly kill enemies that aren’t immortal or shielded. All of this sounds fun and dandy, and it may look awesome, but there’s nothing else to it. Upgrades are bare bones and only let you auto-heal and manual heal while giving you only 5 new attacks which end up being useless. The combat is seriously flawed and simple.
Outside of that, there’s nothing else to do. The missions are varied and the best part about the game are the boss fights and the visuals. The game has Suda 51’s signature art style similar to Killer 7, but it’s technically dated like all his other games. The textures are blurry and ugly and it just lacks any technical flair. Other than the main 12 chapter story you can unlock side missions that are timed with various objectives or gigolo missions. These basically are dating mini-games where you have to stare down a woman’s body without her noticing. Once your “guts” are full you can offer gifts to win her heart over. Before you cry foul there is a purpose: to unlock the Musselback attachments. However, doing these side missions that you unlock will feel pointless because after you beat the short 5-hour story you won’t want to come back. The enemies repeat often, there are very few set pieces in the game, you won’t care about the characters, and the story is confusing and non-existent.
Overall, Killer is Dead is Suda 51’s weakest game. Is has the sexual spice, the visual flair, and the weirdness, but not in the good way that is has been put to use before. The combat is bland and shallow, the story sucks, the characters are lame, and there’s no reason to go back. That’s not to say it isn’t worth playing though. Only fans of Suda 51 will really get the game’s concept or general design and appreciate it from an artistic standpoint, but the average gamer will think it’s a load of garbage.