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'Killer is Dead' Seamlessly Blends Giant Swords, Cybernetic Arms, Unicorns, And Soft-Boiled Eggs

by Jason Cipriano   August 27, 2013 at 11:30AM  |  Views: 5,005

Goichi Suda, better known as Suda 51, has been the driving force behind some of the most twisted video games of the past two decades. With titles like the Killer7, Shadows of the Damned, and Lollipop Chainsaw credited to his name, Suda is one of the most recognizable creative figures in the industry. His latest game, Killer is Dead, is no different, bringing his outlandish story to life through stylized graphics, and outrageous characters with big personalities, culminating in yet another amazing, over-the-top adventure from the mind of this creative genius.

Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: XSeed Games

Suda’s development studio, Grasshopper Manufacture, has a reputation for creating some of the most unique electronic entertainment experiences every year, telling twisted tales in beautifully crafted worlds. Their games might not always find themselves crossing over into the mainstream, but each title to bear their name is truly an experience unto itself. Fans of Suda’s work have XSeed Games to thank for bringing Killer is Dead to audiences in the United States, as this could have easily been another title to slip through the cracks, and not seen English localization.

Killer is Dead tells the story of Mondo Zappa, a recent recruit into the government funded Executioner Office run by cyborg, Bryan Roses. The Execution Firm is one of the lesser discussed agencies that help people solve their problems with criminals and assassins by killing them. Mondo seems to be suffering from a bout of amnesia, as he can’t really recall how he got his cybernetic arm, but he does know that he is quite adept with his sword, and is an expert at executions. As he picks up jobs, his backstory starts to unravel, and in typical Suda 51 style, it’s quite complicated to explain, particularly without spoiling it. Just know that there’s a whole lot of stylish hack-n-slashing, as you work your way through the game’s ridiculous (in a good way) episodes completing your contracts and making bank. When you want to take a break from the missions you can spend it with the ladies, trying your best to impress and seduce them with gifts, and hopefully leading to a big pay off at the end of the night (new weapons!!).

Also, there’s a unicorn. Just saying... there’s a unicorn.

You can find Mondo hacking and slashing his way though Killer is Dead on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 this week, both at retail and digitally. If you jump on the retail release early, you can pick up the Limited Edition that comes packed with bonus DLC, as well as a soundtrack and an artbook, all of which are well worth it.

While a lot of different words have been used to describe Suda 51’s games, “boring” is rarely one of them, and Killer is Dead follows in that tradition. Mondo’s tale may venture into the outlandish, but the gameplay is solid and enjoyable, and, as strange as it is, the title is quite compelling, leaving you wanting more. Suda may be a bit of an acquired taste, as his work tends to push all different kinds of boundaries, and Killer is Dead is yet another notch in his belt that proves why he and Grasshopper Manufacture have such a respected reputation. You never know what to expect in Killer is Dead and that’s part of what makes it an amazing experience.

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