Review by Savott

"Killer 7, a rare gem and sleeper hit."

Killer 7, what can I say about this game that could truly describe the sheer awesomeness of it? Well it'll be tough, but I can try.

Story

Well, the story of the game is a little complicated but very interesting. Basically there's this old guy in a wheelchair named Harman Smith who has 7 different personalities each with their own separate forms and abilities that make up the assassination squad known as the Killer 7.

As the Killer 7, you're charged with the task of eliminating the Heaven Smile organization led by the evil Kun Lan who wishes to take over the world. It's a little difficult to comprehend at first, but with a little patience you'll actually end up enjoying the deep plot and likable characters.

Gameplay

The gameplay in Killer 7 is quite simply amazing. You can alternate between the different personalities through the menu or through the use of televisions placed around the levels of the game, and use them for differing actions needed to progress in the game further. The televisions can also be used to upgrade your characters' stats, which also gives the game a bit of an RPG feel. This adds a bit of re-playability to the game as well as some very diverse features that greatly enhance gameplay and set this game apart from any others.

Killer 7 is a 3D game, but you control your character on a rail. That means you can only move in two directions, but there are paths that the game allows you to take which they refer to as "junctions". You use these junctions to move to different paths and progress in the level. This can be a bit daunting at first, but once you get used to it you hardly even know you're on a rail. And with the enemies in this game you have to stay sharp or else the game's enemies, known as the Heaven Smiles, will run up on you and explode. They tend to this since the Heaven Smiles only attack is to kamikaze whichever character you currently are. But don't worry, you'll always know they're around when you hear their deranged laughter and footsteps.

Often times you'll have to switch between one of the 7 different personalities in order to complete a task. It's an interesting concept at first, but it can get annoying a little later on in the game due to the slow loading when you morph into a different character. Sometimes this can even cut into the action because in some cases you'll have to change characters and use that character's attack in order to defeat one of the different kinds of Heaven Smiles you'll be facing. And when I say different kinds, there are a large variety of Smiles you must face, all of whom are different, and all must be defeated by locating their weak spot, which is not always easy to find right away.

The one downside to the gameplay however is that when there are a lot of enemies on-screen, the game tends to slow down almost to a halt, making it difficult to attack whatever is coming at you. It's a tough obstacle when the game literally works against you, but one that's easily overcome by your anticipation to complete the game.

Graphics

The graphics in the game are pretty stylish to say the least. It has a beautiful art direction that fits the game's mood perfectly. Some of the character models look blocky at times, but it's pretty easy to overlook when everything else looks so beautiful. Also, some of the cut-scenes offer a Japanese anime style to them, which is actually pretty appropriate and fits the game well, as well as furthering the story.

Sound

The game's sound is a notch above average. The shots fired by the Killer 7 members sound realistic, and the voice acting is amazing. The music in the game is different depending on each scenario, but there's one part of the game before you fight a boss in each level where the music sounds a bit out of place. It's a nice sounding upbeat dance tune, but it seems out of place in a game like this, and especially before you fight some of the menacing bosses in the game. But considering some of the game's bosses maybe it's not so out of place after all.

Overall Killer 7 is an amazing game, and what I consider to be a rare gem. The only real problem is the slowdown that occurs can really dampen the action, as well as the annoying wait/load times when you change personalities. This can be a problem at times because this game is action packed, and disrupts in the action slow the game down in more ways than one. But it's still a solid and compelling game that should keep you interested for weeks, if not months. Maybe even years.....


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/29/06


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