Killer is Dead Nightmare edition: The Mad Spectacular origins
Updated: Jan 7, 2019
(Please note that this was released on the 5th of Jan this year)
This is the first Suda51 game I have played which means that an entirely new folder had to be created in order to fit it in. “The Mad Spectacular” I think describes this game very well considering, well everything that happens in the game.
I will try to give a summary of the story but it turns out it is kind of hard considering the developer’s tendency to write some very strange story threads but I will try. Mondo is a half human half cyborg assassin working for some sort of agency....somewhere that kills monsters and gods with swords....somehow. Then there is something about the moon and something about things coming from the moon to get Mondo for some purpose........
I can’t get my head around the plot, the rules of whatever world Killer is Dead is set in do not make any sense, the characters are so alien in logic and often design that there does not seem to be any consistency, there is a Bram Stoker like vampire in the same world as a thinly veiled Alice in Wonderland homage. There are six armed women right next to cyber punk augmented super assassins. That is not to say about any of the other things that appear in Killer is Dead. The trouble with this is there does not seem to be any cohesion to the madness, no logic of any kind. It feels like Suda51 just threw anything that he liked into the world without any idea as to making it all fit. Then combine that with the obtuse writing and strange characters and you have a story that, while is compelling and drives you to finish it, makes no sense afterwards as well as rendering the dramatic moments impossible to get emotionally invested in because you are struggling to understand what is going on.
The game play however is really good, a hack and slash by nature you use the right mouse button to attack and space to block and dodge, if you time your dodges right you can rapidly cut up your foe in dazzling style. It is fun and satisfying to get in the rhythm of things striking at the right moments and darting out again. It is fast paced and enjoyable to play well but does not punish you too hard for messing up. You can finish off your opponents with certain final button prompts that will grant you some sort of resource to level up, heal or get ammo. Levels are mission based and linear but the game always throws enough stuff for you to hunt down or kill to make sure it does not get boring and the bosses are fun and challenging.
The game has a comic book art style to it that while looks very beautiful and fairly unique has some issues with shadowing, some levels got so dark from shadow that I could not see what was going on or where I was going. I messed around with the shadowing because the default was so dark, I could not get the game to be lit properly. It was really irritating as I could not always see how beautiful the game was because of the shadowing or bloom.
Game performance was incredibility unstable, sometimes it ran like a dream yet other times there was freezing, frame rate drops and stuttering. Considering that it came out in 2013 this could be excused to an extent as it might not run as well on modern systems. But it should be mentioned as a warning to potential buyers that they might experience this.
Killer is Dead is a pretty fun game, not the best I have played but is entertaining as long as you do not think about it too much. Just be warned of the performance problems I mentioned.
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