GDC 2013: Catching up with ‘Killer Is Dead’ and Suda 51

Miguel Concepcion

The more I learn about “Killer Is Dead”, the more I think Suda 51 is making his “Mission Impossible 2″. In other words, I’m not yet convinced it will present anything new that I haven’t seen in his other games, not that’s automatically a bad thing. Like John Woo’s 2000 film, “Killer Is Dead” feels like a greatest hits collection of ┬áthemes, characterizations, and visual stylings of Suda 51’s previous works. It calls to mind the assassins of “No More Heroes” and “Killer 7″ and the love story of “Shadows of the Damned”. More than anything, it feel like the darker sibling of “Lollipop Chainsaw”, both in tone and gameplay. This is something I can go for, though I hope the emphasis on thoughtful swordplay implies that “Killer Is Dead” is an improvement over the unremarkable combat of “Lollipop Chainsaw”.

Donning a Lou Reed t-shirt, the always approachable Suda 51 met with MTV Multiplayer to show more “Killer is Dead”, giving us an opportunity to point out the musical angle of his games.

Thinking about the musical bosses in “Lollipop Chainsaw” and the Sid and Nancy influence of “Shadows of the Damned”, you’ve been exploring your music aficionado side, something that wasn’t as evident in your earlier works.

Music’s been a huge part of my life but sadly, I haven’t listened to any new bands or singers lately. When I’m writing a scenario, I’m often wearing headphones and listening to music as I’m coming up with ideas. It is part of me, especially when the title “Killer is Dead” is from The Smiths’ “The Queen is Dead”. A lot of those inspirations just come out and often they come easy.

For as long as you have been making games, you can possibly draw comparisons to a band’s body of work and their 10, 15 year output of albums…

You’re spot on, especially lately when I’m coming out with a new title every year. It does feel like a full album release. In fact, I also think in terms of music singles with download games or smartphone games. In that sense, Grasshopper is like a music label.

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