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Killer 7 Review

Thursday, January 1st, 1970 by Zach Potts

Well, the first thing I should mention is that this is definitely what they like to call a “mature” game. Yes, not for the kiddies, indeed. Aside from blood spraying all over the place, there are cuss words yelled out left and right, with all kinds of other stuff not intended for children. Killer 7 is one of the bloodier, “mature” games on the market. Much worse then anything GTA throws at you, psh.

Another thing I would like to discredit, is both the fact that Killer 7 is SO different, that it isn’t a game and can’t be “played”, because that is just crazy talk, and secondly, that it will some how revolutionize gaming and is seen only as an art form and not game. Again, I don’t think that. I think the graphics are nice, and it’s definitely a bit different then the common formula that we now as games, but it’s not THAT crazy and foreign to change the way we look, play, or make video games or to sever us off from playing the game.

Don’t get me wrong though, Killer 7 is one crazy, messed up game, that doesn’t make too much sense, story line wise…You may have to play it twice to understand. I’d go as far as to say it’s storyline is up there with MGS:SoL, and if you’ve gotten to the end of that game, you know that that storyline is just, WTH; doesn’t make ANY sense.

What better place to start then gameplay. Let’s see, how about the simple mechanics first. Umm, you can play as 8 different characters, although you can only play as the main guy at certain times during the game, so he doesn’t really count, and this other guy, Garcian, you don’t really want to play as, because if you are him and you die, you lose, and he doesn’t have a really powerful gun and so forth. So you basically are going to be using these 6 people. They differ in looks and personality, obviously, but also in weapons and skills. Each character has their own weapon, ranging from a big revolver, to some dual pistols, to dual grenade launchers; a nice variety. Each weapon of course comes into play at different times, but mainly the only “special” weapon is the grenade launchers, used to destroy walls and what not. And you have infinite ammo, so that’s always a plus, but be careful; it doesn’t say how many more rounds you have until you have to reload, so reload often, and kind of count once to see how much ammo one has, so you will know when you have to reload and what not.

Like I said, each character has special powers and abilities. For instance, one guy is an expert in thievery, and can jump very high and pick locks; while this other guy can turn invisible to bypass enemies or get through trip lasers, etc, etc. And with Garcian, he is the one that can resurrect fallen “heroes”, which of course is strange, with their head being in a paper bag and all, but whatever.

You can change characters at anytime you wish, mostly. When you start a level, usually some characters will be “asleep” and you must awaken them. In order to do so, you must kill a certain number of enemies first though.

The problem here is, is that you don’t really need all these characters. I mean, sure, you need specific ones to “solve” certain puzzles, but you can just easily change into said character, perform his or her special move, and then go back to another character. What I am trying to say is, you will most likely find a character you like the most and stick with him or her. Whichever one has the coolest weapon or catch phrase. Hehe, they say cool stuff when you get an “insto-kill”, phrase I just made up, described next.

Another cool thing with the characters, is that they change clothes every level. Of course, this isn’t anything too special or amazing or anything, but change is always nice; keeps things fresh.

The enemies are pretty cool. They are collectively called the Heaven Smiles, although there is a large variety of them, with a few new ones being introduced each level to keep the variety up. Each enemy has a particular style of attacking and being killed, although most have a random weak point some where on their body, being their thigh, arm, or neck. In normal difficulty, these weak points will show up if your retinal is near it. Of course, you can just shoot the enemy until he spurts blood all over the place and dies, but if you hit the weak point, it’s an insto-kill, and your current character will say a snappy cool whip that could make him an action star.

That 14 on the right is the amount of thick blood you have. 40 dls. is one vial of serum. That “x0″ is the number of thin blood vials you have. You can charge up your gun with them. And that eye is your health meter. Yeah…an eye for a health meter…let’s hope it doesn’t close.

