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Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

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7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 127 Ratings

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  • Summary: The latest title from the mind of game creator SUDA51 serving as a spiritual successor to previous cult favorites No More Heroes and Killer 7. Stylish cel-shaded visuals set the mood in this gritty, bloody, ultra-violent world where biomechanical augmentations increase the power of criminals and “executioners” alike. Mondo Zappa, a newly recruited executioner, hunts criminals wielding a Japanese sword in his right hand, and powerful biomechanical engineering in his left. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 38
  2. Negative: 4 out of 38
  1. 90
    At this point, though, you already know, if Killer is Dead is for you. It's shrill, chaotic, stupid and quite simply all sorts of genius. Finally, Suda did that one final step to grow as a game designer, no longer banking solely on the weird.
  2. Aug 26, 2013
    80
    Pure Suda, Killer is Dead is a really good action game with lots of flavor and many of the elements that have made special this director.
  3. Sep 6, 2013
    80
    This is as surreal as stylish, as uncompromising as relentless, as odd as any other game from Suda 51. But is also more mainstream than ever before, which is admirable.
  4. Aug 27, 2013
    70
    Killer Is Dead packs the style and swagger that's defined Suda 51's output to date, highlighted by the smart, well-designed boss battles. It's only really let down by awkward pacing and the padding between those boss battles.
  5. Sep 3, 2013
    65
    Killer is Dead is a Suda51 game. If that makes you smile, there is probably something here you will enjoy. If not, then its mediocre combat and weird direction are not going to carry you through the whole experience.
  6. Aug 27, 2013
    60
    The high-contrast art style lends a cool flair to characters and environments, but works against you on the gameplay front.
  7. 40
    I've not felt wronged by a game to this degree in a long time. Hatred just about captures the emotion. Killer is Dead has the kernel of an acceptable game, swathed in unlikable characters, a Benny Hill attitude to women, alienating self-regard and some obnoxious gameplay decisions. It's impossible to recommend.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 24
  2. Negative: 3 out of 24
  1. Aug 27, 2013
    10
    This game is fun. I don't care about the silly plot.The action is great and I'm loving it. The graphic design is a welcoming fresh change. The sound effects and voice acting are very good. The gameplay is varied and at times it is challenging, but not because of an 'artificial difficulty'. This game needs some skill to get through some levels. I don't have the slightness clue why this got low reviews. 10/10 Expand
  2. Aug 29, 2013
    10
    Awesome game, truly. You'd have to be a pretty boring person to not enjoy it. Fast and visceral action, awesome boss fights and a ridiculous plot, what more do you expect from a Goichi Suda game? If you see comments about loading times it's because they haven't installed it. Go ahead and do that like me, my 'loading screens' are just a flash of text. Expand
  3. j3f
    Aug 30, 2013
    10
    Killer is Dead is more than the sum of its parts. 1 part absurd story telling and 1 part fast paced action game. From the opening scene to the vignettes that are each episode, Killer is Dead will leave you with more questions than answers. But that's the point, it gives you just enough to make an educated guess as to how everything ties together. In the end you realize the game is set in a universe where you have to accept that anything is possible. The real fun in the story is theorizing how everything works much in the same way that people theorized the Zelda timeline before the release of the Hyrule Historia. Set pieces and over the top characters make every moment memorable.
    American critics have taken to bashing the game over the head in an attempt to not seem misogynist or out of line with other reviewers. The truth is there is nothing objectionable in the game, not a single nipple is shown in the game. Even the gigolo missions are a satire that is far more tasteful than its source material, James Bond. For one thing you can't sleep with any of the girls until the second date. The gigolo I felt to be very charming, as you have to build up guts in order to make a move to woo your current infatuation. Contrast this with any Hollywood spy movie star who can bed a woman with a snap of his fingers, no romance, no call the morning after. Go too long without see one of the girls, and they'll call you and remind you to spend some time with them, they aren't just some throw away fling. Mondo Zappa, if anything is human with human needs and human weaknesses.
    Combat is fast and furious. If Devil May Cry(1,3, & 4 not DmC) and Bayonetta are the Forza and Gran Turismo of Beat 'em Up's then Killer is Dead is Burnout. Put simply it's a distillation of those winning formulas with a few twists thrown in. You wield a katana in combocentric gameplay, enemies block and you can use a guard break or flank the enemy or move onto to another target. The key to mowing down enemies is to build up massive combos, after reaching as the combometer soars to 10, 20, 50, 100 hit you become a backflipping sword spinning trail of destruction as mondo attacks faster and harder, building up more hits accelerating at an exponential rate. One of the quickest ways to build up a combo is to perform a just dodge which allows you a few seconds to hammer on the x button to score a dozen hits. While similar to Bayonetta's witch time, it doesn't slow down the action because it doesn't last nearly as long and takes you straight to the button mashing action. What it's missing goes a long way to defining what it is. One of the unique things of Killer is Dead is its lack of autotargeting and lock on. Combine this with an arm cannon that runs off your most valuable resource, blood, and you have a great third person shooter. You'll be tempted to take out grunts with a single head-shot and you'll unload volleys into flying enemies. Right below your health meter is your blood meter, which you get from hacking away at enemies, blood allows you to heal, use your robotic arm, and let's you perform adrenaline bursts sacrificing blood to take out a grunt in a single strike(bigger enemies just block you). Killer is dead can be hard, but the quick loading times make restarting quick and painless. The bosses are all unique and some the more memorable do things I've never seen before. Levels are clever and nothing in the game becomes frustrating because of a failure of the mechanics.
    All together Killer is Dead is unique experience that everyone should enjoy. Suda51's brand of story telling is alive and well. Grasshopper Studios executed a superb action game similar and dissimilar to those that came before it.
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  4. Sep 2, 2013
    9
    Yes, Killer Is Dead is worth the purchase, if you are a fan of the Studio. I agree with many out there, that this game may have focused to much on the experience with Women, but at its core Killer Is Dead tells a wonderful, heart touching story. The combat becomes better and better the more you focus on getting your upgrades and learning how to use them right. While the shooting can feel a bit unnatural it still helps you throughout the game. Some of the End Bosses are weird and absurd, but still fun to fight against. One of my favorite final End Bosses is in this game.

