Depending on who you ask, Grasshopper Manufacture head Goichi Suda (better known as Suda51,) is either an auteur worthy of celebration or simply a hack. I’m personally more inclined to agree with the former opinion; I enjoyed Killer 7’s bizarre (yet meaningful) story, and I loved No More Heroes. So I’m already pretty excited for Suda’s next assassin themed game, “Killer Is Dead,” which was just unveiled in this week’s issue of Japanese gaming mag Famitsu.
Contrary to earlier rumors, Killer Is Dead is not a sequel to Killer 7. While it doesn’t directly continue the story of Harman Smith, it does feature a similar expert assassin as its protagonist: the hero this time is only known as the “Executioner,” and he specializes in hunting down the world’s most dangerous targets (or, as Famitsu puts it, “S-Level Criminals.”) Building off of the hack and slash gameplay featured in No More Heroes, the Executioner dispatches his targets with a sword, though Grasshopper is promising that the combat in Killer Is Dead will focus on some new features.
Killer Is Dead is still a ways off, as the game’s development team has just barely completed a prototype version of the game and a first draft of the game’s script. The game is being developed for both the Xbox 360 and PS3, and like Grasshopper’s upcoming zombie beat-em-up Lollipop Chainsaw, it’s being published by Kadokawa Games.
Like I said, I love Grasshopper Manufacture, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how this game turns out. While their games are often (sometimes rightfully) criticized for being unpolished, I love the personality and originality that Grasshopper infuses all of their games with: Killer 7’s art and story more than adequately compensated for it’s somewhat shallow gameplay, No More Heroes was a fantastic, raunchy update to the old River City Ransom-styled beat-em-up formula, and last year’s unfortunately overlooked Shadows of the Damned was a similarly brilliant take on the RE4-style horror/shooter genre. Here’s hoping Killer Is Dead manages to deliver on it’s interesting premise.