When Killer7 was first released in 2005, the action-adventure game garnered mixed reviews from both players and critics. It was developed by Grasshopper Manufacture and published by Capcom – both Japanese companies – and released for Nintendo Gamecube and PlayStation 2 at the time. The game featured first-person shooter elements and a unique on-rails control scheme, the latter being the subject of much criticism as it hindered movement in the game space. However, the game’s complex and thought-provoking storyline coupled with noir-themed visual style and presentation received positive responses from critics – and the game itself achieved cult status.
The game follows an elite group of assassins called “killer7”, who is employed by the United States Government to conduct secretive hit-jobs in Japan. The setting is an alternate version of Earth in the 21st century, one where the world has destroyed all existing nuclear weapons and shut down air travel and the internet in an effort to combat terrorism and cyber-terrorism. However, when a new terrorist cell called “Heaven Smile” begins targeting peaceful world organizations, killer7 must find their source in Japan in an attempt to bring peace back on the country and the world. Throughout the game, the killer7 uncover a deeper conspiracy regarding the role of Japan in U.S. politics and secrets about the nature of their organization.
The twisted part of the story so far – is that the seven individual assassins are actually one elderly man in a wheelchair named Harman Smith, who exhibits “Multifoliate Personae Phenomenon”. This condition allows him to physically transform into one of his seven assassin personae. Throughout the game, the player has the option of switching between these seven personas and utilize their unique talents to fight against the Heaven Smile terrorists. Heaven Smile is actually a virus, which evokes a desire to kill when ingested in humans. The antagonist of the game, a friend of Smith, mass-produces terrorists by injecting them with the virus along with a “bomb-organ”, which explodes when they come in contact with a non-terrorist.
Fast forward 13 years, and a remastered version of the game is being released on Steam platform for PC gaming. The noir-inspired visual graphics and the semi-abstract aesthetic feel to the game are getting major enhancement in the new version to go along with the twisted and dark storyline of the game. The animations have been modified to fit the 16:0 aspect ratio and everything, except reload animation, is rendered at 60 fps. In the new version, controls can be rebound and have been modified to better fit keyboard/mouse setups. Last but not the least, “many” textures on 2D items in the game have been upgraded to 1080p.
The reboot of Killer7 is bound to fit in with the plethora of offbeat adventure games available on PC now, especially ones that play around with the language of games itself, doing weird and wonderful things with UIs or subverting expectations as to how its systems should work. With enhanced graphics, new generation gamers can experience the timeless visual style that wowed audiences back in 2005.