Review: Killer7

GC Review

Decapitations, revolvers, lunacy, schizophrenia, insanity, harsh language, selfharming and sex. These are just some of things you'll see, hear and even feel in thegame Killer7. This rollercoaster ride of a game puts you in the boots of HarmanSmith and his multiple personality assassins. Prepare yourself, you're not goingto see a game as twisted as this in a long, long time.

Killer7 is a global adventure. The story was written by acclaimed Japanese filmwriter Shinji Mikami. The story works on an interesting principle, an entiregame hell-bent on confusing you. The jist of the story though is as follows: the Killer7 are hired toassassinate Kun Lan; the leader of a terrorist group: "Heaven's Smile."Killer7 is an 'on-rails' shooter, in other words, it leads you through the game. Now this may seem strange at first and it feelsextremely restricting, but in fact it's done for a purpose. Killer7 has been made tofeel like a movie, it shows you where to go, how to do things and constantly givesyou clues to keep up the pace. Being on-rails means that you only have to use afew buttons: You press A to move forward and make selections using the analoguestick. B to turn around, Y to use special abilities, differing inside and outsideof battle. R is used to go into first person mode and L is to search for enemies.It's as simple as mode change, scan, lock and shoot. Yes the game is minimalist, but halfthe time you wont have a care because Killer7 is strangely satisfying. The story isgripping,you'll laugh, cry and even be shocked at what you'll see unfold on the TV screen in fascination.

The enemies in Killer7 are known as the "Heavens Smile" as previously mentioned.They come in many forms such as a giant ten foot tall creature to one that can only be described as a ball like… thing. The easiest way to kill an enemy is by shooting its weak spot, which isjust a yellow spot or mark on the enemy's body. However, if you shoot the limbs offbefore the weak spot you will receive more blood. Now, blood comes in two varieties:thick and thin. Thin is used to replenish health and so you can use abilities. Thickblood can be refined and then used on your characters to increase their levels. This actually gives Killer7 some RPG character building elements. The Killer7 are a set ofassassins that Harman Smith may call at any time, his alter personalities. They are: Garcian Smith - A man killed by Harman. Garcian has clairvoyant powers and is trusted by Harman to manage the rest of his personalities. Dan Smith - A man with telekinetic powers that let him change a bullet's trajectory with a thought. He killed Herman four years ago. Masked Smith - A retired wrestler who can use fire to become invincible. Coyote Smith - Masked Smith's son. He has the power to teleport through objects. Con Smith - A child with superior natural senses. Harman uses him to deliver false feelings of compassion. Kaede Smith - A woman with the ability to make showers of deadly blood appear and who loves Coyote and Dan. Finally, Kevin Smith - A new and mysterious Smith who has been given special orders by Harman. As you can see, each of thesecharacters has their own unique personalities and abilities to solve puzzles or to kill certain enemies. Thismeans you'll be changing characters a lot. Dan for example uses a move called the"Collateral Shot"; using this move you can charge up your guns power to kill enemieseasier or how about Con, who can use a move which makes him run much faster than normal to getto places faster.

The game also contains a lot of pretty clever puzzles. In one puzzle you must use afire ring which you receive from a girl (more on her later), then you must go into atoilet, turn on the sprinklers with the fire ring and using the water from thesprinklers you must flush the toilet to collect an item which comes from a brokenpipe. Seem pretty complex? Well, Killer7's map will help you finish each chapter prettyeasily, so if you were hoping for some hardcore brain teasing then you may be disappointed. I previously mentioned the fire ring; there are many other rings to collectwhich will guide you through each chapter.

Another thing that's incredibly cool about Killer7 arethe characters personalities; they come to life through genius writing and some funny character models. For example, there is a gimp (yes you heard me right)called Iwazaru who will supply you with a couple of tips during each chapter. Imentioned the girl before, her name is Susie. Now Susie is quite possibly thefunniest thing about this game. If you talk to her, she will tell you about how shehas attempted to kill people in her life. Some of them are really stupid, but Ishouldn't ruin it for you, its better if you hear them yourself. Boss fights are frequent inKiller7, some of them are easy and some of them are pretty difficult. But they areall short and a few are even scripted. You'll fight everything from an anime-styledangel bodyguard to two decapitated men who fire chunks of brain at you. It may notmake much sense, but its fun and well presented.


However, every game has its flaw and unfortunately Killer7 has quite a few. First ofall, it's nearly impossible to die. If one of your characters dies, you can useGarcian Smith to bring your characters back to life. As long as Garcian doesn't die,you never will. The game is also very short; your first play will only take about10-13 hours. Considering how long the game was in development, it's not very long.Others may not enjoy the gameplay, admittedly it's rather repetitive and some peoplehave complained it's like Time Crisis without a light gun. Although there arethings to unlock, it seems pointless to play through it again since the story is onlyshocking and funny once, though you may understand the story better a second time, which brings us to the games final flaw, the story is extremely confusing. Even at the ending, none of it seems to make any senseand some people may hate this.

Unfortunately, Killer7 hasn't sold too well on GameCube, in all territories. We can thank Capcom for that for making this game multiformat. But, thanks to a rather un-knowledgeablesenator in America, this could all change. As you know, controversy sells. Thesenator has said that there are some 'graphic sexual scenes'. Now there's one yes,but I hate to break it to you but, you see nothing and in fact they are both fully clothed!

In terms of graphics, Killer7 is the pinnacle of cel-shading. Zelda, Jet Set Radio,Viewtiful Joe? None of them come close. Killer7 uses a different style ofcel-shading, a very dark one. The environments range from tight corridors of aschool filled with lockers, desks and black boards to a small town where strangely"civilians" wander the streets like zombies. The character models are alsofantastic. They are full of character and very individual, they also look quite a lotbetter than their PS2 counterparts. Dan looks like Spike from the anime/manga CowboyBebop and Mask resembles a pro wrestler sporting a mask and cape. One thing you'llbe seeing a lot of in Killer7 is the astronomical amount of blood, even though it iscel shaded there's bucket loads of the stuff. Blood comes in red and clear/bluevarieties depending on how well you've killed the enemy but both look great. Also,the game includes both normal cut scenes and anime ones, the anime ones areparticularly well done and there are quite a few of them for you to enjoy throughout the game.

Sound is another one of Killer7's strengths. The music will have your feet tapping quite a few times and scaring the hell out of you the next. It fits incredibly well withnearly all the levels. The voice acting is also very well done and Capcom have usedwell known voice actors to pull all the personalities together, especially KAEDE andGarcian. The gun sound effects are also great, however the characters taunts arerepeated way too often and the novelty of them swearing wears off rather fast.

Overall, Killer7 in my opinion is a great game. Its fresh, heavily story based andfun to play with great characters and graphics. However, it's not for everyone but then again, being so unique, it's a risk you take.

N-Europe Final Verdict

Capcom have excelled again with this refreshing title, if you're into weird and complex story lines and something different then you'll definitely want to pick this up.

  • Gameplay3
  • Playability4
  • Visuals5
  • Audio5
  • Lifespan3
Final Score



Great characters
Incredible deep story


Gameplay not for everyone
A little repetitive

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