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Platform: GameCube
Genre: Action
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
ETA: Q4 2004


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Killer 7

 

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Originality is a lost art form in video games today. Recently we have had some games that have dared to break the mold of classification and to put forth a fresh take on how to challenge gamers. While not necessarily a revolution in the gameplay department, although there will be some fairly original challenges in the game, the storyline here is what is wildly originally and darkly appealing. In Killer 7 you play as wheelchair bound vigilante with a split personality that is manifested physically as well as mentally. Here is what Capcom had to say:

 

Featuring visual artistry and dark imagery with striking cel-shaded graphics, Killer 7 chronicles the connection between two men whose intertwined paths develop into a compelling tale of revenge and altering personas.  Killer 7 propels players into the consciousness of one man and his seven different personalities. The player’s challenge is to stop a wave of indiscriminate violence that is plaguing the world. Killer 7 is scheduled to be released throughout North America this winter.

 

In Killer 7, players take on the role of Harman Smith an unlikely assassin who leads a life as the intermediary link between seven alter egos.  Switching between his seven different personalities, Harman employs each character’s unique abilities to terminate targets he 

deems “deserving to die.”  Now a powerful underworld kingpin has unleashed violent creatures called ‘Heaven’s Smile.’ These crazed soldiers, affixed with horrific smiles, have started to wreak havoc on city streets.  It is up to the player to  interchange Harman’s seven ‘partners’ and utilize the special powers that dwell within them in order to assassinate Kun Lan, the notorious criminal overlord behind all the madness.

 

Features:

Distinctive and visually stunning, post-modern approach to cel shaded environments

 

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Unique cast of playable characters – Each persona has different strengths, special abilities and weapons that help Harman proceed through the game.  The seven personalities that comprise the “Smith Alliance” include:

 

Garcian Smith   The clairvoyant leader of the ‘alliance’ who has the ability to turn invisible and serves as the “cleaner” that recovers the bodies of fallen teammates.

 

Dan Smith – Strong and extremely well trained, Dan has the ability to wipe out the enemy with his fiendish destructive force.

 

Mask De Smith  A grenade launcher wielding man who is unbeatable with his specialty wrestling moves, countering any attacks brought upon by his enemies.

 

Coyote Smith    Has the ability to unleash a frighteningly destructive “Gang Kick” that can knock down enemies with a single blow.

 

Kaede Smith – The only female personality of the group. She throws her enemies into confusion by blasting out a shower of blood super-charged with a deadly virus.

 

Con Smith – A young man blessed with exceptional hearing.  He uses his ability to reveal the locations of hidden items.

 

Kevin Smith – An independent personality that keeps to himself.  He can eliminate a target with ease using a number of masterful knife wielding techniques.

 

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While each Smith agent has their own strength and ability, you will need to use the ability of each to successfully defeat your enemies. This may mean switching between characters on the fly to employ one ability so that another ability can be used to finally vanquish your targets. So far, from what can be seen, the game seems to be played from a third and first person perspective depending on the scenario. Also, the actual events and mechanics of how the action actually plays out is unlike anything I have seen before and seems unique to the point of joyous dementia.

 

The Cel shaded environment adds to the anime atmosphere and complements the plot that just screams demented anime; something any game geek can appreciate. If cel shaded games are any indication of success, Killer 7 has a tough ride ahead of it as the last two cel shaded games that I can think of didn’t do so hot, namely Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and XIII. However, with a plot as original as this one, there is no way that I couldn’t be excited. As a dark horse, this is one game to definitely keep an eye out for.

 

- Mark Leung

(June 30, 2004)