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European box art
NeverDead is a video game developed by Rebellion Developments and published by Konami for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was released on January 31, 2012 in North America, February 2, 2012 in Japan and South Korea, February 3, 2012 in Europe and February 16, 2012 in Australia.
The protagonist is an immortal and will be able to survive severe injuries. Over time, the player will lose body parts and will have to collect the removed limbs by rolling into them. Players can cause large objects to crush nearby enemies, harming them but not the player. Gameplay will also feature puzzle elements. A female partner will assist the player, however she will not be immortal and the player will have to take damage to protect her.
The player controls a wisecracking human demon hunter named Bryce, who was cursed with immortality five hundred years ago by the demon king Astaroth. Now in modern times, he hunts demons for money and revenge with a female private investigator in order to stop a demonic invasion that has nearly destroyed the city.
- Bryce Boltzmann
Voiced by: David Lodge
A wisecracking demon hunter who was cursed with immortality five centuries ago by Astaroth after he witnessed the brutal murder of his wife at the hands of the aforementioned demon king. Since then, he has become a disheveled, bitter alcoholic who hunts demons for money and revenge, often using his ability to remove and reattach his limbs to his own advantage. Now in modern times, he is accompanied by a female private investigator, Arcadia.
- Arcadia Maximille
Voiced by: Michelle Ruff
Bryce's partner. She is cold and methodical.
The main antagonist of the game. Astaroth is the demon king who murdered Bryce's wife. While Bryce was horrified by the murder, Astaroth gouged out one of his eyes and cursed Bryce with immortality. Astaroth is the demon king responsible for the demon invasion in the city.
In an interview, Rebellion co-founder Jason Kingsley commented:
...what we concentrated on with NeverDead was the graphics, the engine, the destructibility, all the technical side of things. What we didn't have any substantial input into at all were characterisation, script, and large elements of the way the gameplay rolled out over the game.
If you like, the elements I'm particularly proud of because we were involved, were the massive technical achievement to get the destructibility, which some reviewers haven't noticed because it's so seamlessly integrated and so functional. It just seems to work really well, that it's almost a given. If you compare it to the destructibility of other games, it's vastly superior.
Having said that, we had Shinta Nojiri embedded here for much more than a year, controlling a lot of the elements of content. He comes from a different culture. He's Japanese. We had a full-time translator with us. He was very much working from the Eastern methodology, the Japanese style of gameplay, and it created some really interesting creative tensions."
The main soundtrack to the game was composed by Megadeth, while the credits song "Pharaoh★Love" is composed by Osamu Migitera (Des-ROW) with vocals by Megumi Nakajima or Brittney Snyder depending if the player has set the game language in Japanese or English. Also, the song was made playable in REFLEC BEAT limelight and Pop'n Music Portable 2.
IGN gave the game 3/10, commenting on the poor control scheme and the repetitive gameplay. They also commented on the characters, calling them "unlikeable" and calling the game "not fun."
G4 TV's X-Play review noted the poor game mechanics and lackluster environmental design, and, despite noting the game's concept as having great potential, was disappointed in the execution, rating it a 2 out of 5.
Xbox 360 Gamer was more positive about the game, due to the "intriguing concept and solid third-person gun-and-swordplay." However, they did note that the gameplay can become frustrating, which hinders the game's otherwise good intentions. They scored it a 7/10.
UK based magazine GamesMaster rated it 80%
Eurogamer commented on the game's juxtaposition of originality and old game mechanics, saying "Despite second-rate combat and a repetitive campaign, however, there's still something fiercely likeable about NeverDead...[it] hasn't been given room to get the most out of its strange ideas, but it's still plucky, warm-hearted and genuinely idiosyncratic."
- Fleming, Ryan (2011-04-12). "NeverDead shows off in these new screenshots". Digital Trends. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
- Kennedy, Sam (2010-08-21). "NeverDead Will Make Heads Roll". 1UP.com. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
- Steimer, Kristine (2010-09-16). "TGS: Heads Will Roll in NeverDead". IGN. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
- McWhertor, Michael (2010-09-21). "NeverDead Preview: Amputation Amplified". Kotaku Australia. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
- Reed, Kristan (2010-10-05). "NeverDead Preview". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
- McWhertor, Michael (2010-08-18). "Step Aside! New NeverDead Screens Comin' Through!". Kotaku. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (2012-03-02). "Rebellion discusses NeverDead's "challenging" development". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
- "NeverDead". Metacritic. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
- "NeverDead". Metacritic. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
- Donlan, Christian (2012-01-31). "NeverDead Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 9, 2012.