:Doesn't take itself seriously, cool premise, innovative ideas
:Ideas aren't executed well, unlikable lead character, repetitive mechanics and enemies
Can NeverDead hold itself together to create an interesting action title?
One thing to admire about Konami is that they’re always striving to find and pick up projects that are doing something different. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn’t, and in the case of NeverDead, it unfortunately but certainly does not.
NeverDead sees players take control of Bryce Boltzmann, a 500-year old demon hunter cursed with immortality, who now hunts demons for small paychecks. Bryce is accompanied by a female detective, Arcadia, who is assisting him in an attempt to stop a demon invasion of the modern world.
NeverDead plays out like a typical third-person shooter, with duel-wielding pistols and a smidgen of traversal and platforming. Bryce can use different combinations of guns and also a large sword, which uses an interesting control scheme with the right analog-stick.
While this is fairly unique, its biggest differentiator of NeverDead is its dismemberment – not of your enemies, but yourself. Being immortal, Bryce can’t die per se, but his arms, legs and even head can fall apart and it’s up to you to roll over your limbs to reattach them and get back into battle.
The idea and concept is very creative and innovative, however NeverDead’s hook of dismemberment is also its downfall. The process of falling into pieces and re-building yourself is a fun novelty at first, but begins to become incredibly repetitive the hundredth time around.
The mechanic of immortality also requires a catch in order to see a ‘game over’ screen. This comes in the form of Arcadia, as she becomes wounded and needs to be revived. If you are in a million pieces and unable to attend to her in time – you lose. While this does create a sense of stake, it creates a dependency problem which doesn’t help given the very mediocre AI.
A good thing going for NeverDead is its visuals. The character and enemy designs are pretty unique and the environments have some nice lighting and destruction to them. Given this, the designs lose their worth once you’ve seen the same enemies and rooms way too often throughout the game.
These problems don’t help NeverDead in any way, and sadly it ends up being an interesting concept that has lacklustre execution.