The upcoming action game NeverDead combines an interesting number of different concepts. Not only is it a third-person shooter but your lead protagonist is also a man who cannot die and can be fully dismembered, which plays an important part in the story. At TGS, we had the opportunity to sample the game for a few minutes and sit down with the game's producer, Shinta Nojiri, who shared some details on what to expect later this winter.
You play as Bryce Boltzmann, a man over 500 years old who has been "cursed" with immortality after losing a battle with The Demon King and the death of his wife in the process. Now in present day, Bryce has been hired by the NADA--The National Anti-Demon Agency--and must aid it in its operations of eliminating "demon foes," which ravage the city unbeknownst to normal society. His assistance with the NADA may also lead him to get the revenge for the loss of his loved one and rid himself of his immortality.
NeverDead looks and feel like most third-person shooters currently available. Some of the few things that stand out are Bryce's appearance and his abilities. For starters, Bryce is capable of dual-wielding weapons, and this comes in handy on a number of occasions. But what makes NeverDead unique is the fact that not only can Bryce remain alive in the game, but he can also literally break into pieces and his different body parts can alter your play.
One situation that we got to experience involved Bryce charging himself up and becoming a walking bomb. When detonated, his body parts flew to different spots; as his head, we had to reattach the various limbs. But as the parts were scattered in other places, it wasn't exactly an easy task to retrieve all of them. While searching for one of his arms, we still had the ability to fire the weapon it currently held. When enemies were in the vicinity of that particular appendage, we were able to fire at will at those foes. Yes, the aiming wasn't exactly precise--as you'd expect--but it was quite interesting watching the arm flail around from across the way. In game, you will also be able to willfully remove one arm and toss it at enemies, which can act as both a divergence and cause a lot of damage in the process.
Although Bryce cannot die, Shinta-san promised that there are "game over" scenarios. He wasn't willing to delve deep into what those might be, other than to mention that in one situation, Bryce might get eaten by a foe and have no way out, thus ending your game.
While sitting with Shinta-san for a few minutes, we also got to see some footage of the upcoming multiplayer modes. The mode we saw was a cooperative four-player mode where participants worked together to defeat waves upon waves of enemies. Similar to other multiplayer modes currently available (but unlike the single-player where Bryce cannot die), here, you'll control members of the NADA who can perish, and surviving the onslaught of foes will be challenging. There will also be some competitive multiplayer options available, but they weren't shown at the time.
NeverDead's release is scheduled for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at the end of 2011, and the early bits that we got to experience at TGS were quite interesting. Definitely, what stood out most was watching Bryce explode into pieces and then fooling around with the different body parts as we made him whole again. There is a lot of potential here, and we look forward to seeing more of the game before it hits stores.