PS3 Reviews: NeverDead Review

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NeverDead Review

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Graphics:

 

7.1

Gameplay:

 

3.3

Sound:

 

7.4

Control:

 

3.7

Replay Value:

 

3.0

Overall Rating:       4.8

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

Konami

Developer:

Rebellion

Number Of Players:

1-4

Genre:

Action

The concept behind NeverDead is great. It really is. A dude who dies hardcore at the hands of a demon runs around on a seemingly ceaseless quest for vengeance. He gets mangled and dismembered but he doesn’t really die; his parts operate independently of his torso, and he can still function. Plus, he has a sassy babe by his side who helps him out but never misses an opportunity to take a jab at the guy’s position and appearance. Great idea. …terrible execution. ‘sigh’

The graphics are actually a high point of this production, as both the environment and overall detail is solid and even refined in some areas. The enemies are nicely designed, the characters are decent, and the landscapes – often ragged and blasted apart – have lots of character. The effects aren’t as flashy as I would’ve hoped and some scenery fails an up-close inspection (textures go a little haywire), but other than that, the game looks okay. The CGI cut-scenes are pretty special, too. If only one could stop here in the analysis of a video game…

The sound isn’t bad, either, believe it or not. In truth, in terms of technical achievement, NeverDead isn’t bad at all. The voice acting is only average and again, the effects are disappointing in some ways, but the music is bad-ass. That’s because Megadeth is responsible for much of the soundtrack, and this adds a spicy, surging flavor to an attitude-laden adventure. That music goes away too often, though, and some of the voices just grate like hell. But the graphics and sound definitely make the game worth seeing and hearing, if only for a short while.

After that, it all goes downhill. I’m not really sure where to start because I usually like to begin with the positives. Unfortunately, they’re so few and far between, I have to sit back and think for a while before I can come up with any. …hmm…let me see… Okay, well, as I said, the combination of the decent graphics and kick-ass music made me smile, and it definitely fits the atmosphere. And…um…well, Arcadia is definitely easy on the eyes. Exactly the kind of chick I could dig. The pacing isn’t terrible, either, and the characters are amusing.

Sorry, I’m done with the pluses. Yes, already. What do you want from me? There were problems the minute the game started. The camera is bizarre; I kept changing the sensitivity until I realized there’s an inherent flaw in the system: when you start to move the camera, it moves slowly; keep holding the right analog to move it further, and the camera speeds up. It’s like…sticky, or something. Why would a camera have momentum? I’m confused. Then there’s the aiming reticule, which never seemed right, regardless of my fiddling with the sensitivity.

The Butterfly Blade is just plain absurd. Sure, it makes perfect sense to have both guns and a sword; a guy named Dante made that style famous some years back, if you remember. But that was a fluid, in-depth, intuitive mechanic and this is just a mess. The third-person shooting is okay, but I still say there’s some hit detection issues, and the blade-swinging is awful. You first have to lock on with the L1 button (if you’re not locked on, you can’t even swing the sword), and then you’re supposed to just flick the right analog to cut forward.

But you can’t just “flick” the stick; you have to actually prepare the sword; i.e., you have to bring it to a starting point for the swing, and then attack. It’s ridiculous. It’s all the more ridiculous when you’re fighting fast-moving enemies. I like the idea that timed, tactical strikes do more damage than quick, mindless attacks, but I had difficulty performing anything quickly due to this horrendous gameplay mechanic. The combat roll is all right, though; you roll to avoid and to retrieve severed limbs. Yes, you can end up as a disembodied head, too.

Like I said above, it’s a great idea. But nothing seems to work properly. It certainly doesn’t help that Arcadia, as pretty as she is, can’t shoot sh**. I don’t think she killed a single thing during my entire play time, although I’ll freely admit I often ran ahead to destroy everything in sight so she wouldn’t die. Still, I watched her try to deal with weak enemies every once in a while, and if I didn’t step in, I would’ve been waiting there a while. It’s just so inconvenient to have a useless partner.

