An upcoming issue of Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu reveals the first details on Shadows of the Damned producer Suda 51's newest project, an action game called Killer is Dead. Despite the title, Killer is Dead is not connected to the Gamecube cult-classic, Killer 7.

Speaking with FamitsuSuda 51 said features an original story, but will retain the essence of his other "Assassin" games, presumably referring to Killer 7 and the No More Heroes series. In Killer is Dead, players take control of an "Executioner", which Suda describes as globe-trotting vigilante looking to kill to the world's worst criminals.

Beyond that, Suda mentioned some "key words" and themes for the game's story - The balance between the Earth and the Moon, specifically saying that the game's enemies are somehow tied to the moon, though he also said that the game is not science fiction, set in "an extension of modern times". Of course, No More Heroes has a laser sword, so I wouldn't rule anything out.

Suda also said "love" would play a key role in the game's story. The main character's motivation may involve protecting someone close to him or her. Suda says one of themes will be pushing the limits of "how far can you protect someone."

Based on Suda's description, the gameplay sounds reminiscent of No More Heroes: The combat will focus on swordplay like Wii series, though he was unclear on whether or not that meant the game would use motion controls. Suda added that Killer Must Die will also incorporate "new systems", implying that the gameplay may be fundamentally tied to the series.

Development for the game began last spring, though Suda said he'd been working on the concept since 2009.

Killer is Dead is on track for a 2013 release on Xbox 360 and PS3.

[Via Andriasang]

[Correction: The story originally said that Killer 7 was released on N64. It was actually released on Gamecube.]