NeverDead: What Happens When You're Supposed to Get Shot?

Stuck with immortality, NeverDead uses dismemberment to distinguish itself from other third-person action games.

Bryce Boltzmann has it pretty tough. He's over 500 years old and Astaroth, the demon king, cursed him to live for an eternity. This little predicament gives Bryce some unique characteristics, namely the ability to use his dismembered limbs and head as weapons. To get an upper hand (or arm, or leg, or head) on the situation, Bryce absorbs bullets, melee attacks, and whatever else is thrown at him to dismember his limbs, which makes the premise of this game a little different from what we're typically used to in a third-person action game.

Indeed, despite the loss of some appendages, Bryce can attack foes with any limbs, which then dictates the kind of attacks available. For example, his dismembered head rolls around and carries a charge attack that can be quite devastating. Also, if his hands are equipped with firearms, he can still fire those weapons even if they're not actually attached to Bryce's body. Mind you, the shots fired from these guns are obviously far from accurate, but watching his left arm fire in a way that is wildly independent from the rest of his body is quite a treat.

Breaking limbs apart not only gives Bryce interesting combat choices, but it's also a requirement for certain objectives. Bryce may be in an area where the only way to progress further is to go through a ventilation shaft. Of course, if he's too big to fit, he can detach his head and roll around through those tight corridors to reach that next area.

As far as other facets of combat are concerned, there is more than just shooting. NeverDead incorporates melee attacks with Bryce's butterfly blade. When equipped with the blade--rather than relegating the attack to a face button--you use the shoulder buttons to block and the right analog stick for precise control over how Bryce swings the blade. You still swing left and then right to deal a horizontal strike, but longer motions with the right analog stick result in stronger attacks, while quick movements allow for faster but shorter strikes. This control setup does take a bit of time to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, it opens the door to some very interesting fighting situations.

NeverDead uses an interesting swing mechanic for melee attacks

The ability to dismember yourself is a unique idea, and it should be interesting to see how much further this feature goes as the game progresses. There is a slight learning curve associated with controlling a limbless Bryce, but if there is a good way to introduce the player to the nuances of these mechanics, then it shouldn't be an issue. NeverDead arrives on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 at the end of January.

Written By

Former GameSpot Associate Editor, current Content Manager for EA SPORTS.

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Discussion

52 comments
Zero_Echo
Zero_Echo

It looks like a more action packed version of Stubbs the Zombie for the original Xbox. The Japanese to English translation in the video though is a bit hard to understand at times. Maybe a rental

ThexSilentxOne
ThexSilentxOne

They tried the the right-stick fighting thing in Alone in the Dark in 2009 and that was exactly how it was in this game! I can tell you from personal experience that i would rather have a robust, heavy-hitting, stylized combo moves from a list that i can unlock or learn like in Ninja Gaiden, God of War, or Devil May Cry 3 rather than the crappy right-stick control that i experienced in Alone in the Dark from 2009! The fights felt slow and frustrating and i felt like this should be for the Wii's controller, not a traditional controller's right stick! but, maybe they can make it do-able. I will have to wait and see. Hopefully the gun-play is good! This game looks like a 6/10 or possibly a 8/10! I will be playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and Witcher 2 for Xbox360 and with that fact i will be far to busy with those to bother with Neverdead! Maybe a rent is in order!

bozzybozboz
bozzybozboz

This sounds like the worst idea for a game ever

SmartGhost
SmartGhost

will see there are so many games already out

SNESMaster420
SNESMaster420

I think I'm done with hack and slash action/adventure games this gen. I am getting the Devil May Cry collection but that's it. The genre is getting old...

Kme2222
Kme2222

This looks terrible... This is basically a regurgitated Devil May Cry pieced together differently. Lol I'm good.

Devilmann711
Devilmann711

Looks like it may be good for a few laughs.

Sam3231
Sam3231

NeverDead?? Sounds like me in BF3.

hella_epic
hella_epic

his head rolls and jumps..........yep only the japanese can make something this good

knooon
knooon

is their any other guns? i know this is not mw3 but still it looks like a hack and slash bullet storm kind of game with a terrible story and not a memorable experience.

gowofwarKratos
gowofwarKratos

It's a very creative game. looking forward to buy it.

maester334
maester334

This game is gonna be confusingly fun lol

boags24
boags24

Mapping melee to an anolog stick? Is that sorta the control premise of dead island?

