Killer (2005)7 is a surreal action-adventure game about an elite group of assassins who work for the United States government. It's awkward to play and easy to dismiss with its unconventional control scheme, restrictive exploration, and complex dark plot. Stick with it though, and you can discover a game full of zeitgeist, commentary and mischief -- that has won it a cult following over the years.
Play involves taking on missions to kill targets as one of the team of seven assassins. You explore areas and buildings by choosing a series of branching paths and solving logic challenges. Once you find your target you then switch to a shooting mode to dispatch them.
It looks like a shooting game, but actually these are more like puzzles to solve where you need to use the different abilities of the seven characters to advance. This might be to use a character's wrestling ability, or being able to turn invisible. Then there is one character you need to use to go back into a level if you die to clean up and retrieve your body.
Like other games from Goishi Suda, it's peculiar, metaphorical and doesn't pander to the needs of the player. While you work through the different levels a bizarre off-the-wall story unfolds. Although the narrative and gameplay clearly fit together, making sense of what's actually going on in the game is more of a challenge.
It's a game that eschews convention, forcing you to explore the world through a series of choices that lead to confounding enemies you must fight over and over again, to work out how to defeat. It walks the line between style and substance and trusts its players to put up with this in service of an unusually layered experience that takes aim at modern culture as much the individuals you target in the game.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Killer 7 16 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 14 months ago.