It's been a hard few years for fans of hardcore Japanese action games. Devil May Cry was passed off to a Western developer, God of War is the best reviewed series on the market, b-side entertainment like Lollipop Chainsaw pass off as being prime example of what to expect these days, and Ninja Gaiden is now the whooping boy of every critic from here to Pluto.
If not for Platinum Games and their glorious critical-darling Bayonetta, I would think the entire genre had gone extinct quite awhile ago.
Fear not, because Suda 51 and his bat-munching insane development team Grasshopper Manufacture are here to save the day. Killer is Dead is rife with genre defining traits: over the top characters, heavily orchestrated action, various modes of play, and a nonsensical melodramatic plot. Don't overlook the liberal use of Ride of the Valkyries either.
The latest trailer shows off all of these and more. I've never been the biggest fan of Grasshopper Manufacture, but Killer is Dead is already making serious cases as for how the team plans to move ahead. Let's just hope this is not another case of Suda 51's emphasis on style over actual content.
Japanese action has always been about flare, but with a little maturation, it could be so much more. I hope this is the game to finally put Suda 51 in a new category of developers.
Killer is Dead will be released in the Q3 of 2013 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. No American date has been set yet, but localization rights have been given to Xseed Games.