This brings in a creepy factor in the game. When you come upon an enemy, before seeing it, you will hear it’s laugh. *shivers* Arg, it’s just…creepy. Also, different types of Smiles have different types of laughs and other noises they make, so you can tell what you are going to be going up against before you even set eyes on the enemy. Another thing is that the enemies use a certain type of camo, so they are “invisible”, so you must scan the area to make them visible. I’ll explain in the controls “section” later.

Also, by killing enemies, you gain blood, thick and thin. The thin blood is collected into small vials, 20 max, and can be used to both heal oneself and use abilities. The thick blood is transformed into serum, which is used to power up your characters in four areas: Power, Speed, Waver, and Criticals. Power is weapon strength; Speed is firing speed and probably reloading; Waver is the amount you move while aiming, like precision; and Criticals…not so sure, something to do with getting insto-kills and locking on I think. It costs more each time you “purchase” a power up. Also, as you level up a character, they will learn new abilities, like shooting 2 or 3 bullets “at once”, counter attacking, and some other things.

While I’m on the subject of changing characters and everything, I’ll explain the Harman Rooms. Harman is the main character guy. Ya know, the dude in the wheel chair, good man, good man. Anyways, he has many rooms for no apparent reason, scattered throughout each level. These rooms are used to get information from your faithful servant Iwazaru, change characters, convert thick blood to serum, and save your game. The weird thing is, among other weird things in the game, is that you do all these things through a tv…yeaaaaahhhh. It’s like, “What? A television set? You change characters and stuff like that? OOoooooookay…” But yeah, it’s true. It’s pretttttyyyyy, “Huh?” Also, another servant lady is named Samantha. She can be very nice, but not always…poor Harman. Anyhoo, she will always been in the Harman’s Rooms, but she will either be in her street clothes or in a maid outfit. You can only save when she is in her maid outfit. So, there are certain rooms you can save in basically.

Arg, so much to say, yet no order to say it in. I just hope you guys wont get too lost and confused, but if it happens, then that’s the point….yeah, sure, why not. My review shall be confusing, weird, and bewildering, just like the game. :)
I guess I can talk about the controls now. This is another thing players have been going crazy about, saying how the controls are so messed up and impossible to follow and so other crap. Sure, while the controls are a bit unique, and will take a minute to get used to, they aren’t too convoluted or anything.

So, you are normally in a third person view, running around. You run by holding down the “A” button. If you didn’t know, the game is on rails, so you don’t run around all over the place, exploring every nook and cranny, although you do. But by rails, if you don’t know what that means, it means that you don’t use the analog stick. You are on a set track and you can’t really control where you go, sorta. But don’t worry, for while this may seem to confine the player, it is just an illusion and really doesn’t. After the first five minutes, you don’t feel confined to rails. You control your running, and control where you go, to an extent of course. When you get to a junction, you will choose which way to go, or to interact with an object or whatever. It truly doesn’t feel like you are on rails since there are many different routes one can take and other things that take away from the illusion; it’s done very well.

Anyways, you run by holding down “A”, and you can make a 180 by pressing “B”. When you hear those familiar, devilish laughs, you will want to hold “R” to go into first person to shoot whatever made said sound. But, like I mentioned earlier, the Smiles are camouflaged, so while holding “R”, press the “L” button to scan the area and reveal the Smiles. Then you can blast them to heck.

“Y” is used to perform your special moves, outside of battle, and powers up your gun in battle. “X” brings up the map, which is pretty useful. You know I don’t like going in tangents, but may as well. The map shows everything on it. It shows what rooms you have been to, which room or area you are in, where you can get an item or where you need to use one, and where a character’s ability is needed, and which character. So if you ever get lost in the game, chances are that looking at your map will help you figure out where you need to be; although getting there is another problem. Anyhoo, the map is a very useful tool.

Move the C-stick in any direction to reload. That is a little strange, I know…You will most likely be trying to aim or something and accidentally move the c-stick, it happens, but you’ll get used to it eventually.

