Review by Ali_X_Rexus

"Most UNDERRATED/UNDERAPPRECIATED game ever if you ask me (at the time of writing)"

If you were to name some beautiful complex twisted minds in the world of gaming, Suda 51, the one whose brain gave most to this title, is sure to be mentioned, if not top the list. Suda 51 wrote and designed this game w/ some influence and aid by none other than Shinji Mikami, the Capcom great responsible for some of gaming's greatest offerings like Resident Evil 4. Killer 7 was met by some sub-par scores, and in my opinion, they are part of the ones that don't get it.

It's hard to describe the plot behind Killer 7 here, since the story spans many layers of depth. Put simply, you take the role of 7 killers, hence the title Killer 7. You can switch between the six personae from the game's start menu, and the seventh, Garcian Smith, can be used to revive a fallen comrade by stuffing the body into a plastic bag. The Killer 7 are skilled assassins that have to perform hits on various entities that pose a threat to the U.S.

New and most evident of these threats are the Heaven Smiles--suicidal mutants that are desperate to blow themselves up. The story spans governmental, spiritual, political, and many other facets that it's impossible to not realize the genius behind the story, characters, and various interpretations--Suda 51.

The game takes a third-person on-rails perspective: the game is on-rails yet it doesn't feel construed. You carry your character forward using X, turn around using triangle, and make selections with the analogue stick--it's fresh in a world of carbon copies that got lashed for it, but in this review, it gets plenty of GRATITUDE for it. Well done grasshopper.

During the course of the game, you face off against plenty of Heaven Smiles, each with certain weaknesses, and that's where the beauty of the combat and personae come in. Let's take the Protector for example. This breed of heaven smiles enlists a Protector, Protector Z, and a Protector ZZ. If you shoot them with a regular gun, nothing happens. However, if you use Mask De Smith, you can down them with his regular shell, stun shell, and reverse shell respectively--100% critical that'll down the enemy instantly.

Puzzles are fun and intriguing in this game, starting off as simple "use fire ring to turn candles on" to "listen to various recordings for clues to answering various terminal questions." There are also obstacles that can be tackled by certain personae. For example, Coyote can unlock certain doors and jump certain highs, Dan (the Hellion) can obliterate Duplicators, Kaede can down wall barriers (by sliting her wrists; Mature rating all the way), Con can enter tight areas, etc.

The beauty is in having all these personae with their various skills and having them interact with their environments and enemies, which opens room for depth that's otherwise absent from the game's on-rails linearity. However, there is an annoying aspect to this, and that is switching between the various personae might come about as dull. Why? Since you have to open the start menu, choose your desired smith, and then watch a small animation where the current smith fades and gets replaced by another, you'll start getting bored after you've made the 100th switch.

However, that is a small con in the face of the genius of this title, and it keeps in sync with the game's wackiness and complex story. If there is one thing you should play this game for, it's the STORY. I can't stress the beauty of it much. It's one of those games where you won't get it the first time, yet you want to get it. You play the second time, and you start awwing and ooing. You play it a third time, and you ahh and ooh some more. No matter how much you play, you still find something new to grasp, to relate, to figure out, etc.

The game has a great graphical touch, just as fresh as any of its other parts. Cel-shaded with amazing atmosphere to any of the locales, the graphics make a great compliment to the story. Blood and gore are nothing short of this game's offerings, made evident by this game's cutscenes--in a certain cutscene, you'll witness something so grotesque on the emotional, human, and physical level, and you'll realize that not only does the game earn its Mature rating fully, but it does so with style and makes the player LOVE it for it.

The game comes together beautifully, with every part working harmoniously and smoothly with the other. The graphics, audio, cutscenes, etc. all fit the mood and story wonderfully, offering one of gaming's most overlooked and underrated works of great art. Grasshopper and Suda 51, I salute you.

Pros

+Great cutscenes
+Amazing DEEP story
+Puzzles
+Various Personae and how they relate to the environment
+Heaven Smile--best enemy ever
+Voice acting that nails the mood
+Rarely will you enjoy the M rating on the game box as you will on this

Cons

-Loading times aren't as smooth as they should be
-Switching personae can become a bit dull

Story - 10
Visuals - 10
Audio - 10

Gameplay - 10
-FUN Factor - 10
-Controls - A
-Difficulty - Challenging

Lifespan - 10

Overall - 10


PLAY IT. And once you finish it, PLAY IT AGAIN. GO GO GO!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/07/09

Game Release: Killer7 (US, 07/07/05)


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