The Killer7 are a group of assassins who do dirty jobs nobody else can do. Story and setting are something special, traits that would go on to become staples in Suda 51's games. Likewise, the gameplay is comfortably in the shallow end of the pool. In Killer7 you hold down the A button to move forward on an imaginary rail, then press the analog stick in an appropriate direction at a fork in the "road" to decide where you want to go. Enemies are fought by switching into first person perspective. The main goal is to identify the weak spot for a one-shot kill, but usually enough bullets that hit anywhere else work too. The former method is rewarded with more thick blood though, so it's not only for the sake of faster kills. Said thick blood can be converted into upgrade points that can be spent on the attributes of the various members of Killer7.
Each level in the game features one or the other puzzle that needs to be solved, hints are usually not far away. Each one of the assassins possesses a unique power that can come into play. While the gameplay mechanics are solid, they are not really expanded upon as the game goes on, aside from different enemy types. It is the story, characters and strange events that have to carry Killer7. In fact, the storytelling has so many layers that the ending will leave a lot of questions for what happened and how everything fits together. Gamefaqs hosts a large document that dives into all aspects and does a much better job at explaining everything than Goichi Suda's work.
One thing of note are the boss fights which are anything but normal. There's usually some crazy stuff going on, with objectives that you don't expect. They are the kind of things that are better not explained in order to not spoil anything.
What needs to be criticized are the slowdowns when enemies jump in your face and explode; yes, pretty much every foe is a variation of a suicide bomber. Additionally, this causes a stun phase from a gameplay perspective, so you might not be able to heal yourself before another enemy gets to you and kills you. The frustration is limited by death not constituting a game over, but another member of Killer7 being sent to clean up the body and revive it. Then again, this back and forth between last save room and place of death might take just as much time as the conventional logic of having to load your last save file and replay the lost progress.
|Controls||10||A simple control scheme that gets the job done.
Cannot access pause menu to heal right after taking a hit.
|Gameplay||The playable characters run on imaginary rails. Stand still to
target enemies' weak spots and shoot. Solve simple puzzles.
|Story||There are many layers to this convoluted story. Unfortunately,
many things aren't properly explained, so visit Gamefaqs.
|Single-player||The mixture of gameplay mechanics is cool at first,
but becomes routine rather quickly.
|Graphics||The cel-shaded graphics have a clean and stylish look, but
aren't impressive on a technical level. Also, slowdowns.
|Sound||The soundtrack and voice acting are weird in a good sense.
Lots of swearing.
|Value||It takes 15-20 hours to finish the game.
That's meaty for an action title.
|Replay Value||Additional difficulty settings for increased challenge.
Can be repetitive because of its gameplay formula.
|Score||6||Killer7 succeeds in offering a unique experience, but puts more
focus on story and characters than varied gameplay.