Move the analog stick while in first person to aim, and press the “B” button to lock on, although I never use the “B” button since it is a waste of time, when you can just as easily move the analog stick; but if you are in a dark room and can’t really see, then the targeting can help out a bit.

And of course you have the “A” button which shoots and is used to confirm the direction you want to move in and all that good stuff.

This game wouldn’t be half as messed up, weird, or funny without it’s characters. And let me tell ya, there are some pretty crazy people in this game. The reoccurring ones are the best, and most helpful. You got Iwazaru, your faithful servant who hangs around each level, *snicker snicker*, hangs, haha; Travis, who is some guy I think you killed previously some time who helps you out and gives you some riddles and what not. He is also always wearing a different shirt, with some different text, which has nothing to do with anything, but everything to do with everything, every time you see him; Yoon-Hyun, who gives you riddles on specific puzzles, and who holds this mask which you can shoot to get more info, but be careful with that. Hehe, you’ll get a laugh after the first time you shoot his mask, but I can’t say why…And then there is Susie, a severed head. Yeah, pretty strange, since she talks to you and everything…She always good for a laugh or two though, in a sick and twisted kind of way…She is one..special girl. Anyways, she is always found with a ring in her mouth, one that she will give to you and is used to solve puzzles. She’s cool though, because she always uses smilies like (^_^)/, and all kinds of things to present her emotions. Yeah, there are subtitles throughout the game. I’ll explain later. Then you got your weird bosses and everything, but I’ll leave that to you when you play the game.

Your goal in most of the levels is to collect these Soul Bullets so you can get past the Gatekeeper so you can get to this gate so you can get to the boss. Yeah, it’s a little strange, but hey, this is Killer 7, what did you expect? Anyways, you get these Soul Bullets by completing little puzzles and what not. The levels are pretty structured, so you will get the bullets as you move through the level and get to the gate near the end, or center of the level. Side note, I really like the tune that is in that hallway right before the Coliseum. It’s got a good beat.

With the speech; it’s pretty strange. In the cut scenes, the people will speak english with no subtitles, but when talking with a character you just run up on, they will speak in some apparently random noises, however there is some pattern to this “language”. Some “words” actually sound like their subtitled counter parts and you will hear some familiar noises over and over again, so these noises are apparently some kind of language, whether made up or actual. So yeah, kind of weird. Also, while talking about subtitles and stuff, when you shoot and kill an enemy, some text will appear in the upper right hand corner saying stuff like, “Where’s the blood?” and other strange phrases that have something to do with something.

And, of course, you cannot talk about this game without mentioning the graphics. 95% of the game is in this pseudo-cell-shading, which is pretty cool, especially with all the nice effects the game presents. It mostly has to do with blood, and it spewing out of holes from your victims, but ya know, it’s all par for the course. Also, they randomly through in some anime cut scenes. Ya know, cartoony, anime stuff. It looks cool, whatever.

The transition screens are also really cool. Just the overall style of the game. It’s hard to really explain it, but they are pretty sweet. I’m sure I’ll find some screen shots. There are like, 25 pages of them, and I just saw one of this particular transition I was thinking about. Go Gamespot.

And then you have the environments. This doesn’t really have to do with the graphics so much as with the atmosphere and variety. The environments are all pretty cool, and like I just said, nice and varied. There are indoor and outdoor environments, and all kinds of stuff. The outdoor ones really make you feel like you are in an expansive area with lots of space to run around, again, making you feel less confined to those rails, especially when you have enemies coming at you from every direction.

Also, at the beginning of each level, you usually go through these screens of showing you where you are in the world, which is pretty cool.

The bosses are pretty cool as well. This only adds to the game’s strangeness. Words don’t even begin to describe…They are all pretty cool though. And they are pretty…unique, I guess you could say. Well, one is a straight up dual, like, a dual. And then this other is this other dual thing, with each of your 8 personas going against these super heroes, and then you have your regular boss fights; it’s all just crazy stuff. I don’t want to give everything away.

