Summary: When creating a videogame protagonist with a particular super power, there's an extra responsibility to create a challenging, rewarding sense of balance. If your hero has enhanced strength and speed, how do you keep enemy opponents threatening without undermining the player's advantages? If your character cannot die, what elements can be introduced in order to maintain a believable conflict? NeverDead is a game that does not ask these questions.
Conclusion: Like flowers in a trash dump, the fragrance of NeverDead’s high points is overpowered by the tons of garbage surrounding them. Even the most worthwhile moments are awkwardly handled, and there’s nothing fun or helpful about having your body torn apart over and over again.
Excerpt: Gimmicks, specially made mechanics, hooks; they can all be a sharp double edged sword. On one hand, they can give a video game that special element it needs to push it away from the crowd. However, if the game is not tailored around the special gimmick, made to make the game that much more enjoyable for possessing it, then the game could unintentionally commit electronic hara-kiri. NeverDead, sadly, is the epitome of the latter edge of that blade.
Excerpt: I'll admit it, I really wanted NeverDead to be a great game. From the first time it was announced, back at E3 a few years ago (complete with headless presenter), it seemed like a unique mechanic to introduce to a third person action game. Now, upon the game's release -- that's true, the game's intention are still as pure as before, but everything else is so incredibly disappointing that it almost feels unfair.
Excerpt: The Japanese have a history of good hack n slash games. Whether it is 2D classics like Castlevania or more modern incarnations like Devil May Cry, the genre is a favorite of many gamers. With Konami’s immense experience in these types of games you would think that NeverDead would prove to be an exceptional title. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.
Excerpt: Death in games has lost its edge with time. Not to dust off the old argument that video games today aren’t as terminal as they were twenty years ago, but the debate has merit. Auto-saves, checkpoints, and regenerating health bars quell the crescendo of memorization that was often necessitated by exhaustible stamina or, even worse, continues. We’ve been a bit spoiled as of recent, but the mortality has (mostly) remained. Until NeverDead , that is.
Excerpt: Losing a loved one and paying the price is a theme that has been used before in numerous videogames (for example, God of War and Shadows of the Damned), but NeverDead has a slight twist to it with the protagonist, Bryce Boltzmann, being punished for centuries with an immortal Demon body but not a Demon mind.
Excerpt: You can tell a lot about a game by the stuff it asks you to pick up. Take Uncharted, for example, which squirrels away unique archaeological treasures off the beaten track, a conceit entirely in keeping with the series' fiction. Super Mario 3D Land's medals tease you into tricky tests of platforming skill or inquisitive probing. Batman: Arkham City, meanwhile, has the Riddler trophies, each an entertaining environmental puzzle to solve.
Excerpt: Oh, Konami. Always trying to branch out with new game ideas. We admire that, but the execution of some of these games leave something to be desired. Case in point – NeverDead, the brain child of producer Shinta Nojiri and the team at Rebellion Developments, had a unique head on its shoulders – literally – and then fell apart at the seams – also literally.