Killer Is Dead To Live Again On PC

By Adam Smith on February 17th, 2014 at 3:02 pm.

I’ve just had a quick shuffle through the RPS lunar archives, where old posts are stored in a air-conditioned crater, and I can’t find a single mention of Grasshopper’s Killer Is Dead. Does this mean we didn’t know that it was coming out on PC until this very moment? It certainly seems that way. From Killer 7 director Suda 51, it’s an action game about a man with a cybernetic arm that can transform into a gun or drill. Like Suda’s previous, Lollipop Chainsaw, it channels an idea of grindhouse trashiness in a way that is easily mistaken for ironic appreciation. I think Suda 51 just loves swords, cybernetics, gore, wrestling, melodrama and sneaky peeks of ladies’ underwear. This is a game in which you must carefully apply male gaze to unlock new weapons. Videos below.

Before I continue, let’s get one thing clear – I adore Killer 7. Haven’t played it since it came out, so maybe my feelings would change if I revisited, but I found it deliciously strange and creepy. I’ve spoken to a couple of people who reckon Killer Is Dead marks the point when Suda 51 didn’t just jump the shark, but jumped the blue whale as well, and then landed in a tank of piranhas. They saw it as the point when the unusual collision of pop culture and a personal brand of surrealism fell away, revealing a far more ordinary mixture of meaningless titillation and violence.

Maybe they’re just bored of the art style. I haven’t played it but the combat looks quite confused – not in a good way – and the video below just makes me feel faintly embarrassed. It seems a rather convoluted way to sneak a bit of naughtiness into the game without including any wit or sexiness to go along with it. Or sexy wit, which is my favourite kind of wit. This just makes me think of a man on an unwashed mattress kissing a blow-up doll’s neck and whispering ‘show me the sugar please show me the sugar’.

The Killer Is Dead guide to dating women – don’t make eye contact and ogle her ‘sexy parts’ when she turns away.

There’s this too – a sequence in which X-ray Specs are unlocked.

PC players won’t have to endure that scene though because, along with a new Nightmare difficulty mode, they’ll receive a free add-on pack:

Smooth Operator Pack for console will be included and unlocked from the start, which includes X-ray glasses, bewitching outfits, stunning beauties, and a killer new mission and boss!

Phew. It’s out in May.

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33 Comments »

  1. Anthile says:

    Pretty sure this hasn’t been announced or even hinted at before. We have a thread on the forums that keeps track of this kind of thing and I don’t remember it ever being mentioned there.

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  2. like100bears says:

    All opinions on the quality of the game (I found it quite solid, as an action game) or the content aside, the game at least has the decency to attempt to justify the lady-ogling bits. Your character is a gigolo, which means that those interactions aren’t so much dating as they are “dating”. Whether or not this makes it acceptable, it’s at least an interesting concept that I haven’t seen much of in games, especially considering how common female prostitutes tend to be.

    • Smion says:

      I actually saw it as a parody of how bad and creepy the depiction of dating is in most videogames.

      • like100bears says:

        That’s another interesting interpretation. I mean, clearly this is all highly subjective, but at least they tried for something more than the standard demeaning nonsense.

        • Pich says:

          Also everyone seems to forget that you aren’t playing a good guy.

      • Bradamantium says:

        I hope I can see it like this. I wrote this off on consoles because of that “mechanic,” and the fact that no one defended it like people would defend Lollipop Chainsaw’s Juliet or the hypermacho core of Shadows of the Damned made me a little worried. It put me on the fence as to whether Suda51′s a genius or just weird when I’d been pretty solidly on the genius side before.

        • Red Tonic says:

          Or maybe this will be the embarrassing creation out of Suda’s line-up. I watched–rather, tried to watch–an LP of this and found it pretty cringe-worthy. I’m glad that I had that opportunity to help me decide whether to purchase the game.

          It’s fair to point out that the protagonist isn’t a heroic character or a “good guy,” but it’s hard to defend the game as a parody. Even if you believe it’s a parody, that doesn’t effectively absolve the game of accusations of misogyny when the parody comes at the expense of… Women like myself. That’s my feeling on it. Not to say that I hate being the butt of a joke; I can take it. But the treatment of women as depicted in the game just felt extra brutal. Despite the visual aesthetics, the game was artless–not in a good, authentic/unmediated way, but in a stale, exploitative way.

      • drygear says:

        I kind of read it that way too, as making fun of dating sim type games and how women are treated in the genre. I think the mechanic where you seduce women by checking them out when they aren’t looking is meant to be absurd. It’s really hard for me to believe it’s meant to be taken at face level.

        That the only kind of romance you get is meaningless one night stands makes sense in the context of the game. There’s an atmosphere of disconnected loneliness that permeates the game. Like it wants to portray the lifestyle of an assassin as something that’s not glamorous, but depressing.

        Also, usually I don’t get on with the argument that MRA types make about games and comics being exploitative towards men because they’re muscular and not wearing shirts, but this game actually has something like that going on. There’s a male character you encounter who is well built and good looking, and he’s dressed like those pictures of what men would look like if they were treated like women. The camera definitely gets the most out of it, too, male gaze style. It had me laughing.

