|Killer Is Dead|
Publisher: Deep Silver, Xseed Games, Kadokawa Games, Sony Computer Entertainment Asia
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action Adventure
Release Date: JP: August 1st, 2013, NA: August 27th, 2013, EU: August 30th, 2013
K iller is Dead is an upcoming action video game in development by Grasshopper Manufacture and is set to be published by Kadokawa Games in Japan, XSeed Games in North America and Deep Silver in Europe.
Players take up the role of executioner named Mondo Zapp, who is tasked to take out criminal and assassins. The game is set to be released on August 27th 2013, for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The groundwork and planning for Killer Is Dead began in late 2009 with development starting in early 2011. The game does have some content which is mature, but vice president Ken Berry thinks the game can appeal to wider audiences.
“It can appeal to a wide group of people, not just our usual core audience that mainly focuses on RPGs. The key will be getting the additional retail exposure at the mass market retailers like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target, which is essential to branching out to the more casual gamers that may not closely follow gaming news and upcoming releases.” [reference]
The game took inspiration from Transformers: Dark of the Moon with its premise. Goichi Suda stated in an interview that, “When I was creating the script had to do with the moon, earth, and sun. I started with a plot that related those elements, but it wasn’t working out so I took that out. I still wanted to have some kind of focus with the moon.
You know the latest Transformers movie? Nobody has seen the dark side of the moon. There could be a house there with somebody living in it and the main character needs to kill that person, but how do you get over there. That’s how I started creating this game.” [reference]
The game would also rely on Unreal Engine 4 as Suda explained in an interview “As a developer, we’re heavily relying right now on Unreal Engine 4, That works really well with both systems – or in the sense that we could go either way.” [reference]
The story takes place in the near future where the player takes up the role of an executioner named Mondo Zappa. The player gets contracts from the Bryan Execution Firm. This firm is run by a cyborg named Bryan Roses, who commissions Mondo and as you can imagine the player needs to kill various criminal across the world. Due to profession, Mondo does not show himself much in the world and lives a private life.
The game will also involve serious themes like “how far can you protect someone” and “love and execution”, hence mixing action along with player emotions.
The game is a hack ‘n slash sword play combined with wild gunplay, and even some wrestling thrown in for good measure. The main character Mondo handles a sword with his right hand but has his cybernetic left arm that transforms into different weapons, which include guns, drills and more. In addition, his arm absorbs blood from the people that he slaughters and the collected blood is used for a powerful strike called Adrenaline Boost.
Suda stated that, “One thing we got to do with this game, is you fighting against a Yakuza guy riding a tiger. You’re in Kyoto, among all these old-style buildings, and [hero] Mondo is on this motorbike fighting against a Yakuza on a tiger! And the game’s packed with these sorts of situations, the kind you won’t see in any other game. That Kyoto battle got concepted out surprisingly early on, too; I guess we felt like overseas gamers ought to see what Kyoto looks like”.
He further stated that, “Mondo’s an executioner, not an assassin. You have that ‘execution’ nuance added to the act of murdering your foes. The hero’s job is to wipe out these serious villains, real AAA-class international terrorists. He’s dressed so smartly that you might wonder if he’s actually capable of killing, but once the ‘work’ switch is pulled, his aura completely turns around.
“The story depicts him as a man who just does his job without putting much of any emotion into it. I think Killer7 was the best we could do in art expression at the time it came out, but if we just recreated that, it’d merely seem old at this point. So we really pursued an art style that seemed modern with our shading technology. There was a lot of trial and error behind what you see now.” [reference]
As the player performs more and more combos, your combo level will increase which will give rise to four different finishing moves. They are called as the Final Judgement. They are:
Mondo Zappa - The hero of the game is a 35-year-old man hailing from America. As mentioned above he who is hired by the Brian Execution Firm in order to kill criminals around the world. He uses is his pair of Katanas (Gekkou) to take his foes down.
Hamadayama – He is Yakuza and yields a Katana and is one of the antagonists in the game. He has a tiger tattoo on his back.
Giant Head – Another enemy in the game, Giant Head is an alien.
Vivian Squall - She is a 25-year-old woman from Europe. She works in the Brian Execution Firm as Mondo Zappa’s boss. She is a very serious and upto the point kind of person.
Victor – He steals sounds from music makers to create his sound of evil. He can transform himself into a powerful robot.
Mika Takekawa - Takekawa is Japanese woman who works as Mondo Zappa’s assistant.
Brian Roses - Brian is a 65-year-old American and is the chief of the Brian Execution Firm. In the past Brian Roses was a executioner himself but now, he is turned himself in to a full fledged Cyborg.
Damon- Not much is known about him except he described as a mysterious man with eyes of madness.