Killer Is Dead Is A Dreamality [Review]

Killer Is Dead Is A Book of Poetic Nightmares

Warning: Spoilers are here. I couldn’t give you a real description of the amazingness in the game without spoiling some things. Don’t worry though, I wouldn’t have spoiled so much if there wasn’t that much more incredibleness to experience.

Killer Is Dead is a trip. The universe is your planet. You move from world to world while the characters in the story seem completely oblivious to anything being unusual. To them it’s just a normal day. To me it was like, “What the heck kind of crazy cool nightmare did I enter now?”

The entire game is a strange and twisted tale that I never fully understood. It was like the whole game was just a philosophical metaphor of my thoughts wrapped in slow motion dreams and nightmares. Almost every single thing imaginable seemed to appear in the game including a unicorn that you have a picnic with, saves your life, and calls you “Master”. Just another normal day in Killer Is Dead.

The dialogue is a mix of being hilarious, cheesy, and deeply poetic most of all. The dialogue is so poetic that you might not understand what’s going on half of the time. I think it’s on purpose to add not only mystery, but confusion. It’s just a part of the games style and I really liked it. The mission names are beautiful. The first chapter for example is called, “The Man Who Chose The Moon”. Every chapter in the game has some kind of strange and beautiful poetic name like that.

Killer Is Dead – Strange Tales

You play as Mondo, an assassin for hire who has lost his memory and woke up one morning with a machine as an arm. Throughout the game he regains his memories as part of the story. You are joined by an assistant who is supposed to help you do I don’t know what. She is super annoying, pathetic, and still somehow manages to be cute. She’s mostly annoying though. Your boss is a large cyborg with an assistant of his own that is a super cool chick who is always trying to make sure the team gets paid for their work. They are interesting characters but I never really cared about them. The story isn’t really about the characters which adds to the strangeness of it all. You do learn some very cool stuff by the end of the game but there’s no true character development. I was okay with that.

killer is dead tiger

Be prepared for a ridiculous amount of cut scenes. It’s not a bad thing though if you love anime. There’s plenty of combat, but there’s a lot of story. The whole concept behind the game makes me think of a mix between Asura’s Wrath and Bayonetta but it’s not exactly like either of those titles either.

Killer Is Dead – The Job

You’re hired by ghosts and aliens to avenge their deaths. Yeah, aliens. You’re also hired by a deaf girl who had her hearing ability stolen by an evil man so he could become a better musician. You see, you aren’t just any regular hired assassin. You’re a monster hunter. You never seem to get paid for doing your job because dead people are the ones that keep hiring you. I thought that was super funny.

You’ll find yourself going through a thousand-story building. Your typical enemies are known as “Wires”. They are lifeless dwellers of the moon. They are sent to halt your heroics by King David if I understood the game right. You’ll also face a person that turns into his tattoos. You’ll meet the Queen of Dreams, Moon River and more. The bosses are completely out of this world. You’ll hold the earth in the palm of your hand and receive a sun as one of your many rewards for exacting vengeance and saving the universe. That’s not even half of it. 

killer is dead arms

Your job is to kill evil. The first thing you do in the game is slowly pursue your target down an alley as he runs and runs while unloading clips of bullets at you that you deflect with your sword. Yeah, you’re a bad-ass. After your absolutely gory execution of the evil people/monsters, their souls are absorbed into the purple moon of malice.

Killer Is Dead Gameplay

Another button masher but it is balanced with counter-attacks, parries, and dodges that are very useful. Not only do they help you avoid damage, but if you dodge at the right time you’ll open up a combative cut-scene styled extra button mashing quick-time-event of awesomeness. You’ll go into slow-motion and unleash a fury of sword slashes on your enemy. You also get fatality-type of moves once you reach a combo of twenty and your enemies health is low. The circle, triangle, square, and x buttons each have a different fatality. On top of that is another finishing move with the R1 button. So even though it’s a button masher there is a decent variety of attacks to play with.

There’s a hidden sexy nurse (not sure if she’s an actual nurse or what) that unlocks bonus stages and other stuff I didn’t really follow if you find her. I have no idea why we find sexy nurse throughout the game! It’s very funny and entertaining though.

I really like how New Game Plus works in this one. You don’t actually start a new game. You can play all the levels over again if you want through the same world map that you used during your first playthrough. You can change the difficulty right there on the map.

One of my favorite things about the game is how the dialogue sometimes addresses that we are playing a game with the main character saying something like, “It’s all for the sake of the game”. It’s out of place but it works and it’s hilarious.

killer is dead moon

Killer is Dead Aesthetics & Music

The aesthetics blow my mind! It’s like playing an animated abstract poem. The artistry changes sometimes for different levels and cinematics depending on which tale is being told. Kind of like The Animatrix having different artists for the different stories. It’s hard for me to describe the actual aesthetics in the game but they are really beautiful.

The music is ridiculously incredible and mesmerizing at times. I don’t even know what the heck kind of music it is. It’s like they mixed every single type of genre into one. Of course some stages had a particular type of music such as orchestral while another stage had techno, and another with heavy metal, but it was never really quite that simple. It was just as strange and beautiful as the story and aesthetics. I thought the voice acting was excellent. Everything about the game meshed perfectly in a deeply weird way.

I’ve said a lot and there is so much more. I did not play the Gigolo missions. I think it’s a must play. Thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought of the game if you played it!

Killer Is Dead is available on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Official website.

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