By: Fs_Metal Game title: Killer 7
Genre - On rail third/first person shooter
Platform: Playstation 2 and Gamecube
ESRB Rating: Mature
Developer: Capcom and Grasshopper
Directo: Suda 51
Released: June 14, 2004
Over all rating: 9/10
Step into the mind of an assassin.
Let me start off by saying that Killer 7 is one of the most unique and strange video games that I have ever played. To be completely honest, it is hard to even call it a video game. At times, it seems more like an interactive movie. There is nothing normal about this game, and it is pretty much a love it or hate it video game.
Game play - 7/10
Despite being simple and straight forward, the game plays like nothing you have ever played before. Basically, you hold down the a button to have your character run down a hall way. When you reach a fork in the path, your character will stop, directions will be displayed with each direction labeled according to where it leads. This allows for some very cinematic camera angles that are, ultimately, not a problem to deal with. You then use your analogue stick to choose which way you want to go. When you here the laugh of the enemy, you pull the first person perspective, scan for the enemy and shoot him. Each enemy has weak spots that are marked in yellow. Your job is to try to shoot those weak spots. If you manage to kill an enemy using the weak spots, you gain blood, which you can use to upgrade your characters.
There are seven total playable characters in the game. Each character has his or her own gun and unique abilities. The end result is that no character is useless. There will not be one character that you stick with throughout the entire game, while ignoring all of the other ones. Each character is very useful at different points in the game, so you will want to make sure that you upgrade all of them, instead of focusing on certain ones. You have the ability to switch back and forth between 6 of the 7 characters at will. However, a few of the characters will be asleep at the beginning of each level and must be woken up. This is done by killing set amount of character and then waking them up via the TV in Harman's Room (which, quite often, will double as a save point).
The last element of game play are the puzzles. The puzzles in this game are from the Resident Evil school of thought, which is to be expected since this game was produced by the same 2 people that did Resident Evil 4. Sometimes, the puzzles can be straight forward and simple, like lighting candles. Quite often, however, they tend to make you think a bit. They are more complex and can be a little non-sensical. Resident Evil fans should be quite pleased with this aspect of the game play.
Graphics - 9/10
Graphically, this game is a brilliant and somewhat abstract work of art. It looks like nothing that I have ever seen before. It has a very unique artistic flare and style that uses a lot of contrast and non-gradual shading. Once you get used to it, this game really is a type of eye candy. Everything looks clean and crisp with a nice mix of bright and drab colors that give the game a somber tone and a very unique feel. The world of Killer 7 is rich and full of detail. It is very surreal and everything seems to shine. It allows for some very cool lighting effects. Nothing acts normal in this game, but it does not hinder it. It adds to the overall unique experience.
Sound - 8/10
This game has very good and moody music that sounds different than anything you are used to out of video games. Besides setting the proper mood, the music also adds to the unique feel of this game. It is very well done and surreal, and it fits in perfectly with this game. Great job on this one, Capcom.
The sound effects are fantastic as well. The guns all sound great and none of them sound underpowered. This is a huge plus. The high pitched hyena type laughs that enemies make when they are near is capable of sending shivers up and down your spine. You hear every footstep your characters and enemy characters make. Every door that opens and closes is heard. Capcom and Grasshopper did a great job paying attention to the little details, which results in lots and lots of cool sound effects throughout. Again. Fantastic job guys.
With the sound effects and music beign as good as they are, they are not the best thing about this games sound. The voice acting in this game is absolutely top notch. All the voices come through clear and crisp, as well as very well acted. This is one of the things that makes it feel like an interactive movie at times. In all honesty, the voice acting is that good. It rivals with the tops in the gaming industry. It is on the same plain as games like God of War and the Metal Gear Solid series. I really must give my compliments to the director on this one. He did an amazing job with the voice talent in this game.
Story - 10/10
I wish I could give this aspect of the game more than 10. I really do. This is why I love this game so much. The story is mind blowing for those that bother to look into it and really try to understand it. DEspite the game only being 15 hours in length, this game far surpasses 60 hour RPGs on levels of depth and complexity in story. There is so much here that there is almost no way that you can get it all, unless you play through it multiple times and seek an online plot analysis, and I would recommend you do. A plot analysis for this game would be rather lengthy (more than 100 printed pages type lengthy), but it is worth it in the end. The story to this game is absolutely fantastic.
One of the first things you will note about this story is it's script. This is just my opinion, but this game has the best script in a video game ever. Period. It is that good. Nothing is handed to you directly. There are tons of metaphors, but it is all understandable. Suda 51 really impressed me with this one. I never thought a video game could have a script that could rival the works of Quinten Tarantino, but he proved me wrong. He did just that. this script really is that good. It rivals Pulp Fiction in the dialogue department. Outstanding job Mr. Suda 51. I am impressed. Actually, I see alot of Tarantino influence within this script. I imagine that if he ever wrote and directed a video game, it would be something like this.
The cut scenes are another fantastic part of the story. They are absolutely brilliant and very well directed. They have everything from great camera angles to surreal action that will keep you on the edge of your seat, guessing at what will happen next. The only thing is that no matter how many times you guess, you will always be wrong. This game is filled with shocking plot twists that will keep you guessing until the very end. Even after the ending, you are not likely to fully understand it. The cut scenes portray the story of this game in a truly cinematic fashion that is most notable.
Here is one of the brilliant cut scene from Killer 7. The game starts off simple enough. Basically, the world has reached total peace. All conflict has been ended and all nuclear weapons have been destroyed. At an international meeting, a new terrorist thread that call themselves the Smiling Faces arises. These smiling faces approach their target and explode. They are led by a man named Kun Lan. The problem is that the smiling faces are invisible. The government calls on the "almost god-like professional assassins" known as the Smith Syndicate or the Killer 7. The Killer 7 are a group of assassins led by a wheel chair bound old man named Harman Smith. Garcian Smith is the link between the rest of the syndicate and Harman, and he is the only one to have direct contact with Harman. The rest of the syndicate are Kaede, Cyote, Dan, Mask De Smith, Kevin and Con. This group are called upon to stop the Smiling Faces. That is basically how it is all set up. The plot really takes off from there.
Replay Value - 9/10
You are going to want to replay this game for the story. It is the kind of story that requires multiple play throughs just to fully understand. The cit scenes are so great that the game is more than worth multiple play throughs, however. Also, there is a new difficulty setting and a new mode that is unlocked. Once you beat the game, you can go through it again on Killer 8 mode, where you get Harman Smith as one of hte playable characters throughout the game. He is not wheel chair bound in this mode, however.
Final Thoughts -
Again, this is a love it or hate it game. Some will love it. Some won't. It is a very unique experience and is worth, at minimum, a rent. With a complex story that is full of plot twists, a fantastic script and great voice acting, the over all presentation of this game is more like an interactive movie than an actual video game. It is obvious that Capcom broke the number one rule of creating a game. They put story before game play. However, I still love it. It gets a 9 out of 10 from me.
Gameplay - 7/10
Simple and straight forward, but very unique. Can get a little repetitive.
Graphics - 9/10
Very unique artistic flare. Great use of lighting and color.
Sound - 8/10
Good sound effects. Moody music and great voice acting. Sometimes the music can make the voice acting hard to hear. No surround sound.
Story - 10/10
Rivals even the most complex 60 hour role playing games despite being 15 hours in length. Cram packed with great plot twists. Brilliant cut scenes and script.
Replay value - 9/10
The story is worth more than one play through. Also, there is an added difficulty setting and a whole new mode once you beat it. contains some minor spoilers for the game.