During Capcom's pre-E3 press conference this morning, we got our first chance to play Killer 7 on the PlayStation 2, which we recently previewed after spending some time with the GameCube version. The two games are essentially identical, and since their visuals are so stark and stylized, the two versions were virtually impossible to tell apart.
The only major difference between the two versions of Killer 7 that we did notice, in fact, was that the PS2 game will let you move your chosen character and turn him or her around using the directional pad instead of buttons. The frequent loads between areas also seemed quite lengthy on occasion, though not to the extent that they became an annoyance.
The version of Killer 7 that we played at today's event let us start from the very beginning, which meant we got to play through a brief tutorial explaining the game's very unusual control scheme before heading into the game proper. The reason Killer 7's controls are so unconventional is that the game itself is unconventional...and we're not just talking about its visuals. One of the development team's goals for the game, we were told, is to create an action shooter that gives you the freedom to explore your surroundings without making that aspect of the game a chore. The result is essentially a rail shooter that lets you move up and down, as well as switch between multiple rails, as you please.
Your movement through the game's environments will inevitably be made much more cautious by the fact that the vast majority of the enemies you'll be facing (or at least those we've faced) are practically invisible until you get close to them. More often than not, you'll be alerted to the presence of nearby enemies only by the sound of their maniacal laughter. As a result, Killer 7 definitely isn't a game you'll want to play with the sound off (or in a noisy convention room, for that matter). Once you hear the laughter, you'll be able to "scan" your surroundings, at which point your enemies (and their seemingly randomly placed one-hit-kill weak spots) will become fully visible. One-hit kills are not only much more satisfying than unloading a whole clip of ammo into an enemy (reload times got us killed on more than one occasion), but they also let you absorb more blood from your enemies...and blood is Killer 7's equivalent of experience points when it comes to getting new skills for all your characters.
Killer 7's North American release is only a month away at this point, and we're looking forward to bringing you more information on the game as that date closes in.