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Game Profile
GENRE: Action
July 07, 2005
Killer 7

 Written by Kyle Williams  on August 10, 2005

Review: In a class all by itself.

A long time coming, Killer 7 has intrigued game players since the first screen shots were released. Constructed with an eye catching visual flair, Killer 7 set itself apart from the crowd early, using it's unique artistic vision to build enthusiasm for the game.

Capcom made a bold move with Killer 7's art style. It leaves behind traditional 3D rendering in favor of a technique that can lays simple, comic book inspired, textures onto the character models and backgrounds. The result is something that literally looks like it is taken straight from the painted page and the style helps to create a grim aura within the game.

Killer 7 takes you into a utopian alternate reality in which the entire world has come together and put aside their petty differences. With all global conflict resolved the world has eliminated nuclear power, disposed of all radioactive material, and dismantled every intercontinental missile. Of course, terrorism knows know peace and a deadly attack was carried out at a ceremony celebrating the signing of a world treaty. This action, carried out by a new threat known as the Heaven Smile, prompted the world to call upon the Killer 7, a band of assassins that share one thing in common; they are all separate aspects of the same mind. Each of the seven personalities found in Killer 7 have unique weapons and abilities, some of which are called upon to solve certain puzzles.

Gameplay in Killer 7 draws from first-person shooters while developing new standards that are all its own. Targeting the Heaven Smile population is actually the only time during gameplay that you enter into first-person mode. The rest of the game relies on a simple, perhaps overly so, control scheme that has you press the A-button to move forward and use the analog stick to turn around. This provides for very linear exploration that only allows you to travel where the game wants you to go. This is a double-edged blade as; 1.) this scheme keeps the focus on going where you need to, helping to engage you with the story and atmosphere that have been crafted, and 2.) the limited range of travel feels a little bit constricting to a world that has grown accustomed to free roaming action titles. It is also unfortunate that the puzzles are extremely linear and, as long as you are thorough, you will have no problem solving them. The rails that this game is built upon simplify the puzzle solving almost too much. Especially when the cast of supporting characters point you towards clues for solving them.

In spite of its flaws, engaging is the only word that can be used to fully describe Killer 7. While the visual aura does a fantastic job of setting the tone, a bizarre cast of supporting characters combine with the straightforward gameplay to keep the game moving forward at a constant pace. It is true that it takes a few minutes to get the feel of making the exploration work efficiently but you are rarely in a situation that you can't handle. The system also eliminates the camera flaws that plague most 3D titles by making it irrelevant. I could easily see Killer 7 making a return with very few revisions to the gameplay.

Bottom Line
Killer 7 is a bizarre trip through the mind of a schizophrenic hit-man in his quest to destroy a mindless band of terrorists. A stylish visual panache grabs your attention early and a straightforward control scheme makes the game accessible to everyone. While Killer 7 doesn't carry the epic story of games like GTA: San Andreas it is still engaging, though it often borders on insanity.

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