OK, where to start with NeverDead? I saw it at E3 and thought it could be really great. The idea is cool and unique and I really liked it and hoped it would turn out awesome. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out awesome, but it’s not quite mediocre either, it’s somewhere in the middle.
NeverDead is a very Japanese video game. There are tons and tons of demons (some with faces on their butts even), which come in maybe a total of six varieties and then boss demons. The boss demon battles are insanely over the top of course. One would expect nothing less. But that’s just the beginning of why I think this game is very Japanese, not that there’s anything wrong with that mind you.
In NeverDead, you play Bryce Boltzmann, who is a 500-year-old, immortal demon hunter. You find this out through flashback cut scenes, instead of some actual gameplay which is a shame because those cut scenes look like they would have been fun to play. Then again, how many super-boss battles can you cram into one game and still make it fun?
You’re now in the modern era and working for a government agency to hunt down and destroy demons. Being 500 years old, you’re less than happy with the world and it comes out in your very cliche, bad boy, anti-hero attitude including swearing, drinking, whining about when you’re getting paid, and just generally crappy attitude toward your partner. Your partner, Arcadia, is a large-breasted, mini-skirt-wearing, wise-cracking stick in the mud. Again, all very cliche.
There’s really little story to speak of in NeverDead, even though they’re probably trying to tell one, as each level seems to be randomly laid after the one before it and the game basically plays like a TV cop drama - get call about trouble, go investigate, find trouble, eradicate trouble, cut scene outro. Even much of the dialog has that bad B-film banter to it often laced with the occasional vulgarity for good measure.
Enough about the characters and story. Let’s pick up the gameplay. No wait, first I have to show you this cut scene, then we can get on to the gameplay. Watch all the way to the end to see why I needed to show it. I think it speaks volumes about where the developers’ heads were during the making the game.
Replay The gameplay is the main thing that lowers the replay score just because of the limited amount of time per session I could stand playing the game itself.
Graphics They’re nowhere near perfect but aren’t downright ugly either. There are some little things here and there that I saw but nothing that really made me
Sound The voice acting is good though I was often reminded of Barry Weiss when Bryce would talk. The dialog is not all that well written and the environmental sounds are short loops that are very noticeable in the background.
Gameplay The poor execution in weapon balancing and the whole amount of rolling around as just a head really made the game far less fun than I had thought it would be.
Multiplayer/Online Content Just two co-op and two multiplayer modes with no local multiplayer at all. It’s lacking and almost feels like they said "well every game needs some sort of multiplayer, right?" If could certainly have been more expansive or else they could have let it go and made it all DLC later to better focus on the core gameplay.
Overall This game was hard to give an overall score. I liked it at times, but it’s got a lot of what I see as flaws. Nothing is game breaking but the whole thing is somewhat disappointing as it looked like so much fun at E3 and it didn’t live up to that expectation. It almost feels like it wasn’t completed.