Killer is Dead is coming. On August 27th, Suda 51’s latest offering of absurdity and hyper-violence shall be unleashed upon the world. My anticipation is palpable. It tastes like blood and cheap perfume. Killer 7 introduced the West to Suda’s particular flavor, and Killer is Dead looks to be both its long awaited successor, and polite suggestion to please stop asking about Killer 7-2.
Although previously a pre-order bonus, the game’s publisher XSeed has announced that the 80 page hardcover art book, a 25 track soundtrack CD, and the Smooth Operator DLC will be released with all first run copies of the game. It’s certainly a sweet bonus, yet I can’t help but be a bit soured over day one DLC, even if you’re giving it to me for free.
Traditionally, my strategy for DLC is the same one I have been employing for years, regarding spinoffs to Final Fantasy games and the sequels to numbered games. I ignore them entirely and publicly deny their existence. While not all DLC is created equally, they do sometimes come in several gradations of two extremes.
On one side you have things like horse armor, things that add very little to the gameplay or narrative. On the other end you have things like Final Fantasy XIII-2’s extra episodes, things that add so much content to the game that I have to question if the game is really complete without them. I find both things entirely toxic.
Horse armor-style DLC feels like it insults my intelligence because it doesn’t have any value. Moreover, this kind of DLC has replaced the cool little secret things that I used to be able to unlock in games by actually playing them. Before DLC, achievements, and trophies the really great games gave us the kinds of things that have become DLC for doing the same kinds of things we did to increase our gamer scores.
I couldn’t imagine enjoying No More Heroes if all those T-shirts, and the game’s hidden boss and ending, were DLC. I would have never seen them, and their absence would have made the difference between No More Heroes being one of my favorite games, and No More Heroes being entirely forgettable.
Lollipop Chainsaw’s approach to DLC was particularly obnoxious, because so much of the way that game was played revolved around replaying levels to get higher scores and unlock outfits. The fact that the coolest of the outfits were reserved for DLC left the game feeling incomplete and anemic in their absence.
Also, while Sony at least appears to be supporting the current iteration of PSN with the PS4, Microsoft seems to be re-launching Live with the Xbox One as, “none of your Live Arcade Games are going to carry over.” Who knows how long the DLC for the now last-generation consoles will even be available for download?
I’m looking forward to Killer is Dead, and all the free bonuses are definitely welcome and appreciated. I won’t know what the DLC even is until I have a chance to check it out in a couple of weeks, so I’ll reserve my judgment until then. Here’s hoping that the game stands on its own without it. Killer is Dead definitely looks to be a fully psychotic and cerebral good time, and DLC on its own won’t make a truly excellent game bad no matter what it is.