So this weekend I sat down with one of my Playstation 3 games that I have not gotten around to playing. I expected to only play the game for an hour or two but before I knew it, I had wasted the entirety of Friday afternoon and Saturday morning playing this game. It literally just sucked me into it. What is this magical, addicting, beautiful game? Could it be Uncharted 3? Could it be Mirror’s Edge? Could it be Resistance 2? No! The game that I got sucked into was none other than NeverDead.
NeverDead is a 3rd person shooter/hack-n-slash game developed by Rebellion and published by Konami. When the trailers were shown, I was instantly hooked. Why? Well it was because you play an immortal demon hunter named Bryce. While the idea of being a demon hunter armed with duel pistols and a sword may not sound new; it is the fact that you cannot die that brings a whole new gameplay element to the scene. Now when I say that you cannot die, I mean it. You literally cannot die. You can be decapitated, have your arms and legs blown off, set on fire, dipped in lava, fall off cliffs, be electrocuted, and sliced to pieces. In fact, there are only two ways for you to get a game over. You either get your head swallowed by these tiny bowling-ball-like monsters or your partner (a mortal woman) is killed. Luckily, she is a lot smarter than most AI and there was probably only 10 times in the entirety of the game where I had to rush to her side to save her – and not once did I actually lose to her perishing.
The story of NeverDead is simple. You and your human partner work for a secret agency who works to keep demons from entering our world. When the demon menace begins to grow to obscene proportions, you and your partner need to investigate. The ghosts from Bryce’s past begin to rear their ugly faces and you must go balls to the wall to stop them.
The gameplay is rather interesting. The L1 and R1 buttons control Bryce’s left and right arms when he is using his guns. He can shoot two different weapons at once (assault rifle, shotgun, grenade launcher, machine guns, handguns, and automatic crossbows) or you can use his Butterfly sword (a sword that folds when he closes it). To use the sword, you just target an enemy and then use the right joystick to swing at your enemies. One thing that I noticed while playing this game was the fact that you will primarily use the sword because the guns are pretty useless until you get the automatics and shotguns.
When equipped with the sword you also can block but I don’t really find any reason to do this. I just charged straight into battle and began hacking my enemies to bloody bits! With each kill you get experience points and you can also gain XP by finding glowing angel wings that are literally everywhere. And I mean it. You will find a crap-ton of these XP wings but don’t think you’ll level up fast. There are a TON of upgrades to collect in this game and while you can only use a specific amount at once, you can swap them on the fly.
So you have the quick action, the guns, the swords, the gore, and the entertaining storyline but what makes this game really stand out? Well I would have to say that the Destruction raises the bar for 3rd person shooters. Almost everything in this game has some level of destruction. In fact, some of your upgrades can actually be used to increase the damage the environment causes to enemies as it rains down upon them. There are a lot of foes you’ll encounter that will be tough to handle one-on-one but if you shoot a pillar or drop a ceiling down upon them, you’ll be able to kill them in a single shot. Exploding barrels, collapsing walls, gas pipes, floors, desks, sofas, sinks, toilets; there is a massive amount of destruction you’ll experience as the game goes on. One of my favorite levels includes a museum where you can shatter aquariums causing any enemy nearby to get swept off their feet.
The interaction between Bryce and his partner is what you’d expect from an immortal demon hunter and his blond sexy counterpart. She is a wise-ass who acts like she doesn’t care about Bryce’s well being whereas he is a smart-ass sarcastic pain in the ass who likes barreling his way through most situations.
Now the game is not without its flaws. The design basically revolves around Enter a Room – kill everything. Enter a room – kill everything. It is repetitive but like I said, the destruction and the constant introduction of either brand new enemies or improved versions of older ones keep you on your toes. Not to mention that you’ll deal with those head-swallowing monsters that forces you to keep moving whenever you are decapitated.
Which brings me to the next issue and that is the body damage. While it is not a serious problem, there can be times where you’ll lose your body parts faster than you’d expect. This leaves you needing to roll your head back onto your torso or hiding in safety until your Regeneration Meter fills. Luckily some of the abilities you get can lower this issue (speeding your Regeneration speed, making your limbs explosive so after you lose them you can detonate them to damage enemies, allowing your head to roll faster, etc). The only time this became an annoyance was during the final boss of the game but only because he has a move that can knock all your limbs off all at once.
Why do I recommend this game so much? Well it basically boils down to the fact that this is something new. Playing as a character who cannot die is a nice change of pace and the fact that your AI partner is not a complete brainless idiot is very welcome. The combat is quick and ferocious and once you get the right guns, you’ll be spraying the walls with the blood of your enemies. There was not one time where I grew tired of the level destruction and if you want a breath of fresh air from space soldiers or pretty-boys, then I say you give this game a chance. It is under 10$ on both systems used and about 15$ brand new at most stores.
Oh, did I forget to mention that the game’s soundtrack is by MegaDeath!?
I am not going to lie and say that this is the next greatest game in the history of 3rd person shooters, but it was surprisingly a lot of fun. I really got sucked into it and one of my favorite moments is when you see the difference between Past Bryce and Current Bryce.
Give this game a chance. Skip out on going out to eat twice this week and use that money on this game. I would like to say that you won’t be disappointed.