I have bought a lot of video games; what I haven’t done is beat a lot of video games. For whatever reason, I’ve decided to go back and give some of these games another shot: this is the Backlog.
This Week’s Game: Killer Is Dead
I thought that I was going to go to the ol’ Steam Library for my next backlog game, but I booted up my 360 to take advantage of a free copy of Dishonored (I’ve got the PC version, also a backlog candidate, but free is free) and noticed that I had Killer is Dead sitting on my hard drive. “Oh yeah,” I thought to myself, “I played that at some point.” Since I was there, and my PC was all the way over on the other side of the room, I decided to boot up Killer is Dead and take it for a spin.
I have no idea what is going on in this game, and I am fairly certain that I wouldn’t have any idea what was going on if I had started over from the beginning either. I am a sometimes creepy dude with a giant cybernetic arm and something called… *sigh* Gigolo Vision. Yes, there are some things in this game that I find a little unsettling, by which I mean they are totally gross and weird. I don’t know why peeking at lady bits gets my cyber arm upgrades, but apparently that’s the way that Suda 51 wanted to go. I can’t say that I agree with the decision at all, but let me set aside the highly problematic nature of the upgrade system and focus on the core of the game.
The core of the game is this: people come to your office, where they ask you to kill super weird people. You go and kill some super weird people with a bigass sword and an arm cannon. It reminds me a lot of Killer 7, which was an absolutely incredible game that I should really go back and play again at some point. The art style is highly stylized and heavy on contrasting colors: lots of blacks and reds and yellows and blues and whatnot. The story is absolutely incomprehensible, but weirdly reminiscent of Cowboy Bebop in some ways, only I don’t think Spike and crew ever had to find a man who stole the moon. There is also a lady named Moon River, which I mean, okay, that’s fine I guess when the main protagonist’s name is Mondo. I’m sure that there’s some hook or something that I am totally missing; I had to go to a wiki to figure out what the hell was going on in Killer 7 and Killer is Dead definitely has more in common with that game than Suda 51’s more recent output (never quite got into Shadows of the Damned and I don’t know how I’d explain Lollipop Chainsaw to my wife). Look, this whole game is totally strange, like some bizarre Bebop/Evangelion/Hellsing love child and in spite of all that, and in spite of the whole Gigolo Vision shit, I am pretty sure that I like this game.
So is this a game that I’m going to beat and get out of my massive backlog of games? I dunno. It is so outlandish and strange that a part of me wants to see where it goes and what it gets up to along the way. There’s another part of me that is not really into the gameplay and is super disappointed about the whole ogling-for-upgrades mechanic. The final part of me knows that I will not play this game while my wife or son are around or awake because I don’t feel like explaining what the fuck is going on, especially since I have no idea what is going on in the first place.
What I’m saying is this: if I get the living room to myself (rare) and don’t immediately start watching like, Lord of the Rings, there is a chance that I’ll boot up Killer is Dead again instead of something else. The fact that it is installed on my 360’s hard drive and I don’t need a disc gives it an advantage over pretty much any disc game I have, because I am a horribly lazy person and I hate swapping discs.
Hey, made it three weeks! Awesome.