Like I’ve been trying to tell you, the game is weird, strange messed up, and funny because of said reasons. I mean, not funny “ha ha”, but funny “WTH was that??? ha ha.” You will be laughing and saying, “What??? hahah,” all the time. The main thing that always gets me, is when you go to save your game. There is this screen that comes up for half a second that tells you not to turn off the power or take out the memory card, and it has this like, cricket laying on some chair on the beach or something, but it’s only up for a spit second, and I mean…WTH???? It cracks me up every time. It’s just got some ridiculous stuff.

And then of course you have your freaky factor. This starts from the get go, and goes along with the “WTH” factor. For instance, right when you click on “New Game”, “Continue”, or “Options”, you will hear this devilish laughter. It’s pretty freaky, especially the first time you play and you don’t expect it. Even before that, before the menu, when it shows the developers and what not, it’s odd. And then of course you get into the game, and my god…it’s just craziness. And like I said, the laughter of the Smiles is just enough to make you go crazy, always on edge when you hear that.

And of course the story. The story is just, “What?” I mean, you think you have a grasp on it near the beginning. Well, if you have some background on the game, and now the concept, then you think you have a grasp on it. If you don’t know anything about the game and didn’t read the manual or anything, then you will be completely lost. Anyhoo, you think you know, but then you play these levels and fight these bosses and it just doesn’t add up…It’s a little strange, to say the least…

Some other random stuff about the game, like this review hasn’t been random enough, is that there are two difficulties to choose from. In the harder difficulty, you get less blood and the enemies’ weak point doesn’t show up.

Uhh, at the end of each level, a counter comes up and tells you how many Smiles you have killed, so that’s cool.

And the problems with the game, because no game is perfect. The main thing is that it’s too short. I beat it in a couple days…and the puzzles weren’t exactly difficult. There were too many clues given by the people, and the map helped out a little too much. Maybe the difficult mode makes that harder…less clues I believe…But yeah, a bit too simplistic with the puzzles.

There is this loading screen that comes up when you move from room to room, which got pretty annoying at the beginning, but you got used to and didn’t notice in the middle of the game, probably because it was mostly outdoor environments then, with less load times from indoor ones.

Another problem is just this annoyance factor you get from trying to get information from Iwazaru at the beginning. While in Harman’s Room, you can talk to Iwazaru at anytime about a variety of different things, about game play basics, to different Smiles and their weak points. However, at the beginning of the game, you are going to want to do this a lot and check up on a lot of the different aspects and learn how to play and what not, but this takes for.ev.er. Iwazaru is one repetitive guy, always starting off with something like, “This isn’t good,” or “We are in a tight spot,” something of that sort, and ending with, “In the name of Harman…” It just takes too long to get through this dialogue to get to the stuff you want to know, and when he says it every time…it gets old fast.

But ya know, those are just minor problems, nothing major.

Oh, yeah, and the game produces some pretty strange, funny, and memorable quotes. Hehe, there are a ton of them in the game, most of which I can’t say here because I would most assuredly be banned, but yeah, they are good. One clean one, said by some ghostly child was, “Adults are the sucks.” Now, I mean come on; that’s just classic. “Adults are the suxxorz,” may have been better, but w/e. There are some pretty crazy ones in there, and the characters are just…messed up. You’ll get a kick out of it.

So yeah, that’s Killer 7; a pretty unique, weird game that is freaky and strange and doesn’t make too terribly much sense, but the game play does. Don’t get confused there. The story and characters are weird, but the actual game play is simple and fun. If you like shooting stuff, you’ll probably like Killer 7. However I cannot advise anymore that this is definitely not a game for the kiddies; it definitely earned it’s M rating. But yes, a good game. They say that you will either love or hate this game, but they are wrong. I am apparently one of the few that fell in the middle. I enjoyed it for what it was. I definitely don’t hate it, but I don’t love, love it. It was fun, interesting, and all around cool. Just another game though. Won’t change/revolutionize anything.