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Killer is Dead Review: Wait, What?


Killer is Dead has been out for a while. I held off on writing my review until I got a grasp on what the game was about. I realized that was never going to happen. So here I am, writing my review. Killer is Dead, this is one peculiar game because it is so inconsistent. While peculiar is the best way to describe Suda 51’s games, Killer is Dead stands out as the one with less cohesion and glue compared to his previous titles like No More Heroes and Lollipop Chainsaw.

Killer is Dead, it is about Mondo the cyborg assassin who moonlights as a gigolo. Mondo and his employer take on contracts from people to kill other people. These people usually consist of cyborgs or demon mutation ghost things. Hell even full on robots. I guess in a world where you are a cyborg there are some pretty nasty people trying to take control over the free world. Who knew? There is a hint that Mondo must take moral choices into becoming the new assassin in the tutorial level but it is hard to tell in this game where that internal turmoil starts to take effect. This is due to the fact this game has bad storytelling in part with bad dialogue. The story can’t progress well enough when your character’s can’t grasp the basic concept of vocal communication and tat alone may be reason enough for your to take your money elsewhere.

That is all I could grasp about the story from this game. Sure Killer is Dead has bouts of self-aware satire that would make any Deadpool fan giggle in glee because that’s the new form of humor these days. Jokes aside, this game’s story does not develop well. You get the idea that Mondo is a tortured soul through segments of fight robot ghosts his mind segments that is also littered with flashbacks. When you have bad dialogue the voice acting tends to suffer too. This is the case with KiD. Some of the villains sound downright ridiculous and the main character is the standard soft spoken badass in a suit with a robot arm.

The finer points of Killer is Dead are hidden in the gameplay. Well not exactly hidden but they certainly aren’t in the characters or story. The combat is very well done and incredibly varied and balanced. It is while this could be classified as a button masher, Killer is Dead has a lot to offer with the fun swordplay. Stringing together combos will prove to be more challenging when the enemies are tougher, blocker more, and even counter your own attacks. Your health and Blood level increase with certain gems that are dropped by enemies. If you perform a special execution you will net more gems of exp gems, blood gems, or health gems.

You use the exp gems to get more abilities and upgrade current ones to have new uses. The upgrading is very simple and I like that. Too many games these days are trying to capitalize on the massive skill tree with tons of choices. Sometimes simplicity is the best. In Killer is Dead, this applies.

Killer-Is-Dead-PresentIn addition to the story there are plenty of side missions to earn you exp and money. One of the best side missions in this game are the minigames for getting a new gun. You stare at boobs without getting caught. Remember when I said you moonlight as a gigolo? Yeah, you stare at a woman’s boobs to fill a meter, you give the woman gift, then you get down to business. They are rather immature, but still pretty funny regardless. I mean, new guns are staring at boobs. That is so random it is mildly amusing.

This game has more problems than just with the storytelling. The art direction is off due to the coloring issues. The black shading is so dark it almost makes the game unplayable. It is too dark and it hides the models and makes the animations look incomplete. Don’t even get me started on the facial animations. They look so odd. The lips tend to curl up in odd positions and it shows way too much teeth, which look like there was too much detail. The level design is a hit and miss. Yes the levels have a unique to them, but the actual layout is really bland.

Killer is Dead is not Suda 51’s best game. The varied combat is something to be proud of, but the odd storytelling and visual really hurt this game. It isn’t unplayable, and it has moments of being fun. The overall product is very average. Which is a disappointment. I give Killer is Dead (PS3, XBOX 360) a 6.10.

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