Story: You play as Bryce Boltsman, a demon hunter who has lived for 500+ years and is immortal. The premise does sound like a rip-off of Devil May Cry and well… it pretty much is. There are some differences though and a few twists but realistically this game is very predictable. I won’t say it’s all bad though as the 500 year flashback sequences are pretty interesting and your side character companions in the present day make for some funny dialogue. Bryce himself is a decent character resembling a cross between Duke Nukem and Dante but his voice is the single most annoying voice for a main character I’ve ever heard. During the flashback sequences he has a very well done British sounding voice that even fits his appearance. I will say that the character is interesting though. The bad guy is The Demon King Astaroth and his motives and character are also revealed through the flashbacks but for the most part he has as much character as a cardboard box. Even their attempts to make him seem like a worthy villain just feel boring and cliche and aside of the dialogue between Bryce, his partner Arcadia, and Nikki (another character you meet) everything else here is either bad or forgettable
Gameplay: As usual we can forgive a bad story if the actual game is a blast to play. Once again this is a game filled with potential and originality. First off there ARE actually ways to die. Now some are understandable because let’s face it if you fall off a collapsing bridge during a set piece you should probably get some sort of game over. I can understand needing to revive Arcadia since she’s human although every I looked at her she was shooting at air or enemies she herself said bullets are unaffected by, She wasn’t getting downed constantly. There are Grandbabies though , and once you are down to just your head (which by the way is every 30 seconds because you lose limbs so fast and constantly that reattaching yourself is half the game ) these Grandbabies will try and suck you into them. Grandbabies aren’t big; they’re just small balls that roll around. Anyway if you get sucked in you will have to time a button press of the X button as a small bar slides across the screen with a white dot. If you fail it it’s game over. I wanted to throw my controller through the wall because there are times where you will be minutes into a battle with waves of enemies and in a matter of 10 seconds you can get hit with your limbs flying everywhere and your head sucked in where you fumble the QTE. Once again it does not help when Bryce’s limbs go flying across the level from 1 attack.
Let’s talk about the actual combat though. As stated earlier Neverdead tries to rip off Devil May Cry. Neverdead like Devil May Cry mixes shooting and sword melee combat but it can’t even execute that right! Devil Mar Cry nailed this control scheme on the PS2, why did the Neverdead developers ignore that and build a control scheme where you can’t switch from gunfire and melee on the fly. You actually have to press Triangle to switch from guns to your sword, and then hold L1, and finally move the right analog stick left and right. It doesn’t help that it’s the only combo in the game. There are 2 types of enemies in Neverdead, ones you shoot and ones you slice. That’s literally how I narrowed it down and it’s a testament to how little enemy variety there is. The enemies even look horrible, for example your basic enemy is a mutated dog. The other enemy type is some snail looking thing you slice to death, and finally there are these roly-polie metallic things that look ripped straight out of the upcoming Battleship film. There are also nests where these enemies crawl out of continuously until you destroy them. That is in a nutshell what you’ll do for 8 hours in Neverdead. There are some glimpses of brilliance though. For instance there is a boss fight where you must rip your arm off and throw it into its mouth and then fire the gun which exposes the demon’s weak point. You then shoot the weak spot with your other gun and overall it’s a fun battle. The boss fights until the end are actually decent, and then some of the cheapest and broken game-play comes right out. Final bosses have a huge array of cheap tactics from regenerating ALL their health instantly to knocking you apart in 1 hit to not properly explaining what you should be doing. Between the 2 last bosses it took an hour to actually finish the game. Aside from that though boss battles are good and one area where the game shines. The other area is when the game has you using its limb removal mechanics to complete puzzles such as using your decapitated head to do some platforming and activate a switch.
Graphics/Sound: Neverdead does honestly succeed in this area boasting a nice art style and way more beautifully rendered CGI scenes than I expected. Even the in-game graphics despite some frame-rate drops occasionally look good. The game features some incredible destructive environments and the game probably does shine the most when you’re wreaking as much havoc as possible. Aside from Bryce I have no complaints about the voice acting; even the dialogue is funny at times. The theme song however is actually Neverdead by Megadeth. Now I’m sure they had no idea the game would be this bad but it’s awesome that they actually wrote a bad-ass song for this game. The rest of the music is forgettable but Megadeth surely has to bring the score up a bit. Really though, Neverdead is awesome in this department.
Replayability: Neverdead is roughly 8 hours long and it for some reason has online modes. I can’t review them though because literally no one is playing the actual game let alone the online. I can’t recommend this as a buy to anyone
Overall score – 5/10
This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of NeverDead
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