As expected Suda 51 and Grasshopper Manufacture have announced their latest project since their other projects are nearing completion. Coming to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the near future will be Killer Is Dead, a new game which will have Suda 51 in charge of the directing and scenario planning, a task he hasn’t done on a major GhM project since the first No More Heroes game. Fans of Suda and GhM may be excited by the name of the studio’s new game as it somewhat resembles Killer 7, the classic Suda 51 game that was released on the GameCube and PS2 back in the day. But sadly Killer Is Dead is not a loose continuation of Killer 7 but it does sound like it may borrow some of those same out of the box ideas.
Set in a stylized world similar to Killer 7 and No More Heroes, the protagonist of Killer Is Dead is an Executioner, a job which consists of killing high-level criminals within the world. A far cry from the otaku that was Travis Touchdown, the yet to be named hero of Killer Is Dead could be more serious than the more recent heroes GhM has given us since he’s a man on a mission. On top of killing criminals, Suda 51 revealed to Famitsu that one of the central themes of the game is love as the hero is trying to protect someone he loves.
As it stands the plot and world of Killer Is Dead still sounds vague and that’s mostly because Suda and GhM are still in early development on the project. Core development on the project only began last year and the studio is just now finishing a prototype of the game while Suda has finalized the first version of the scenario. It may seem like it could be a ways off before we see Killer Is Dead or the game finally hit retail, but if it’s the main project that GhM is working on currently we may be lucky and see it arrive in late 2013 or early 2014 at the latest.
Suda didn’t reveal what gameplay mechanics Killer Is Dead would follow so it’s anyone’s guess if it’ll be akin to No More Heroes/Lollipop Chainsaw or bare a resemblance to Shadows of the Damned. What Suda did say about the game, or at least the enemies, is that they have a relationship with the Moon. Both the Moon and Earth are keywords for Killer Is Dead but Suda went on to say that the game won’t have any major sci-fi elements but the protagonist will find himself fighting in a variety of locations. Personally I'm hoping for some weird levels in Killer Is Dead as I want Suda to do an Inception like stage just to screw with all of us.
A timeframe as to when we would see Killer Is Dead wasn’t laid out by Suda, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the game made an appearance around TGS as Grasshopper Manufacture usually tends to throw special events around that time. As a fan of Suda and GhM I’m excited to see Killer Is Dead and possibly receive a more serious game as opposed to some of the fun yet excessively whacky games the studio has released lately.
Famitsu.com has posted the first images of concept art from Killer Is Dead and the game looks deep. With a style similar to Killer 7 in the stylized realism it strives for, the game looks rather moody with it's depiction of a katana wielding men residing in giant futuristic city.