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gdc 2013

Killer is Dead

Killing Enemies Loudly In Suda 51’s New Game
by Ben Reeves on Mar 28, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Platform PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Publisher XSEED Games
Developer Grasshopper Manufacture
Rating Mature

Mondo is an executioner with a spy-like swagger and a robotic arm, but that is far from the strangest thing about Suda 51’s new game, Killer is Dead.

Mondo is a stylish, debonair killer who works for a government-funded agency called Bryan’s Execution Agency. As Suda 51 describes him, he’s like a darker James Bond. The world of Killer is Dead explores the relationship between the moon and the Earth, which is strange to say about a game that features a group of contract killers. However, it’s clear that something evil is happening on the dark side of the moon as some mysterious force is sending evil minions towards Earth to cause havoc.

The whole game plays out in a series of missions that are designed to emulate a season of a TV show. Each mission is self-contained but ties into a larger plot. During a demo at GDC we jumped into the middle of a mission and got to see one of Killer is Dead’s boss battles.

Victor is a villain who has the ability to steal sounds from musicians around the world. He’s been efficiently doing so as he works to build an ultimate sound that will wipe out human beings and “purify” the planet. After Mondo works his way through the minions within Victor’s towering skyscraper, our hero confronts the evil genius himself. At first, Mondo can’t hear anything the decrepit old man says, but then he sees a pair of gold headphones over in one corner of the room. After putting on the headset, Mondo can hear Victor reveling in his Machiavellian plan to purify the planet.

After a short cutscene filled with awkward dialog, Victor transforms into a monstrous creature with giant electric purple arms who swipes at Mondo. Mondo has a cybernetic arm that can transform into a gun, but his main mode of attack is really a sword, which he always keeps close to his side. Mondo will want to use his arm cannon to disable enemies, knock them off balance, or otherwise set them up for more debilitating sword combos.

After taking off both of Victor’s arms, Mondo continues to whittle away Victor’s health bar and eventually closes in for a finishing quick-time event where he cuts off the monster’s head.

The action of Killer is Dead will look familiar to anyone who’s played other Suda 51 games such as Lollipop Chainsaw or No More Heroes, but the visual style helps the game stand out. The game’s vivid cel-shaded  design looks good in screens (below), but really shines in motion. Killer is Dead is set for release later this summer.

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Killer is Deadcover

Killer is Dead

PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: