NeverDead - Xbox 360

Game Description:NeverDead begins in the waking hours of peace and calm, when the world is under threat of being consumed by a demonic plague. Centuries have passed since the world succumbed to an unforeseen shadow of evil, and a hero was made an immortal by demons. These demons have risen once again in the present day causing unrelenting mayhem reinforced by destructible environments within the game. Now using his regenerative powers re-assembling his own body to evade death, the hero carries out the only salvation the world will know, for he is Never Dead.
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NeverDead E3 2011 Hand-On Preview -- Trying to Put the Bloody Pieces Together

NeverDead E3 2011 Hand-On Preview -- Trying to Put the Bloody Pieces Together

By Jake Gaskill - Posted Jun 16, 2011

In Rebellion’s gothic shooter NeverDead, you can rip off your head, launch it into a inaccessible area, and then regrow the rest of your body out of your head, thereby bypassing the blockade. You can also tear off your limbs and turn them into enemy-baiting bombs if in a pinch. Should you be blown apart in a fight, you can reassemble yourself by rolling your head into your severed limbs, which will promptly attach themselves in the proper place. If these examples aren’t enough to impress upon you the level of crazy Rebellion is shooting for with this game, we’re going to have problems.

NeverDead tells the story of a tragically immortal alcoholic named Bryce Boltzmann who has been forced to live with the loss of his family for over 500 years, and who is now on the hunt for redemption and demon asses to cap. Of course, none of this backstory was presented during my hands-on time with the game during E3. My time with the game was about one thing and one thing only: bizarre and, at times, frustrating showdowns with numerous demonic forces.

The demo opens with Bryce and his companion Arcadia outside a natural history museum where Arcadia gives us our mission, “Clean this place up.” Just then, a large portion of scaffolding comes crashing down and explodes, as the pair moves into a gated courtyard. Several waves of beasties soon descend on the scene, compliments of a pod that will continue to launch enemies out of it until it’s destroyed.

The gunplay is typical of any third-person action game, with Bryce capable of shooting while strafing and rolling to avoid attacks. He can also wield swords for melee attacks, only instead of being mapped to a face button, you have to use the right thumbstick for sword swipes, which ended up being rather frustrating to grasp, and just devolved into me just wiggling the stick wildly to slash without any control to speak of. The upside though was that enemies can be hacked apart in a variety of ways, so there's that.

But by far the most compelling and original mechanic in the game is Bryce’s regeneration ability. Not only can he remove his own body parts and use them to solve puzzles or as improvised grenades, but he can also lose them in battle. It’s no biggie though since all you have to do is click a button, and a fresh limb will sprout from the empty socket. If you’d rather just pick up the lost appendage, you just walk, crawl, or roll over it, and it will reattach itself to your body. Each level of dismemberment has specific animations assigned to them, so you’ll be hoping on one leg, dragging your legless torso, or just rolling your head around on a regular basis, which is just as odd as you might think.

Based on the demo, there will also be puzzles in the game that will require inventive uses of your dismemberment ability. In our case, we had to rip off our head and toss it into a fountain to block the water spout, causing a blockage that resulted in our head being shot high into the air and through the glass roof of the museum. Once inside, we regenerated our limbs, and shot out a circuit breaker to open security gates to access the museum’s first floor showroom.

In addition to personal destruction, the game also features high levels of environmental devastation. Statues, structures, pillars, and the like can be torn apart with bullets, and you can even bring down entire floors by shooting out their support beams, taking out any enemies unfortunate enough to be underneath. I felt bad for a second after I obliterated a gorgeous dinosaur skeleton in a hail of bullets, but then I realized that it was the first, and probably last, time I’d ever do such a thing in a game, so that eased the pain.


The museum quickly turned into an all our warzone as enemies started pouring in from all sides. Inflators carry a shield, requiring you to get behind them to bring them down, while Grandbabies use their vacuum mouths to try and inhale your head should it pop off. The final enemy to literally burst onto the scene was a rhino-ish creature with virtually impenetrable skin that did nothing but knock me on my ass over and over and over again until my session was over. Now, I’m no fancy PR guy or anything, but I’d think leaving players frustrated and annoyed right at the end of a demo wouldn’t be something you’d want to do when introducing new players to your product. But like I said, what do I know?

NeverDead’s big hook is obviously its body regeneration mechanic, since everything else I saw in the demo was reminiscent of any number of demon-laced shooter you’ve seen before. But I have a feeling that it might get stale after the 40 or 50th time you do it, especially when every encounter looks to contain some element specifically designed to separate you from your limbs. It's a novel idea, but we know if it will be enough to carry the entire game until we see the game in its entirety instead of in...well...pieces.



Comments are Closed

  • xFlamexOfxHellx

    Boo, bad pun at the end of the article.

    Posted: June 26, 2011 11:46 PM
  • Faybel

    Haha I'm finding this game to be veeeeeery interesting haha

    Posted: June 26, 2011 1:28 PM
  • D34DP00L

    It's only a flesh wound!

    Posted: June 25, 2011 8:58 PM
  • D34DP00L

    It's only a flesh wound!

    Posted: June 25, 2011 8:56 PM
  • TaliGunmonkey

    Yeah..........I'm not expecting anything big from this game but I'll still keep my eyes open for a review when it comes

    Posted: June 25, 2011 6:36 PM
  • rifleshoot

    they could really turn this game into a great one if they do it right. the immortality gimmick is pretty awesome, but they need to have other things that make the game worthwhile.

    Posted: June 25, 2011 6:19 PM
  • 3dmunt

    The original trailer they showed off last year had me interested, but now it seems they've gotten a new voice actor since then.

    I know that sort of thing is always subject to change before release but this is one of those cases where the change in actor has really changed my opinion. Hopefully it will still be good.

    Posted: June 25, 2011 4:50 PM
  • JadinFang

    I get to roll around headless and shoot things and throw my arm and it explodes sign me up lol

    Posted: June 22, 2011 5:38 AM
  • Tactless_Ninja



    Posted: June 22, 2011 12:26 AM
  • greattom12

    ... seems kinda stupid if you're immortal. You would never have to even pause the game. IMO, it should be comical, and you shouldn't be immortal, and maybe some multiplayer; THEN i'd be interested

    Posted: June 21, 2011 3:11 PM
  • imonline

    A little odd, but original; still not sure if I want it though.

    Posted: June 21, 2011 8:24 AM
  • ninenightmares

    good looking game, but the release date on the top says jun3 30th i was about to reserve it....

    Posted: June 21, 2011 7:34 AM
  • Toquinha1977

    Why is this game NOT a comedy? Hopefully in the localization process, they'll punch up the dialogue a bit.

    Posted: June 21, 2011 6:38 AM
  • sonicwind510

    NOW that's new!!! i would go for that.... i hope there's no multiplayer... too overrated

    Posted: June 20, 2011 7:15 PM
  • gambitjuggalo

    i liked the idea of the game it could work if excuted right.. but like any game that has a linear path. once you beat it one time thats it nothing changes.. ill put it on my gamefly list when it comes out

    Posted: June 17, 2011 2:00 PM