Review by FierceDeityYS

Reviewed: 07/19/05

Killer 7 is a game very different from the rest

Directed by Suda 51, a self-proclaimed madman in love with the idea of games becoming art, Killer 7 is the final entry in a series of games that were known as the Capcom 5. With three of the five having already been released, and one indefinitely cancelled, Killer 7 marks the end of the legendary Capcom 5. Does the legend end with a whimper, or is this title to kill for? Continue reading to find out!

Graphics:

Cel-shading is a graphical style that you either hate or you love. As proven by The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, many gamers out there are willing to completely pass up an excellent title just because they don’t like the graphics. Sadly, those people don’t know what they are missing. The graphics in Killer 7 have a unique style that set them apart from the rest. The look and feel of the game is a cross between a film noir environment and modern anime. Though the game isn’t free roaming, each area is still polished to the highest degree. As for the cutscenes, they are split up into two different types. Most of the cutscenes in the game are done using the in-game graphics, but every once in awhile an actual animated cutscene will show. These anime cutscenes are done by top notch anime directors from Japan and do not fail to impress. If you’re not a fan of cel-shading or anime, then there’s a good chance you won’t like the direction they took with this game. However, if you love film-noir, anime, and cel-shading, then there’s a good chance your eyes won’t be disappointed.

Sound and Music:

Killer 7 has an excellent soundtrack that helps create the perfect mood for the game. There is a wide variety of tunes, ranging from stylized techno to Mexican music. Every song fits the environment perfectly, and there’s a high probability that you’ll get a few of the songs stuck in your head. Along with an outstanding soundtrack, Killer 7 has some wonderful voice acting. A majority of the voice cast are top notch voice actors, so you don’t have to worry about lame voices during the cutscenes. The only real complaint with this category is the fact that one liners are constantly repeated. Just about every time you kill something, your character will spurt a one liner such as “Hurts doesn’t it?” or “This is too easy.” While the lines are really cool, they tend to get somewhat annoying when you’re fighting an onslaught of enemies and hearing it every time you kill one.

Storyline:

As many of you may already know, I’m a huge fan of convoluted storylines. Well, in short, this is the mother of all convoluted and confusing stories. The game tells you that you are Harman Smith, a man with seven different personalities that you control. Each one of your personalities is an assassin with a unique ability, such as becoming invisible or having super speed. Well, to put it bluntly, that’s not even skimming the surface of what the truth behind the game is. The game’s story starts off as a sort of politically charged statement about terrorism, world peace, and whether or not certain countries are worth saving from total destruction. However, by the time the plot twist at the end of the game is revealed, you’ll be left feeling like you’ve just been bludgeoned over the head with a baseball bat and left bleeding on the floor wondering what the hell just happened. However, this isn’t a bad thing, because it leaves you to fill in the blanks and come up with your own theories to explain the storyline instead of being told everything word for word. Even though I’ve been left stranded on the side of the road naked when it comes to knowing the whole truth about the storyline, I have to admit that I enjoyed every minute of it.

Gameplay:

This is where Killer 7 strays away from every other game ever made. In short, nothing like Killer 7 has ever been done. If you’re expecting a first person shooter, you’ll probably hate the game. If you’re expecting a third person shooter/action adventure, you’ll probably hate the game. In order to enjoy the game, you’ll definitely have to take a word of advice from the great Morpheus and “Free your mind.” The game is split up into seven “targets.” Each “target” is basically you going to assassinate a certain person. At the end of each “target”, there is a boss fight. As the game suggests, you are given the ability to play as seven different personas. Each persona has a different set of weapons and special abilities. For the most part, you can choose to play as whichever one you like by being able to switch personas at any time, but sometimes you’ll be required to use a certain persona’s special abilities to solve a puzzle. The best part of the game is that, even if one persona dies, it’s not game over….unless it’s Garcian. Garcian’s special ability is to revive the other personas from death. If one dies, just get Garcian to resurrect the persona. However, if Garcian dies, you’ll be required to start from the last save point. Now then, onto the actual gameplay mechanics. Instead of being free roaming, your character is set on a specific set of paths. You move across the paths until you come to a junction. At a junction, you are given a choice of new paths to take. While on your path, you’ll occasionally hear weird laughs. If you do, this means that a enemy is near. From this point, you’ll have to convert into shooting mode. Movement and shooting will be covered more in the controls category. Anyway, your character will also come along a puzzle every once in awhile. The puzzles aren’t overly difficult, and most tend to be either observation or item oriented, such as remembering a certain pattern or finding a certain item later in the level that will solve the puzzle. Also, Capcom has added a few role-playing elements into the mix. After killing your enemies, you collect their blood. At special “Harman Rooms”, you are able to upload the blood into a device that creates serum. This serum can be used to upgrade each of the personas (except Garcian) in four different aspects. Certain “Harman Rooms” also serve as save points. As I said, the gameplay has never really been done before, so it’s hard to explain it since I cannot compare it to anything else. However, I think the controls category may help you get a better grasp on what the gameplay is like.

Controls:

As I stated earlier, the game is not free roaming. Instead, you are on set paths that you must move around. To move on these paths, all you have to do is hold the A button, and the game will move you along the track. Once at a junction, you will use the control stick to choose which new direction you wish to take. You can also turn around and move in the opposite direction by pressing the B button. When it’s time for you to shoot at approaching enemies, hold R to go into shooting mode. Then, since the enemies are invisible to the naked eye, press L to scan for the enemies. After spotting an enemy, you can either manually aim using the control stick or auto-target an enemy by pressing the B button. You can also switch targets by using the D-pad. However, I found manually aiming to be much easier and more efficient. Finally, once you’ve spotted your target, press A to shoot away at them. Though you never run out of ammo, you will occasionally have to reload. While your character does auto-reload once he/she runs out of ammo, you can manually reload the weapon by pressing the C-stick in any direction. The controls are a bit confusing when you first start the game, and I’m sure they sound way too complicated from what you’ve just read, but to be honest, I don’t see the game working any better. Within an hour, I was already using the controls efficiently and never found them to be a problem.

Replayability:

This is where the game suffers a tad bit. While the main story is quite long, and should last you at least 15-20 hours, there isn’t honestly much else to do after that. After beating the game, you unlock a secret mode called Killer 8, which gives you another persona to play as. Also, Killer 8 can only be played on hard mode, which adds a bit more challenge for those who originally played through the game on normal. Once you’ve completed Killer 8, Hopper 7 will be unlocked. Hopper 7 is basically the first “target” only, but everyone’s heads are replaced with grasshopper heads in homage to the people that made the game, Grasshopper Studios. After you beat Hopper 7, there is nothing left except the satisfaction of having completed everything in the game….although there’s a good chance you might play the game over and over again just to figure out the freaking story.

Overall, Killer 7 is a game very different from the rest. Either you’ll love it or you’ll hate it, there isn’t honestly any room in between. As I said before, if you buy the game expecting it to be something that you’ve had experience with, there’s a good chance you’ll be disappointed. However, if you have a very open mind towards deep storylines, stylized graphics, and a new and unique type of gameplay, then Killer 7 is the perfect game for you.

Graphics: 9.5/10
Sound and Music: 9.5/10
Storyline: 10/10
Gameplay: 9.0/10
Controls: 9.0/10
Replayability: 6.5/10

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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