    Killer Is Dead is a wonderful game, with great combat and a beautiful story.
    Expand
  5. Aug 28, 2013
    9
    You know it's gonna be an awesome game upon discovering it's a Suda51 title. The people responsible for developing awesome games such No More Heroes will not leave you disappointed with this one, trust me. Maybe it's not as good as NMH in terms of gameplay, and not as complicated as Killer7 in terms of story, but it defimitely deserves a pick-up. Also, I must agree with the other when I say that the reviewers went kinda too rough on this. Grab it, try it for yourself, and fun's guaranteed. Expand
  6. Nov 14, 2013
    8
    This game has some issues, certainly, but overall this was a fun experience.
    Cons:
    1) Terrible camera and lack of lock-on. Most of the time
    you will simply be fighting from the side as seen on camera, which creates problems with dodging.
    2) While unique and interesting visuals generally will be in pros, how they handled black in this game is quite bad. There are a lot of areas that are dark. Now if they would be simply dark, that would be fine. But they are drawn as dark blue and sometimes this takes half, if not more, of the screen of dark blue. You don't see any shapes inside it as well.
    Pros:
    1) Music. Fits very, very well. Some compositions are worthy of listening outside the game.
    2) Story. Now, it is for the most part unclear. You do have lots of questions "why?" and "What happened before the game started?". Think about Nier, though not as bad. However, if you just stop caring to answer every little question, you will enjoy the story. You get enough information about the main issues, you understand the motives and even some of the main mechanics of this world. It is more than enough to enjoy.
    3) Visual style. Besides black-dark blue areas, colors in this game are mixed in a very interesting way, cell shading looks quite good. Overall, it is simply curios, you don't see such visuals every day, so might as well enjoy it.
    Kind of pro: Battles. While this is not as satisfying as many others hack-n-slash because you are not given that much freedom and creativity in combat, the mechanics are solid. Dodges seems to have no invulnerability frames, which makes you aware of the flow of the combat. About half of the game fighting with regular monsters makes you yawn, because they are weak and are killed simply by whacking at them, with occasional dodge. After that, you get extremely aggresive and tough enemies that often require different approach (or at least are best killed by different approaches), prioritizing targets, and common staff like that from hack-n-slashes. At this point, the combat is interesting. Not the best, but solid and fun. Boss battles are ok, you mostly have seen all their mechanics before. They look good though.
    Overall, worthy experience.
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  7. Aug 30, 2013
    1
    If you aren't a big fan of Goichi Suda, I'd recommend skipping this game. There has been a big hoopla over sexism and related topics, but I simply don't care about that. If anything, I respected the creators more for bucking the trend of sanitizing games and being overly PC. However, the game is plagued with all sorts of issues.

