Killer Is Dead

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Killer Is Dead
North American cover art
North American cover art
Developer(s)Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher(s)
  • AS Sony Computer Entertainment Asia[2]
Director(s)Hideyuki Shin
Producer(s)Yoshimi Yasuda
Shuji Ishikawa
Designer(s)Tadayuki Noumaru
Kees Gajentaan
Hikaru Tamada
Writer(s)Suda 51
Composer(s)Akira Yamaoka
Ryo Koike
Yasuhiro Isoda
EngineUnreal Engine 3[3]
Platform(s)PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release date(s)
  • JP August 1, 2013
  • NA August 27, 2013
  • EU August 30, 2013
Genre(s)Action, hack and slash
Mode(s)Single-player
DistributionBlu-ray Disc, DVD-ROM DL
 
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Killer Is Dead
North American cover art
North American cover art
Developer(s)Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher(s)
  • AS Sony Computer Entertainment Asia[2]
Director(s)Hideyuki Shin
Producer(s)Yoshimi Yasuda
Shuji Ishikawa
Designer(s)Tadayuki Noumaru
Kees Gajentaan
Hikaru Tamada
Writer(s)Suda 51
Composer(s)Akira Yamaoka
Ryo Koike
Yasuhiro Isoda
EngineUnreal Engine 3[3]
Platform(s)PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release date(s)
  • JP August 1, 2013
  • NA August 27, 2013
  • EU August 30, 2013
Genre(s)Action, hack and slash
Mode(s)Single-player
DistributionBlu-ray Disc, DVD-ROM DL

Killer Is Dead is a 2013 action video game developed by Grasshopper Manufacture and published by Kadokawa Games in Japan, Xseed Games in North America and Deep Silver in Europe.

Gameplay[edit]

Plot[edit]

Killer Is Dead takes place in the near future, including such technology as lunar tourism and cybernetic enhancements.[4] The main character is an executioner named Mondo Zappa (voiced by Ryotaro Okiayu in the Japanese version and Patrick Seitz in the Western version[5]) who receives jobs from the Bryan Execution Firm. This firm, run by a cyborg named Bryan Roses, tasks Mondo with killing dangerous criminals and assassins from around the world.[4] Mondo wields a sword with his right hand but his cybernetic left arm can be converted into many different weapons, including guns, drills, and other objects.[4] Although Mondo travels the world as part of the game, Suda calls it a "personal story" of "a man who doesn't show himself much in the public world but still worms his way into society and mercilessly eliminates the evil dispersed in it".[4] "Love and execution" and "how far can you protect someone" are also central themes of the story.[6][7]

Development[edit]

Planning for Killer Is Dead began in late 2009 and proper development started in early 2011.[6] Suda was inspired to title the project Killer Is Dead after The Smiths's song "The Queen is Dead".[8] Initially the title was only a placeholder, however over time Suda began to feel that the name matched up with the style he was going for.[8] The game was formally announced in April 2012, but the debut trailer only premiered in January 2013.[9][10] Suda describes it as a "Dark Side 007" game, drawing inspiration from Ian Fleming's James Bond books and films.[4][9] Unlike Bond, however, the main character of Killer Is Dead deals with an even seedier underworld that the surface world does not even register.[11]

The game is not a sequel to Killer7 but it maintains the essence of his past "assassin series" games and "picks up where Killer7 and No More Heroes left off".[9] Suda also calls the game "yin" to bright and cheery Lollipop Chainsaw's "yang".[11] Gameplay feature swords like in No More Heroes but with expanded systems, guns, and wrestling action.[4][6] The visual style is an enhancement and evolution of the cel-shaded style of No More Heroes.[4][7] The team had originally experimented with a realistic graphical style and a cartoon style reminiscent of Killer7 before settling on the final design.[11]

Release[edit]

The game was targeted for a worldwide release in Summer 2013, published by Kadokawa Games in Japan and Xseed Games in North America.[2][4] Deep Silver, the European publisher, and Sony Computer Entertainment Asia, the publisher for the Asian release outside Japan, announced that these editions of the game would include both English and original Japanese voice acting tracks.[2][12]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings(PS3) 60.07%[13]
(X360) 59.29%[14]
Metacritic(PS3) 64/100[15]
(X360) 64/100[16]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Electronic Gaming Monthly6/10[20]
Famitsu35/40[17]
GameSpot5/10[19]
Joystiq3.5/5 stars[18]
Hardcore Gamer4/5[21]

The game received positive reception in Japan with a score of 35 out of 40 from Famitsu, where it gained the Platinum award based on the scores of 9/9/9/8 from the four reviewers.[17]

Western reviewers were more critical of the game. It has a Metacritic score of 64[15][16] for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions. On GameRankings, it has a score of 60.07%[13] for the PlayStation 3 and 59.29% for the Xbox 360 version.[14] Mark Walton of GameSpot criticized a confusing story, unrefined combat and screen tearing issues while praising the striking visuals.[19] Electronic Gaming Monthly's Ray Carsillo also took notice of the story, saying that it is Suda 51's "most ridiculous, nonsensical plot yet".[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gera, Emily (2013-01-31). "Killer is Dead coming to North America and Europe this summer". Polygon. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  2. ^ a b c Spencer (2013-02-05). "Killer Is Dead's Asia Version Has English Text And Dual Language Option". Siliconera. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  3. ^ "SUDA 51 talks Killer Is Dead in brand new video interview". BabySoftMurderHands. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Gifford, Kevin (2013-01-16). "Grasshopper's Suda51 gives first details on his latest game, Killer is Dead". Polygon. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  5. ^ "Behind The Voice Actors: Killer Is Dead". 
  6. ^ a b c Gantayat, Anoop (2012-04-04). "Killer is Dead Detailed". Andriasang. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  7. ^ a b McWhertor, Michael (2013-01-17). "Killer is Dead's first trailer is drenched in stylish, bloody action". Polygon. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  8. ^ a b "Talking Killer Is Dead with Suda51". Destructoid. March-28-2013. Retrieved Jan-13-2014. 
  9. ^ a b c Gantayat, Anoop (2012-04-04). "New From Grasshopper and Suda 51: Killer is Dead". Andriasang. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  10. ^ Prescott, Shaun (18 January 2013). "Killer is Dead debut trailer unveiled". Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c Gifford, Kevin (2013-01-23). "Yakuza guys riding on tigers: Killer is Dead in detail, according to Suda51". Polygon. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  12. ^ "Twitter / deepsilver: Before you ask: Killer is Dead ...". Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  13. ^ a b "Killer Is Dead for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  14. ^ a b "Killer Is Dead for Xbox 360". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  15. ^ a b "Killer is Dead for PlayStation 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  16. ^ a b "Killer is Dead for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  17. ^ a b "Polygon / Japan Review Check: Killer is Dead". Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  18. ^ Kubba, Sinan (August 27, 2013). "Killer Is Dead review". Joystiq. AOL. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Walton, Mark (August 27, 2013). "Killer Is Dead Review". Gamespot. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b Carsillo, Ray (2013-08-27). "EGM Review: Killer Is Dead". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  21. ^ Hannley, Steve (August 27, 2013). "Review: Killer is Dead". Hardcore Gamer. Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 

External links[edit]