If anything can safely be said about Suda 51 it’s that he makes one hell of a memorable game, and after a brief dalliance with a non-male, non-assassin protagonist in last year’s Lollipop Chainsaw we’re back to form with Killer is Dead, but if anything that familiarity is what’s most damning about it. True, controls are a notable step up in complexity from the developer’s previous works, and the story – while just as disjointed, bizarre, and half-told at first glance – is distinct from the themes and motifs previously explored, but thanks to the pervasive kit of Suda tropes one can’t help but get the “more of the same” sensation when sitting down with this one. Even the seduction minigame that earned the game so much attention from journalists and activists alike is more just underdeveloped and dumb than it is offensive, representing the missed opportunities the game had to grow one way or the other better than anything I can think of. Killer is Dead is a no-brainer for Suda fans and explores some interesting philosophical ground in his signature surrealist style, but it’s missing the tangible new ideas necessary to make it come together into a cohesive whole.
December 19, 2013