On top of which, it really sucks that I have to babysit Arcadia. She’s not immortal so she’ll fall in combat and you have to make sure she stays alive, a gameplay element I have always despised in most any game. Toss in the shoddy control and borderline broken battle mechanics, and you’ve got nothing but endless frustration and annoyance. Just peachy. I should also add that the game doesn’t run very smoothly, as there are significant drops in frame rate and perceived hitches and glitches.

NeverDead rocks with the music and the visuals can be a treat but beyond that, it’s not much fun. There are just too many problems that hinder one’s enjoyment, and those problems are critical because they translate to faultless deaths. I have to give credit where credit’s due, which is why I’ve applauded some of the technical aspects, but without reliable, entertaining gameplay, what do you really have? I could answer that question but I can’t curse in reviews and besides, it was kinda rhetorical.

The Good: Detail and character design is decent. Music by Megadeth kicks much ass. Characters can be amusing.

The Bad: Visual and auditory effects aren’t anything special. Camera doesn’t work well at all. Basic control isn’t smooth. Combat mechanics, especially where the blade is concerned, are terrible. Hit detection is iffy. Babysitting isn’t fun…ever.

The Ugly: “Bryce Boltzmann is a freakin’ awesome name…maybe he should’ve starred in a better game.”

2/2/2012 Ben Dutka

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Comments (14 posts)

BikerSaint
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 11:10:09 PM
Reply

Damn, damn, damn, I had high hopes for this game.

Oh well, I'll still get it, but once it's dropped to around $20 new.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Friday, February 03, 2012 @ 5:28:59 AM

$20 for this? Wow you must be rich.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/3/2012 5:29:08 AM

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___________
Friday, February 03, 2012 @ 3:09:56 AM
Reply

sigh.
as i was saying, why is rebellion still open?
they release crap after crap after crap and they still are open to torture us, while awesome studios who release brilliant games get closed on the spot!
sigh.
so disappointed with this, it looked so unique, so new, so different.
why is it always the freshest games that end up sucking?
:(

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

SolidFantasy
Friday, February 03, 2012 @ 5:54:40 AM
Reply

I recall having mild interest in this one. Guess this puts an end to that one.

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raptassassin
Friday, February 03, 2012 @ 6:58:32 AM
Reply

Ben i dont care what u & the other reviewers say about this game. once u get the hang of this game its a pretty darn good game. even the online multiplayer is the best fun i had since Uncharted 2. ya ya u guys go ahead & call me a lieer but i dont care i love this game it gets atlest a 7.5 from me

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, February 03, 2012 @ 10:17:05 AM

You're not a liar. If you like it, great.

Critics aren't here to tell people how to have fun. :)

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

raptassassin
Friday, February 03, 2012 @ 12:10:00 PM

ik ben but i was just saying. sorry if i seem outline. i just hate to see bad reviews hurt a fun game. by the way uk what i find funny my local gamestop only had one copy of neverdead & i got it lol. cant believe my store only 1.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, February 03, 2012 @ 12:22:45 PM

Thing is, it's hard to rate "fun." We have to go by more objective factors.

It's perfectly okay for you to like a game that critics don't. You don't have to apologize for it. :)

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LimitedVertigo
Friday, February 03, 2012 @ 1:21:50 PM

Rapture did you ever play Dark Void? I'd rate that game a 2 at most yet there are people on here that enjoyed it.

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raptassassin
Friday, February 03, 2012 @ 5:35:22 PM

@ LimitedVertigo
no man, i haven't gotten around to it yet to many other games. but i do wanna try it some day

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PAKINIPS
Friday, February 03, 2012 @ 8:20:27 AM
Reply

I was almost looking forward to this.

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Hoagie324
Friday, February 03, 2012 @ 11:37:44 AM
Reply

I was really looking forward to this, as a lot of others were... but if issues really plague this as bad as the review says, then I don't see myself getting this. Maybe I'll do what I did with Modern Warfare 3 and wait until it drops below half price to get it.

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Krilldog
Friday, February 03, 2012 @ 9:02:26 PM
Reply

Shame.

I was looking forward to this game.

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Sage
Sunday, February 05, 2012 @ 10:37:48 AM
Reply

:/ I was looking forward to this game aswell. Looked like it had good potential.

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