A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that killer7 is a Windows-based PC remaster of the cult classic adventure/shooter game, originally released in 2005 for the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2. The game mixes elements of first-person shooters with a linear point-and-click style of movement and exploration. The central “heroes” are a team of hired assassins fighting against strange humanlike creatures. There’s plenty of blood or explicit violence, though the stylized art direction keeps the gore from being too detailed. There’s also no shortage of other “mature” content, including frequent use of profanity and numerous sexual references, including a fully clothed and somewhat disturbing sex scene.
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What's it about?
The world of KILLER7, by all appearances, should be a world of peace. All nuclear weapons have been eradicated and international threats are kept in check thanks to the efforts of the International Ethics Committee, a global peace-keeping organization. But things aren’t always what they seem, especially in this twisted take on the world. Everyone and everything has a hidden agenda. Meanwhile, a new terrorist organization known as Heaven Smile has made a name for itself by turning recruits, either voluntarily or by force, into mutated monstrosities serving as biological suicide bombers. The only group equipped to stand against these threats is the Smith Syndicate, an elite team of hired assassins who happen to be physical manifestations of personalities from the fractured mind of their leader, an elderly paraplegic named Harman Smith. It’s up to you to lead the “killer7” team through a series of special contracts, discovering the truth being the world’s lies and stopping the schemes of Heaven Smile's mysterious leader once and for all.
Is it any good?
This strange, violent action game is so repetitive, disturbing, and clunky that only fans of the odd or the disturbing will love this game. killer7 is one of those games that gained its fame by being so weirdly bad that it has to be seen to be believed, sort of like a cheesy B-movie. From the very start, the game feels like it’s some sort of hallucinogenic fever dream you can’t wake up from … and it only gets stranger from there. There's the team of hitmen that are actually manifestations of a wheelchair-bound elderly man who just so happens to be a cosmic deity. You'll get advice from an apparent ghost dressed in a full body S&M latex suit. The more you try to make any bit of sense out of the plot, the more confused and frustrated you’re likely to get.
Things don’t get much better when it comes to killer7’s gameplay. For starters, while the game has a distinct art style, the dark and brooding presentation lacks any real detail. Even this remastered version fails to add anything other than a somewhat smoother framerate. Navigating through each stage is a mess, as you clumsily run from intersection to intersection, with an occasional puzzle to break up the monotony. Once the action shifts to the first-person, “on-rails” shooter sections, the game gets a bit more fun. These play out a bit like a carnival target shooting game, though with creepier targets and more blood spray than you’ll see at the county fair. Still, even this gets repetitive quickly, and before long, you just feel like you’re going through the motions. With such a convoluted, difficult to follow, and occasionally disturbing plot as the only real payoff, there’s not a lot of motivation to keep you going once that sense of repetition sets in..
Talk to your kids about ...
What are some of the ways that art style can impact how a game plays? How important is the story to a game, and how difficult is it to tell a story in an interactive medium?
- Platforms: Windows
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: NIS America
- Release date: November 15, 2018
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
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