It’s Thursday so you know what time it is, REVIEW TIME! For today we will be looking at a game that is very, very weird. I present to you the first twisted game from Grasshopper Studios and Suda 51, Killer 7.
The game is set in a world where all the nations on Earth sign a treaty to end all international conflict, to celebrate this all the nuclear weapons on the planet are fired into each other in what would be known as the ‘Fireworks’ showing a beautiful display. In this time of peace they stopped air travel and the internet so that terrorism of all kinds can be stopped. Unfortunately there is new kind of terrorism that is threatening the world known as ‘Heaven Smile’ which are like zombies in that they can’t control the urge for murder, most of the heaven smile look like demons (ironically) that hug their victims before blowing up.
To combat this the US government hire the services of a group of assassins known as the Killer 7 led by Harman Smith who is able to transform into multiple personalities who are have different methods of assassination:-
- Garcian Smith – the ‘Cleaner’ who is able to recover dead bodies to resurrect. He carries a silenced pistol.
- Dan Smith – carries a revolver known as the ‘Demon Gun’ allowing him to fire powerful shots against bigger heaven smile.
- KAEDE Smith – has the ability to reveal secret messages through absorbing and spilling blood via slitting the wrists. She carries a pistol with a scope.
- Kevin Smith – the silent assassin armed with throwing knives and invisibility.
- Coyote Smith – a master thief that can get through padlocks and jump to places not many can. He is armed with a revolver that can kill in one well placed shot.
- Con Smith – fast and agile (like the scout from TF2) this assassin uses dual pistols to mow down the enemy with fire.
- MASK de Smith – a luchador who uses wrestling moves and two grenade launchers to break down walls and enemies alike.
Harman Smith is also capable of killing with a sniper rifle in certain sections, plus you can unlock a young Harman Smith to use in the hard mode armed with a Tommy Gun.
The gameplay of Killer 7 is what made it liked by some and hated by others. The movement of your character is on rails so you don’t have that much control of where you go, not something the average cod fan will enjoy. The camera is a mix between 3rd person whilst moving and 1st person when aiming whilst stationary. The levels consist of environments that are actually quite varied even though you would be on a fixed path, for example in the Cloudman level there are some spaces that are open in which in some games would give you freedom to move wherever but not in this game. The level objective is to find and kill the target, but before you can reach the target you will have to collect items to help you solve puzzles that are reminiscent of the old resident evil games (which is probably cause some of the staff who worked resident evil worked on this game too).
There is also a blood mechanic that makes killing heaven smile rewarding by collecting thin blood and thick blood. Thin blood is used to fill up test tubes which can be used for abilities as well as health recovery. Thick blood is used to create serum which allows you to upgrade your characters and give them new abilities such as counter attacks and double tap.
Overall the gameplay has some features that give the characters balance. For example because MASK de Smith has grenade launchers the enemies don’t bleed when they are killed so you can’t get any blood (unless it’s a protector Smile), if this wasn’t implemented then the player would always pick MASK and there would be no variety on the gameplay which is one of Killer 7’s merits.
The audio is decent in that gun fire sounds like gun fire and explosions sound like explosions so nothing exactly special. The graphics on the other hand are something different, it has a cell shaded block like style to it which would later become a signature style to Suda 51 games such as no more heroes.
One thing I will say straight up is that this game is not one for the casual gamer or for the Coddicts, this is one of the reasons why the game had a mixed reception on launch in the West. But if you want something different and you still have a Gamecube or PS2 lying around somewhere then give this mofo a go.