        But then I can’t shake the feeling that I’m making excuses for the game too, because I’m a fan of Suda51. Frankly, I enjoy looking at women in their underwear, and sometimes including virtual representations thereof. Who am I to say whether the game is misogynistic or not? Even if I don’t see it that way, I don’t think it’s wrong if it causes problems for other people, too.

      • bill says:

        I’m not sure that intentional parody or any kind of social commentary exists in Japanese popular culture. *

        If it has dodgy representations of women it is much more likely to be because most japanese otaku have very dodgy ideas about women than an intentional parody of that. Not that the otaku would probably even notice or care if it was a parody.. and many things are so messed up that they actually come across as being parodies to westerners when they aren’t

        *a few movie directors being about the only exception.

        • Red Tonic says:

          I don’t know if that’s fair to say, but there certainly doesn’t seem to be as much parody or verbal irony as in English or American media. Still, Battle Royale for commentary and Detroit Metal City for parody come to mind. What was Hunger Games but a repackaged BR?

          • th3mute says:

            Bill did add the exception of film/movie directors (quite rightfully).
            Takashi Miike being possibly the most obvious example of this, also being one of my favourite directors (Gozu being one of the finest pieces of weird cinema ever shot).

  3. Pich says:

    As a fan of swords, cybernetics, gore, wrestling, melodrama and sneaky peeks of ladies’ underwear; i can’t wait.

  4. int says:

    I knew it was a Japanese game just by reading the title.

  5. Freud says:

    I expect more moral outrage from you, RPS.

    • gravity_spoon says:

      Everyone is too busy putting virtual panties on their heads and looking at women going “Kya !! Kya !! Hazu-kashi desu ka”

    • AngelTear says:

      Personally, I find it so obviously “morally outrageous” that it needs no further comments.

  6. Baines says:

    Suda51 has been going downhill, at least to me.

    Killer 7 was a combination of genius design and somewhat bad gameplay. (Killer 7 went through at least some iterations, as earlier screens looks slightly different. Plus it had that one year delay when Capcom told them to also make a PS2 version that would ship at the same time as the GC version.)

    No More Heroes was again genius design, though it fell apart at the end. (The world worked up until Travis talks to Sylvia’s mother. That is where the world’s logic first gets tossed to the side for “shocking reveals”, and it continues that way until the final end.) Gameplay itself was kind of mediocre.

    No More Heroes 2 was a weaker design from the start. A good number of poor decisions, from gameplay to world design to general aesthetics, little and big, produced a pale copy of a by-the-numbers aping of the first game.

    And that’s the way it has gone since. Maybe a bit more polish, a lot more fame, but shallower and weaker design and setting.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Suda had little to do with Killer is Dead or Lollipop Chainsaw, actually.

      Just like how Stephen Spielburg “produces” a lot of movies he hardly has anything to do with, so has Suda’s name been plastered on games he hardly touches. The last real Suda game was No More Heroes 2.

  7. Servizio says:

    Man. I wish Lollipop Chainsaw was on the PC. It’s an Unreal Engine game, darn it.

  8. Danda says:

    Another Japanese company choosing PC as a viable platform for (re)releasing games. Hooray!

    I honestly think that it’s great that we have a chance to play Metal Gear Rising, Dark Souls or Deadly Premonition As God Intended, on PC.

  9. Syme says:

    I think the backlash to this was already covered when the console version came out, not much need to repeat it too much here.

  10. BellendSebastian says:

    Fantastic! Another platform I can opt not to buy it on because of it’s shitty design decisions!

  11. MrNash says:

    I didn’t even know this was heading to PC. I’m pretty happy with some of the ports that have been sneaking onto the platform of late. Some of them have been quite unexpected.

  12. The Random One says:

    I actually bought Killer7 for my GameCube recently. It looks like a high-budget Cactus/thecatamites collaboration.

  13. forddent says:

    Killer 7 is easily one of my favorite games, but I haven’t been that interested in any of the recent Grasshopper releases (I was super-excited about Lollipop Chainsaw, but then I didn’t have money when it released, and I just never bothered to pick it up when I got money). I don’t know if I’ll bother with this one, if only because it looks like someone had a Suda 51 game described to them and tried to pull the same thing off.

  14. Turkey says:

    Hmm. The gameplay looks a little boring, but there really aren’t that many surreal games with a budget out there.

  15. therighttoarmbears says:

    Say what you like about it, that is a lethally good name for a game. It really opens the mata-door to good discussion too.

  16. altum videtur says:

    Basically the opposite of Revengeance. Unfortunately that also means that while Revengeance’s thick veneer of utter grinning idiocy hides some interesting and uncharacteristically intelligent ideas and characters (no, not the NANOMACHINES SON), this one masquerades as symbolism and is in fact nothing but pure bullocks. Amazing art style though. And the combat is not completely awful, I guess.

  17. heretic says:

    will there be an option to have japanese voice overs?