NeverDead Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
NeverDead Box Art
System: PS3, Xbox 360*
Dev: Rebellion Developments
Pub: Konami
Release: January 31, 2012
Players: 1-4
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language

Additionally, the controls themselves aren't entirely well executed. It seems like the camera might have attention deficit disorder, because it often gets fixated in a position and then quickly snaps onto a new view. Gunplay feels sloppy until you equip the appropriate abilities, and swordplay is wonky at best.

However, one thing that NeverDead does very well is allow gamers to customize the gameplay to their own personal specifications. As players gain experience, they can equip perks that increase movement speed, allow their guns to shoot more accurately, make swords strike with more force, etc. With these customizations, it's relatively easy to create a character who primarily engages enemies with ranged weapons, or one who uses a brute, button-mashing approach. Whichever style you favor, the enemies and gameplay are flexible enough to keep the experience challenging.

NeverDead Screenshot

If NeverDead is an indication of their skill, the writers over at Rebellion are probably never going to be in danger of winning a Pulitzer Prize. The story is flat, but mostly passable. However, the characters and dialogue don't even come close to being passable. Bryce is a 500-year-old womanizer whose entire vocabulary doesn't extend pass sexual innuendo and terrible dismemberment puns. And, as far as I can tell, Arcadia only exists to awkwardly convey gameplay instructions and to give the developers a skirt to point their cameras up.

The weirdest part is that I kept expecting the game to finally produce some type of payoff. Graphically, the game is almost great. The environments are immersive and interactive. And I loved the fact that Bryce could tear off his own extremities to solve puzzles and distract enemies. I kept trying to remind myself that no studio would put this much work into the look and feel of a game and skip the story altogether, but I was obviously mistaken.

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And that's the biggest tragedy from NeverDead; Rebellion had all the tools that they needed to produce a truly great game, but they consistently favored mediocrity.

If I'm being brutally honest, aside from the dismemberment and decapitation mechanics, NeverDead is a goulash of sterile platitudes and worn-out stereotypes. It's great for a few chuckles right out of the box, but once you've been playing for a while, the game's shortcomings start to pile up pretty quickly. Perhaps my disappointment was magnified because the game had so much potential, but ended up being the same game we all played numerous times ten years ago.

By
Josh Engen
Contributing Writer
@JoshEngen
Date: February 1, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
Decent graphics. Immersive maps.
2.5
Control
Clunky controls and poor camera control.
2.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Awful dialogue. Out-of-place musical score.
3.0
Play Value
Severely lacks polish. Almost feels unfinished at times.
3.0
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Live forever and become immortal through a unique decapitation and regeneration mechanic that offers a different approach to third-person action gameplay. Detach your arm and use it as an exploding detonation device against the enemy, or tear off your head and use it as a scout within the level design.
  • Fight in critical situations making use of the hero's immortality! Get electrocuted and shoot electric bullets, catch on fire and use your body as a light source, fight enemies in a hurricane or on the highway among passing cars and several other invigorating environments.
  • Combination of various weaponry at your disposal including an array of guns for long-range attacks. Whip out the Butterfly Blade to slash and destroy what is in front of you.
  • Online co-operative and competitive "Challenges" against the enemy or each other. Play with up to 4 players and outwit those you're going against using the decapitation/regeneration elements as strategy.
  • Destroy the world you are in as wide-ranging destructible environments will influence how players take out the enemy. Large-scale destruction includes entire buildings, or smaller-scale destruction with pillars, the floor and interior wall sections.
  • Enhance character abilities with an experience leveling system that ramps up player abilities, weapon power and unlocking content within the game.

  • Videos / Game Trailers
    NeverDead - TGS 2011 Trailer - click to enlarge
    TGS 2011 Trailer
    NeverDead - GC 2011: Megadeath Trailer - click to enlarge
    GC 2011: Megadeath Trailer
    NeverDead - TGS 10: Funny Story Trailer - click to enlarge
    TGS 10: Funny Story Trailer
    NeverDead - GC 10: Rolling Head Trailer - click to enlarge
    GC 10: Rolling Head Trailer
    NeverDead - E3 2010: Debut Trailer - click to enlarge
    E3 2010: Debut Trailer

    Screenshots / Images
    NeverDead Screenshot - click to enlarge NeverDead Screenshot - click to enlarge NeverDead Screenshot - click to enlarge NeverDead Screenshot - click to enlarge NeverDead Screenshot - click to enlarge NeverDead Screenshot - click to enlarge NeverDead Screenshot - click to enlarge NeverDead Screenshot - click to enlarge NeverDead Screenshot - click to enlarge NeverDead Screenshot - click to enlarge

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