Killer is Dead - PC

Also known as: Killer is Dead: Fan Edition', 'Killer is Dead: Limited Edition', 'Killer is Dead: Nightmare Edition

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Killer is Dead (PC)
Also for: PS3, Xbox 360
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Beat 'Em Up: Hack and Slash
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Kadokawa Games Soft. Co.: Grasshopper
Publishers: Deep Silver (GB)
Released: 23 May 2014 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 18+

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Summary

Let's just say right off the bat - Killer is Dead is a very weird game. Everything from tone to mechanics, it sticks out from the crowd and grabs your attention immediately. It offers a unique experience that borrows from many but imitates none.

Taking the game at face value, it’s a shallow story stuffed with brutal hack 'n' slash action. You play as Mondo, a paid assassin with a bionic arm. As you take down your targets given to you by clients you learn more about the lead character; the deeper you delve into his thoughts and past, the more complex he becomes. The writing is sometimes completely bizarre, making you question the translation into English but as you go on you discover that the off the wall dialogue has a purpose.

Killer is Dead will grab your eyeballs from the first cutscene. It’s over-reflective surfaces bounce neon lighting and bubblegum colours straight out of the screen and onto your face. It’s more than just a gimmicky look and can create scenes that stun you as you play. Each level feels like a new artistic view of another dimension. Just when you think it’s trying to replicate the feel of a comic book it switches to a vision of heaven and then into a painting on a slate canvas.

One of the game’s biggest influences is Bayonetta and if you’re going to use other game’s ideas then you couldn’t pick a better example for a hack and slash. Build up combos and you’re treated to a more gory insta-kill attack while a last minute dodge slows things down allowing for a hyper combo.

This Nightmare Edition for PC features a couple of exclusive goodies, too. The Smooth Operator DLC pack for consoles will be available as of the release of Episode 3, 'Theatre Mode' enables players to rewatch cutscenes and get extended backgrounds on characters and Nightmare Mode ratchets the difficulty level up to... well, 'nightmare'.

You might view Killer is Dead as an acquired taste, but it's definitely one for gamers who've grown tired of formulaic action games.