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E3 2013 | Suda51 Knows What Makes A “Killer” Game

Posted on June 15, 2013 AT 07:45am

The mere utterance of the name Goichi Suda in a video game leaves a cult of players eager to play it. His mixture of over-the-top violence and crazy references to games and films of yore can be found in many of his titles, from No More Heroes and Shadows of the Damned to Lollipop Chainsaw. This year Suda returns with a game that combines elements of some of his past work: Killer Is Dead.

With visuals that call back to Killer 7, the slashing mechanisms from No More Heroes, and the shooting mechanics of Shadows of the Damned the game acts like a blood-stained resume of all of Suda51′s works. In the level my character Mondo Zappa — packing a samurai sword and a mechanical left arm that transforms into a gun — went toe-to-toe with my character enters a massive corporate building, where cyborg guards are at every corner wanting you dead.

Switching back and forth between your sword and gun is fairly easy, a rarity in many of these multi-weaponed titles. For the most part you are armed with your sword, which can be used to do melee attacks and combos. These come in handy very well when surrounded by enemies, and thanks to whatever is happening in Suda’s mind the end results usually leave your foes sliced in half. When doing long-range attacks the gun can quickly be switched to using the L1 button to aim and shot with the R1 trigger. On some occasions you’ll need the gun to shoot down objects and pathways that are needed to fall in order to reach your destination.

My time with Killer Is Dead was short, but as a fan of Suda’s past works I got the gist of what was happening. The Killer 7-like graphics were a nice artistic approach towards the action happening onscreen, and the controls to attack were very easy to get through. While the story can be violent there were some very humorous elements thrown in the game. One moment that will surely give you a chuckle is when you die you have the choice to be revived. If so a high school girl plops on top of your body and pounds on your chest — prompting a QTE — until your heart rate reaches 100%. (If you don’t reach 100%, then she pulls out a defibrillator and gives Mondo a good shocking.)

Killer Is Dead will feature thirteen stand-alone chapters, with a set up similar to that of Japanese anime. If you are a fan of what Goichi Suda has done in the past, then you’ll enjoy this title no problem, but if you haven’t then odds are this one won’t win you over. A US release for Killer Is Dead is slated for the end of August on Xbox 360 and PS3 via XSEED Games and Marvelous USA, Inc.

An accomplished music, anime, and video game critic, Evan Bourgault has been a Contributing Editor and Podcast host with ElectricSistaHood since 2008. His passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Follow Evan on Twitter at

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