Where’s Travis Touchdown when you need him?
Suda51’s unique take on games has been hit and miss over the years, Killer 7 was so-so while No More Heroes and its sequel are still highly rated, then there’s the likes of Lollipop Chainsaw which divided gamers both over its gameplay and for its cheap thrills. Killer is Dead places the protagonist role in an assassin called Mondo Zappa who takes on assignments that go from stranger and stranger, one will put you in a mansion that is almost a rip-off of Alice in Wonderland to a castle on the Moon.
Killer is Dead is a hack-n-slash type game that is simplistic and sadly, predictable in its design. The story starts out intriguing, but then it gets far too weird…it’s almost like an acid trip at times, not that I know what one of those feels like, but it’s just bizarre and definitely has the Suda51 trademark written all over it.
The problem is that Mondo just isn’t that interesting and the less said about the cringy “Gigolo” missions the better. Essentially it’s a mini-game where Mondo must glance at a woman in a bar and hand her gifts at certain opportunities, all the while trying to catch pervy glances when she’s not looking, if you’re successful then you get her into bed. It’s silly and not really needed in the overall plot, not to mention it’s incredibly uncomfortable to play. Gameplay can feel a little stiff at times, the camera doesn’t help during combat and really and truly, the only good thing about Killer is Dead is it’s art style…but it’s been done before and better by Suda51, it feels a bit lazy in comparison and far too unnecessarily explicit at times.
The voice-acting is cheesy in English, but matches the tone of the cutscenes so I’d stick with it if I were you, even if some characters are incredibly screechy and annoying. The music is pretty good though and has some great tunes to fight out to. Boss battles aren’t as memorable as they should be which is a shame considering the great ones that Suda51 has brought out before.
All in all, Killer is Dead is a pretty mixed bag. The combat is average, the story is just plain weird but Mondo is just no Travis Touchdown and the Gigolo mini-game is just cringeworthy. On the plus side, the art design is brilliant and the cutscenes are very imaginative, but Suda51 is better than this and we all know it.