Friday, April 15

Seven Ways to Die

When you hear the title Killer 7, what comes to mind probably may be a movie, such as the European 'Survivor with Guns' flick Series 7. Or maybe the newest, bloody and controversial Japanese film in the vein of Battle Royale. Well, actually you're not too far off... at least, if you see the trailer. The images are graphic and pretty disturbing. Various individuals, obviously experts in murder, stalking about and shooting or slashing apart various demonic beings that shatter into countless little spheres of blood. There's a man in a luchador's mask (Mexican Wrestler) blowing away baddies with shotgun in each hand. A town explodes with a force like a nuclear blast. A woman in a bloodstained white dress stalks monsters armed with a pistol with a ridiculously large telescopic sight. Maniacal laughter follows as the hideously grinning creatures are blown away. An old man in a wheelchair aims a sniper rifle at a target in the next building- a cute, seemingly innocent schoolgirl with angel wings sprouting from her back. It all seems like a nightmarish TV show.

What the Hell?

No, you're not in Hell. These are just images from Killer 7, an upcoming action-shooter adventure game from Capcom, the makers of Streetfighter and Resident Evil. Described as a "Post-Modern Action Drama", Killer 7 tells the story of Harman Smith, a 60-something senior citizen confined to a wheelchair. He's been hired by a 'U.S'-type government to assassinate Kun Lan, the leader of a powerful terrorist organization that is behind the sudden appearance of Heaven Smiles, the aforementioned hideously grinning monsters which are in effect walking time bombs. So how's a 60 year old cripple going to stop an army of exploding monsters and the terrorists that created them? Well, it's not appearances that counts- just what he has inside. Harman's got a unique condition- he's got seven distinct personalities inside his brain- seven deadly killers who can actually step out of Harman's grey matter and take actual physical form to dish out some pain.

The Seven members of the "Smith Alliance" are a varied bunch. There's Garcian, a dapper dude in a suit who's pretty much a take-no-prisoners agent and Killer 7's front man. He has clairvoyant powers and can sense Heaven Smiles when they are close. Then it's all a matter of blowing them away. Garcian is also 'the cleaner', and as such he cleans up the messes the other personas leave- so if they get killed, it's Garcian's job to collect their remains so they can be put back good as new. Cool, huh?
Dan is your all-around tough guy with the ability to ignite deadly fires. Coyote is a sneak thief who, like Jill Valentine from Resident Evil, is a 'Master of Unlocking'. Con is a blind kid who nonetheless can fight pretty well and move faster than lightning. Mask looks like a luchador (Mexican wrestler) with his mask and big physique- he's got the most firepower and the muscle to back it up. Then there's Kevin, who's a bit of an outcast, who uses exclusively knives to lay targets low.

Man, this game would make a great movie.

Finally, there's Kaede, the only babe in the bunch. She's a shy, introverted young lady who appears usually dressed in a lovely white sundress that seems perpetually splattered with blood. Oh, and while she's armed with a pretty large and imposing pistol, her main power is the disrupt enemy energy barriers and other obstacles by slitting her wrists (Yeesh) and spraying the surroundings with her virus-infused red stuff. Well, that explains the dress. Obviously, Killer 7 is an cinch to have a Mature rating.

Killer 7's visuals are pretty cool stuff, exhibiting the same cel-shaded look last seen in Zelda: The Wind Waker and the shooter XIII. However, the mad characters and the odd direction have me gripped. It's all so twisted and weird, like how the interface between your characters looks like an old style TV, and how thhe disjoined scenes in the trailer make it look like a movie.
The game will be played from mostly a 3rd person perspective, but actual shooting will switch your view to first person. The camera angles are also unusual, giving interesting views (which coincidentally give players a nice view of Kaede's bare legs as she runs down corridors).
I'm hoping though that all this weirdness still gives way to an understandable story, though the producers have said in some interviews that the game is meant to have an "open-ended" story (which means ya gotta watch it several times to get it). I've actually got high hopes for this game- a combination of those wild Japanese live-action movies and gritty anime (like the disappointing Gantz) where you can be the hero. Or better yet, SEVEN heroes.

This is pretty out-there stuff, and I love it. The best thing is that it's coming very soon! Killer 7 will be coming to both Gamecube and PS2 in early June 2005. Yummy.

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