by Production Studio 4 of Capcom
For Gamecube and PS2
Rated Mature for:
Blood and Gore, Intense Violence,
Sexual Themes, Strong Language
"Master! This is too much!"
Killer7 is now out, a first-person shooter/action adventure game that plays like a psychological thriller movie. Don't play this game if you are the kind of person who likes being in control of things or knowing what is going on. The plot is given in very minute pieces over the course of playing. You don't know anything compared to what the characters in the game seem to know. It's a bit aggravating, but you should just relax and go with the flow. Most of the time you won't even understand the puzzles you are solving, because they don't make sense at all. Once you solve these puzzles, you progress in the level, and learn more about Kun Lan, the terrorists, and the rest of the story. Each individual task does not matter, because it's all part of the bigger, crazier picture.
It is the present day. Nuclear research and power, weapons of mass destruction, and even airplanes have been banned worldwide, probably to prevent terrorist attacks duplicating 9/11. Now enormous highways span the oceans, and the United Nations is flexing its power for the first time to better the world. Despite these efforts, a man named Kun Lan and his terrorist organization, the Heaven Smiles, attack a major UN summit. The world leaders decide that to deal with Kun Lan without breaking anti-weapons agreements, an exceptional assassin must be hired. His name is...
At first glance, he doesn't look like a skilled hitman. His legs are paralyzed, he looks about sixty, and depends on his maid Samantha to push him around in a wheelchair. However, he does have a very large and powerful rifle attached to the back of said chair. He is rarely a playable character, because he possesses seven multiple personalities, the reason he is so deadly. When you play as one of these personalities, his body transforms to match the character. In this respect, there are eight different playable characters in the game, each with their own weapons, skills, appearances, and traits. Inside though, they are all still Harman Smith.
Forget about the control stick. You move by holding a single button. The current character proceeds along an invisible rail while you hold the Run button. This only sounds like it places limits on exploring the environments. You can go into many rooms or buildings by selecting a different direction when you reach a crossroad. You can also turn around and backtrack, which you will find necessary. The third-person camera is located next to the character's feet, which gives an odd but large visual field for any attacking Heaven Smiles.
These terrorists were mutated by Kun Lan, and though most are hominid-shaped, they are all invisible. You hold the Weapon button to bring up a first-person gun sight, and then hold the Scan button to see if any terrorists are approaching. You will know when one is near when you hear its maniacal laugh, and then you can scan it, find it, and destroy it with a hail of bullets. You have unlimited ammo, but do need to reload. There are many different varieties of Heaven Smiles, including ones with huge hands, huge bodies, tiny, flying bodies, rolling balls with four faces, and other creepy shapes. If they reach you alive, they explode, and you get injured. If you manage to kill it, you gather its blood which becomes useful later on.
The Killer Seven
The Chief. This character is different from all the others. You can only select him to play as when you are in Harman's Room, but the game manual cautions the player that if Garcian dies, the game is over. There is no elaboration on this. If you die as another character, you can bring Garcian from the nearest save point to the place of death, and Garcian will resurrect that dead character, so you can play as him/her again. Garcian uses a silenced handgun. Catchphrase: "Son of a bitch..."
The Hellion. Dan can charge his bullets to make them stronger, and seems like the most ordinary guy on the team. He carries a revolver over his shoulder, and has a lot of health. His running and reloading speeds are both average. Catchphrase: "This is too easy."
Barefoot. She uses an automatic that comes equipped with a scope. Her reload probably takes the longest of all the characters. She is a bit slow, and quite weak, but has a ghost named Mizaru following her. Kaede can summon her to break barriers or solve puzzles that often involve blood.
Catchphrase: "Hurts, doesn't it?"
Four-eyes. Kevin is a very fast character, and never needs to reload. He also has quite a bit of health. His weapon is a bottomless quantity of throwing knives. He can turn invisible to avoid Heaven Smiles or to pass through places that would detect him otherwise. No catchphrase.
The Thief. Coyote has very useful skills. He can pick any ordinary lock that you come up against. He also has the ability to jump super high, onto roofs or through holes in the ceiling. He has a modified revolver that can also fire charged shots. It reloads at a decent rate, and Coyote holds it sideways, like the punk he is. Catchphrase: "You're fucked!"
The Brat/the Punk. He has a cloth wrapped around his eyes, because he is blind. It trails behind him as he speeds around the levels. Con is the smallest, youngest, and fastest. He has two automatic handguns, and reloads them in an instant. While playing as Con, you can see things that wouldn't be visible with someone else. This is his super-hearing ability, sensing hidden things. Con also has the ability to run incredibly fast, even faster than usual. Catchphrase: "Fuck you!"
Mask de Smith:
The Maskman. Not too fast, but incredibly strong, Mask has the most health and does the most damage. He's an ex-luchadore who still uses his special moves from time to time, breaking walls, pushing trucks, and headbutting bullets. His two handheld mini grenade launchers do massive damage, but have to reload after each shot. The reload time is pretty quick though. No catchphrase, or at least, very rare, as they are only said when the Heaven Smile you are shooting gets struck in the weak spot. Mask de Smith's grenades usually just obliterate the whole body, therefore, no catchphrase.
There will be regular sightings of NPCs in this game, most of whom are long-dead ghosts. Gimp suit-clad Iwazaru pops up frequently to give you hints. Like most NPCs in Killer7, he speaks in an electronically distorted voice that is unrecognizable as English. All text is accompanied with subtitles, so trying to decipher NPC speech is not necessary, though fun.
Travis was the target of Harman's first job, has no eyes, and his face looks vaguely mask-like. He wears a black shirt with a frequently sexual catchphrase on it in pink or purple block letters, which changes every appearance he makes. He gives much better hints than Iwazaru, but is less common to find. Susie Summers is the decapitated head of a teenage murderer. Her subtitles are peppered with smiley faces, like (^-^) or (o_o'). She gives out magic rings that you rarely use in the game, but are vital to proceeding. Susie's head is always found in places like washing machines or cupboards.
Samantha is Harman's maid, and seems to have a split personality of her own. Sometimes she is dressed in classic maid uniform, standing quietly and pleasantly. Other times, she is a rude, dirty, violent teenager in street clothes. To save the game, you must talk to Samantha in Harman's Room, while she is wearing her uniform.
In every level you will find numerous Harman's Rooms. They all look the same, but there are two different kinds. If Samantha is dressed like a maid, you can save the game, otherwise, forget it. Iwazaru is also there with a library of information on many subjects. Next to Samantha is a TV. On each channel is a picture of a Killer7 member with their stats and abilities. There are three static channels, and the Blood Channel. At this station, you send in the blood you have collected from executed Heaven Smiles, and it is transformed into a serum that upgrades the characters' statistics. You can switch to any character you want, including Garcian, from the TV. Outside of the Room, Garcian is not available, but the other six can be chosen at whim.
It's another one of those things. I firmly believe this game is an experience worth having, but there will be many who won't agree with the overflowing amount of swearing and violence. Also, Travis and Samantha can be a little too sexual at times (Travis actually wears a shirt that says SEXUAL at one point). There even might be people who are unsure of the cel-shaded graphics (which fit the game perfectly I might add). Crazy characters are present at every turn, including the anime schoolgirl with a machine gun, the afroed Texan cult leader, and of course the minor enemies, Heaven Smiles. The game is metafictional and metaphysical, especially the settings. Places or people often appear in impossible circumstances, and there are multiple layers to the plot. If these things do not bother you, and you enjoy listening to insane, eerie laughter, then get this game. Feelings of confusion, fright, and horror will hound you, but that's what it's all about.
"In the name of Harman..."