Killer Is Dead Preview: A Day in the Life of an Assassin

Killer Is Dead Preview: A Day in the Life of an Assassin
When you think of an assassin in gaming, suave mofos like Assassin’s Creed’s Ezio and Hitman’s Agent 47 come to mind. However, both of those cool cats have nothing on Mondo Zappa, the central protagonist of Suda51’s latest beat-em-up/dating sim/acid trip Killer Is Dead. Read on to see to see how he makes his competition look downright sloppy.

The latest game to spring from the folks at Grasshopper Manufacture, Killer is Dead throws you into the fray as Mondo Zappa of the Bryan Execution Agency, a hitman-for-hire that packs heat and a handy blade. Those who have played the studio’s previous title No More Heroes will feel right at home with the control scheme. While Zappa isn’t wielding a Beam Katana like Travis Touchdown’s, his fast moves help keep him toe-to-toe with his adversaries. Waggle control is out, but the sheer speed of combat and even a dark-step style feature that encourages perfect timing all make a return.

As a matter of fact, the action segments of Killer Is Dead are very similar to Touchdown’s two outings. There are multiple rooms of ne’er-do-wells, along with a unique boss fight at the end. The particular battle on display at the E3 demo has a battle against the sound demon Victor, who has stole all of the sound from the world. Not only was this titular bout as unique as the best of Suda’s work, it also packed a punch — with multiple forms and attacks, the pattern-based combat harkens back to old-school playstyles and skills.

Of course, not everything in Killer Is Dead revolves around the ol’ ultraviolence. Another section of the E3 demo introduced us to “Gigolo Mode,” a dating sim that allowed Zappa to sneak a peek and woo his companion. By checking out “certain parts” of her figure, you can build up your meter. However, subtlety is key — one false move and you’ll be slapped harder than any enemy. Those who are adept at their craft can present their lovely lady with such gifts…like gum. Yes, this is admittedly a unique and quirky mode, but I guarantee it is something you don’t see in the Hitmans and Assassin’s Creeds of the world.

Killer Is Dead is already shaping up to be a fine game, but this assassin still has some time before he’s available for hire. Those who are up to the challenge can spend a day in Zappa’s shoes when Killer Is Dead is released in the US on August 27, 2013.