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Killer 7

Score: 80%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Media: GCD/2
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

Let’s be honest; since Resident Evil 4 there really hasn’t been that compelling a reason to turn on the GameCube. Sure the system has seen a few games since RE4’s release, but none have had the power to really make the Cube look worthwhile, especially when you look at the lineups of the PS2 and Xbox.

Killer 7 comes to the Cube with a refreshing, if somewhat bizarre, approach to the typical shooter. It may not be the crowd pleaser that RE 4 was since it is likely to only appeal to a select group of gamers, but it’s a compelling enough reason to check it out.

The minute you dust off your GameCube and pop in Killer 7, you know you’re in for something unique. Just one glance at screenshots should really show you what Killer 7’s presentation is all about: strong colors, stylistic art and dramatic camera angles. Though the latter may seem like it would make the game hard to play, once you get a feel for the game’s gameplay, it really works well. It may not impress everyone, but those who appreciate developers who take risks with their visuals will be pleased.

Sound is just as strange as the visuals. The real stand-outs are the creepy music and laughs of cult members as they approach you. Voice work and sound effects round out the package with the only downside being the oft repeated tag lines which can get rather annoying.


Killer 7 is to video games what “Memento” and “Fight Club” are to movies. Some will walk away from the experience wondering just what the hell they just played while others will reach a new level of enlightenment. You are an elderly assassin named Harman Smith - the leader of a motley group of assassins, each with their own unique personality traits. There's a gun slinger, a masked Mexican wrestler and a young girl just to name a few. As you delve a little deeper into the tale, you realize that these personalities are actually Harman's multiple personalities coming out. The complexities don't end there as the story becomes much more surreal the longer you play. Some aspects will instantly connect with some gamers, while others will likely lose interest early on.

One thing is for sure, Killer 7's story doesn’t pull any punches. In addition to the main story involving “The Smiths”, the story also involves everything from terrorism to the trafficking of children to viral warfare. To be more to the point, Killer 7 does all it can to earn its “M” rating.

If the story doesn't get you interested in Killer 7, neither will the gameplay. Instead of taking the route of normal shooters, Killer 7 takes a much different approach to the entire shooter genre. Though it looks like a 3rd-person adventure, Killer 7 is actually an on-rails shooter. Paths are pre-planned and leave little room for exploration. This gives the game an almost detached feeling since, except for the shooting areas, you really aren't doing much else other than holding the A button and choosing which path you'll take at the end of a section. As you run through areas, you'll eventually run across members of Heaven's Smile which, without giving too much away, is a cult whose members are able to turn invisible -- at least until you scan them. Once scanned, cult members show up as dark human forms with one or two glowing body parts. Shooting a glowing part results in a one-hit kill while hitting other parts will do minimal damage. Killing cult members rewards you with blood, which can then be used to upgrade the abilities of your personalities.

Between gun battles, Killer 7 throws in a few puzzles that usually revolve around your character's special abilities. For example, Kaede can bleed at will while Coyote can pick locks. Not all of the abilities seem useful at first, but believe me, once you just learn to accept the game's odd atmosphere, even the most illogical things feel logical.


Overall, Killer 7 isn't very hard -- at least once you get used to the control scheme. Aiming controls are very tight, so it becomes rather easy to make those one-hit kills if you're patient. If you're not, there's little need for worry since it’s impossible for your characters to die since they can easily be resurrected by Gracian. Should Gracian die, then you're in trouble. Of course, this brings up a number of other issues... but that's just one of the stranger aspects of the game.

Puzzles are usually pretty obvious and even when you do get stuck, hints do everything but solve the puzzle for you.

Game Mechanics:

At times Killer 7 feels more like a movie than an actual game. This doesn't mean that you'll find yourself watching 30 minutes of story supplemented by 5 minutes of gameplay, but there's a definite lack of activity in the game. As previously stated, you're not actually controlling your character – at least not freely. Instead, you press the A button to run forward and select paths whenever they come up. Its really not that hard to get lost during levels, though there is a lot of backtracking in some areas, so the game can get pretty boring since you really aren't doing much.

During combat, the game switches to a first-person perspective. Each character has access to different weapons, including sniper rifles and pistols, making character selection important. Some areas are easier with one character than another. It’s possible to accomplish most areas with the "wrong" character, but it's usually good to put the odds in your favor. The game is easy, but can get rough if you let it.

There is no grey area in regards to Killer 7; you'll either love it or hate it. If you're a gamer looking for more stylistic, inventive games that may not make the most sense all of the time, Killer 7 is probably for you. On the other hand, if you're looking for more action, Killer 7 really won't appeal to you unless the story grabs you.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Microsoft Xbox King of Fighters: Maximum Impact - Maniax Sony PlayStation Portable Dead to Rights: Reckoning

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