    The game's narrative is fragmented and the plot is incomprehensible, and that may be a selling point to some (I enjoy games with confusing plots), but it was disjointed in a very bad way. The characters were flat and were beyond "trope-y" into the realm of pure cliche. This can be used to a game's benefit if the developers know how lame their characters are and are acting as a satire. This game is not one of those games. The developers apparently wanted you to unironically think that the characters are cool and hip. The dialogue makes attempts to be mysterious and deep, but just ends up being eye-rollingly bad.

    The graphics are another domain in which the game falls flat. Shadows are overused to the point of parody with one of the most unpleasantly pervasive filters in recent memory. However, this is small change compared to the game's major graphical flaw: screen tearing. It doesn't matter how complex an environment is, how many enemies are present, etc there will be screen tearing. It was not a subtle amount either, it was constant and severe. It was terrible enough to the point that I had to pause the game several times because it was making me physically dizzy. In the most literal sense imaginable, I have never played a console game with screen tearing this extreme. I genuinely don't know how it did not get resolved in quality assurance.

    I have nothing good or bad to say about the sound. There is a soundtrack, and it is neither noticeable bad enough to mute the BGM, nor good enough to remember any of the tracks later. It is simply there. The voice acting isn't bad, but because of the poor quality of dialogue, no one says anything worth listening to anyway. The game is also hounded with issues of poorly synched dialogue, so if you loved the terrible synching from old Godzilla/Gojira movies, this may be a plus for you.

    The gameplay was so-so, overall. The combat is actually pretty solid; however, the constant screen tearing takes away almost any fun I had while in combat. That isn't to say that the combat was stellar, though; if you want a game with great, fast-paced combat, I'd recommend playing a Platinum game instead. The much ballyhooed Gigolo mode was boring and bland. While I can see why the ultra-sensitive crowd is upset about sexism, the average individual will find nothing objectionable (beyond how tedious and simplistic it is). For those that are just so worked up and morally offended they can't bear to play this mode, you are in luck as it is completely optional. The only thing you'll miss out on is a few forgettable sub-weapons and tedium.

    All in all, there wasn't a single front where this game did not fail, in my opinion. If you are a huge fan of Suda51, there's nothing I can say to dissuade you from picking this up (and you might even enjoy it), and you are likely reading my review to get angry. For those of you that aren't Suda51 diehards, I'd recommend avoiding this game if at all possible. If you absolutely must try this game, perhaps thinking this game is "so bad it's good" (it's not), or that I'm off base (I don't think I am, but I'm not perfect), then I'd recommend renting it, or seeing as the sales are pretty abysmal, wait 2 to 3 months until it drops to $10-$15 for a used copy.
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See all 24 User Reviews