After some mediocre releases like Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw, Suda 51 is back and crazier than ever at E3 2013 with Killer is Dead, a hack-and-slash action game that is just dripping with Suda 51 charm. Killer is Dead puts you in control of Mondo Zappa, an assassin in a business suit with a killer katana and transforming cybernetic left arm. Zappa works for the Bryan Execution Firm, which is lead by Bryan Roses, a gigantic black cyborg in a Hawaiian t-shirt. He and his 16 armed motorcycle riding love interest travel the world executing dangerous criminals, robots, and zombies for the greater good of humanity. Do I honestly have to say anything more!?
The heart of Killer is Dead is in its combat system. Zappa’s main weapon is his katana, which he uses in basic action game style. Tap a button with a certain rhythm, execute different combos, it’s all very basic. Killing enemies builds up Mondo’s adrenaline meter, which allows him to activate adrenaline mode. While in adrenaline mode, Mondo will rush toward an enemy and kill him with one strike. Linking together multiple adrenaline kills earns you even more adrenaline, in addition to life pickups and money which you can then use to upgrade your weapons.
Zappa’s left arm can transform into a variety of guns, and is activated by using another one of the triggers. By default, his arm transforms into a rapid fire machine gun, however you can change it into a charged beam, a shotgun, or even an ice-beam which freezes enemies in their tracks and makes them shatter when you strike them with your katana. Zappa can also perform grapples and quick dodges, which open up yet more stylish murdertastic moves to use after being executed.
The game is essentially a spiritual successor to Suda’s other assassin themed games, Killer 7 and No More Heroes. It has the same graphical style, the same pacing, and the same off the wall plot. Heck, there are important mini-games that you have to play, that involve taking women out on a date and staring at their breasts in order to build your confidence. Give them presents, and you somehow get better weaponry out of the deal. In a word, this game is bizarre, and it’s awesome for it.
If you are a fan of Suda 51’s older games, then you will love Killer is Dead. Frankly, it’s exactly what us Suda fans have come to expect. All we need now is a luchador and a giant robot and this game will be everything we could have possibly wanted.
Killer is Dead is set to come out on August 27 for the PS3 and Xbox 360.