Latest Game Reviews

NeverDead Review - PS3

6
Gameplay: 6 stars 6
Graphics: 6 stars 6
Audio: 7 stars 7
Multiplayer: 7 stars 7
Innovation: 8 stars 8
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Introduction

I'll be honest, I really like the idea behind NeverDead. You play as an immortal character who, instead of having a decreasing health bar or using a screen that gradually turns red, takes damage by gradually losing his limbs. Without a doubt, this is the only game on the market in which you can play as a decapitated head. Developed by Rebellion Studios, and published by Konami, it's clear that they really tried to come up with an original take on the action genre. That said, there's plenty of games out there which try to get by simply through their gimmicks alone, so is NeverDead worth your time?

Gameplay

Our protagonist is Bryce, an immortal, 500 year old demon hunter. He's been "cursed" with eternal life, though the reason behind this remains a mystery for much of the game. Bryce is accompanied by his beautiful, gun-toting assistant Arcadia. She's an agent for a division of the government called NADA, and is always dragging a rather reluctant Bryce into various battles against the advancing demon hordes which threaten the country. They're a bit of an odd couple, but they get along well enough, and make for a likeable set of main characters.

NeverDead is an action game, and while the gun and sword pairing of weapons isn't particularly original, it's handled well. Bryce can dual-wield a range of guns, with each of his arms having a separate trigger button (L1 and R1 respectively). Pressing the triangle button will make Bryce pull out his demon-slicing sword. Wielding this sword requires two hands though, so he won't be slicing and shooting at the same time. The control set-up for the blade is rather unusual though. Rather than pressing the face buttons on the controller, players simply lock on to enemies or objects, and the flick the right analogue stick in different directions in order to hack away. Slow flicks of the stick will result in more powerful slices, while quick flicks will unleash a barrage of faster, weaker slices. While it sounds a little awkward, this system actually works really effectively, and feels quite natural.

You'll be making heavy of use of Bryce's blade, too. While there's a good variety of guns on offer, it's often hard to go past the sword. Many of the weaker enemies can be sliced in half with a single strike, while it can take a good ten second burst of firing to do the same damage. This is particularly evident in parts of the game where Bryce is swarmed by enemies which fill the room and came at him quite fast. Slicing is faster than shooting, and unless you want to end up in pieces every 20 seconds, it's pretty much a necessity. Fortunately, there's a skill upgrade system on offer. By collecting experience points from defeated enemies, Bryce can be upgraded to move faster, do more damage with each bullet, regenerate faster, and more. This helps to balance the game a little more, and the upgrades really do make a ...

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