The Definitive 50 GameCube Games: #36 Killer7

The series so far: The Definitive 50 GameCube Games.

Killer7 defies definition.

The story is a bizarre and twisting tale that follows the work of assassin team killer7, who are all also just one person. Its gameplay is a mix of first-person shooter, rail-shooter, action-adventure, and point-and-click adventure.

Confused? You should be. I barely understand it, and I’ve played the game.

Your team consists of the seven personalities who inhabit the body of wheelchair-bound Harman Smith. He’s absorbed the souls of these great killers, and can, of course, transform into them at will. Through these characters, you’ll experience Suda’s film noire inspired vision of the near future.

Outside of combat, you control your character from a third person perspective, but can only move him along predetermined rails. Once you hear the cackling of enemies, the zombie-like Smiles, you know it’s time to switch to first-person mode. From there, you need to scan for the Smiles, who are initially invisible. Once revealed, you can freely fire away at the lumbering adversaries, targeting their glowing weak points. Oh, and you can’t walk around once you’ve transitioned to first person mode.

The controls are, frankly, deeply flawed. As intriguing and profound as the story and art may be, and as artistic and meaningful as Suda 51 may have intended the title to be, the game is hard to recommend for players unwilling to look past a control scheme that can feel downright adversarial.

Killer7 introduced the West to video game mad-man Suda 51, and that is, perhaps, its most notable accomplishment. Its notoriety and the cult following it developed helped foster an interest in the man, which in-turn boosted awareness for his subsequent work, No More Heroes in particular.