Dragon-Power
Dragon-Power

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

GuilhermeHQ
GuilhermeHQ

Interesting concept, looking forward to it!

tainted0ne
tainted0ne

ummm..... yeah, well it certainly is different

zoeyleft
zoeyleft

i always like vamp, and he seems to finally get another role!

G_gglypuff
G_gglypuff

Ridiculous premise, sympathetic characters, but something about it doesn't feel right...

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

I love Japanese games, the characters feel so much more real and believable because they've always got their own quirks and they're so unpredictable.

rob_dAmAgE
rob_dAmAgE

Finally! A release date!!! I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this one!

BenFireFox
BenFireFox

looks really silly when he jumps with one leg left but at same point rly funny x)

Rabastu
Rabastu

check out ign, they did a story

Nodashi
Nodashi

Anyone who played Planescape: Torment know you CAN be punished by the game even if you're immortal...

deathknightleo
deathknightleo

this game looks fun it;s true even in the hardest games u really don;t die you just have to start over from the start instead. well they got rid of that and made this sounds like a winning i have high hopes for this game.

snake8304
snake8304

these guys must be very careful with the "immortal " mechanic to keep a good challenge in the game otherwise it will be a very easy game and that's not a good thing).

franzito
franzito

Immortality plus dismemberment... interesting combo

Raxyman
Raxyman

@finalcross Thanks for the info. Too bad that they're keeping co-op out of this, it would be fun one being immortal and your friend being the mortal, it would demand a really good teamwork from both, since you're in different roles. Oh well, then we need to wait until Konami decides showing off a little more of the game...

neumanbr
neumanbr

I'm telling already that I'm going to get this game because I'm a huge Megadeth fan! Hope it will provide many hours of fun but so far I'm only on board of this for the metal! \,,/

revanknight
revanknight

mapping a melee attack to an analog stick? The last game that tried that was Too Human...

johny300
johny300

I have a feeling "too easy" will be mentioned in the review and in "the bad" not the good it will be mentioned.

killa32130
killa32130

I dunno how this game will do, the only reason i know about it is because Megadeth made a sweet song for the game conveniently named Never dead.

Atheosis
Atheosis

Why do all Japanese games have such mind-bogglingly stupid storiylines?

Gov1
Gov1

HOW THE HELL DOES HIS HEAD MOVE ON ITS OWN!!?!?!?!?!?

Goods_Merchant
Goods_Merchant

lol this kinda looks like a full gamelength escort mission

Frosty192
Frosty192

Hmmm might have to check this out...

MrYuyo
MrYuyo

I hope the dont rely the game over on having to babysit the partner. I usually hate on some games when you lost just because the stupid ai get in the line of fire.

finalcross
finalcross

@Raxyman and @R3NeGaDeAnGeL - technically some enemies can consume you and you'll be stuck in their body. That is one way of "dying". But since you do have a partner in most situations, if they die though, then you have to restart. They didn't talk about any co-op but it seems like this is strictly a single player affair. But, there is Multiplayer, which is co-operative, but they didn't show us that. @Goyoshi12 - we played a boss battle and the boss couldn't kill us...but again, you have to worry about those around you. There will be missions that require you to protect people and that is part of the game's 'failed' state.

Goyoshi12
Goyoshi12

@ R3NeGaDeAnGeL You can die. There are creatures in the game that can absorb your head in and if they are successful then you will die and lose. Not to mention, this is purely a guess, but if there are like boss fights in the game I'm sure they will have ways for you to die. Anyways, agreed, this game is so different from anything else out on the market. I hope it does well on release. :)

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

Guess that really ties in with the title of this game.

R3NeGaDeAnGeL
R3NeGaDeAnGeL

Sooo...exactly how do you "die" in this game? If you can't really die at all...there goes some of the challenge factor...nevertheless, I praise this game for at least trying something different!

Raxyman
Raxyman

Looks interesting enough, i just have 2 important questions (to me at least). 1st How do the "Game Over" happen? 2nd Will it have coop mode?