There is no way to play this game and not feel like a dirty, crusty, leering old man. "Hey, sweetheart, how about I give you this piece of gum and then we go make the beast with two backs out in my van? Don't you like my sweet cyborg arm? Just keep saying the same dumb platitudes over and over again, conveniently looking away so I can stare at your panties through your dress."
Before your eyes fall out of your head and you pull a muscle screaming "But Hayden, it's a video game," or "it's satire," well, save your voice. I hear you, loud and clear. Games aren't always serious business. I enjoy many things that are beyond the pale, or on the shadier side of that gray line. I love The Fast and the Furious movies. Some may say that's hypocrisy. I say it's drawing a line. A man's gotta have a code.
Not only that, I actually fought to get Killer Is Dead on our reviews docket, though I had absolutely zero knowledge of what the game would be. It almost got cut from our reviews calendar and I said, "Suda51? Nah, we have to review his games. That guy did Killer7!"
I didn't know about Gigolo Mode. I went in blind.
I do not enjoy Killer is Dead. It is the line I refuse to cross. It is trashy. It is gross. It is pandering. I do not think it goes far enough to be satire. Good satire is clever. Good satire is challenging. This is neither.
I would feel ashamed if my parents (or anybody who's relatively unfamiliar with games) saw me playing Killer is Dead and thought it was representative of my hobby. End of story.
And you know what, I'd feel bad if Killer is Dead was actually fun to play. That level of cognitive dissonance would probably crack my skull in half. How could I review a game that was so utterly tone-deaf on one end but also so much fun to play? I couldn't! It would be impossible!
Luckily, Killer is Dead is not fun to play.
When you take a break from leering at women and trying to parse the dumb-as-dirt plot, you have to actually play through the game's poor hack-n-slash combat. One button attacks with your sword. Another button punches people with your arm to break their defense. A third button blocks. Triggers use your gun (or other, fairly useless unlockable weapons).
On the Xbox 360, the winning combo looks something like this: X (basic attack)-X-X-X-X-X-X-Y (to break defense)-B (to dash)-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X—oh, they're already dead and I stopped paying attention.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.