Pay attention for a minute.
It’s time to get out your duster! Capcom are back and breathing new life into your Mega-CD with their newest release, the stylish Killer7. Eh? What’s that? This is on the Gamecube? Oh.
OK, call me a facetious twat if you will. Although the controls are simplistic and the actual gameplay, at times, less than substantial, it’s not quite the “press a button to activate the FMV scene” non-game that you may have been led to believe it is. So what is it like, then?
Christ. Jimmy Savile’s looking rough these days.
Well. It’s an Infocom text adventure with much simpler puzzles, re-done with graphics so that it looks like Waking Life, with added blood injected by Peckinpah and Tarantino. It’s populated with characters that appear to be the perverted outcasts of Animal Crossing. It’s part light gun game, without the light gun. And it’s oddly interspersed with some fairly nice anime scenes, just so you never quite have everything figured out.
It’s all awkward camera angles and bizarre cut scenes. And it works. You may have seen everything here before, but not all together, not carried off with such style and conviction, perhaps not even in videogames at all.
If she’d carried Lilets instead of a gun, that wouldn’t have happened.
It’s intriguing and compulsive. I defy you to start playing it and then put it down before you complete an act. You can’t. Even though there’s a lot of watching, rather than playing, the weirdness of it all means that you’re always interested in what’s going on, even if you might not understand all of it. There are always questions, questions…
“We all wear masks, metaphorically speaking…”
Who are the Killer7? Is it just one man and his multiple personalities? Or are there more people involved? Why does the wheelchair-bound main man employ a maid with a split personality? Is it to do the cleaning? Or is it, as is more likely, because he enjoys the sado-masochistic sex she gives him? Is Travis dead or alive? What’s going on with the blood-lusting mask? Who is the talking severed head that likes to lie in dark spaces and give you powerful rings? And what’s with the clue-giving guy in the gimp suit, who drops down in almost every location to offer sage advice to you, his “Master”?
Every member of the Killer7 is called Smith. Now do you see?
Killer7 is interesting, confusing, thought provoking, bizarre, enjoyable, occasionally frustrating and repetitive, and lots more besides. More importantly, it’s incredibly distinct. In fact, it’s something of a mindfuck. Be advised. This is truly going to be a “love-it-or-hate-it” game. You might even get more out if it if you’re a film buff rather than a gamer.
Capcom are to be commended for taking a risk with Killer7. It may not hit the mark with every shot, but it’s a refreshing and daring attempt to make an adult game. I’d rather see a few more efforts like this than “Generic Platformer #7907”, that’s for sure.
So, Killer7 then? Game of the Year? No. Not even close. But videogaming experience of the year? Now we’re talking.