E3 2011 Impressions: NeverDead (Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360)


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NeverDead was a game that sounded interesting. The character bring able to rip off his own limbs and use them against the enemy? That’s both odd and intriguing. There were a number of demo units on the floor of E3 in the Konami area, and I was able spend some time trying it out.

I pretty much regret every moment I spent playing the game as, even if I spent the time waiting in line elsewhere, it might have been more enjoyable than this game was.

NeverDead is just a mess of odd game design decisions. I love different ideas, even if they are awkward, just because I like seeing outside the box things being tried. NeverDead, however, feels like a bunch of ideas slapped together in a way that just doesn’t work. For example you can rip a leg off and throw it. You can even make it explode and then regenerate it, but the controls to do so are convoluted at best. You hold either the triggers corresponding the side of the body you want to rip the leg off of. Then you have an arc that pops up to help you throw the limb while hopping on the other leg. After doing that, you press a different button to make it explode. Then you regenerate the lost limb by clicking in the left joystick of all things. The leg throwing uses several actions to cause the same effect as throwing a grenade in other action games. That pretty much describes how the controls work for any action in the game. If you switch to the character’s sword, you lock on with one button and then use the right joystick to control the swinging of the sword.

WTF? Last game I remember with something similar to this was Obi-Wan on the original Xbox and that game never got a sequel because it was horrible. It still sucks as a melee control mechanic in NeverDead because sometimes the game didn’t even respond to what I was trying to do and you give up control of the camera during these moments. Unless there are enemies later on that require precise directional slashes this seems like something that could have just been mapped to a button.

At some points in the demo, the character loses his head (both intentionally and just getting it knocked off his shoulders) and then you control rolling the head around. It’s not as fun as it sounds, and it doesn’t even sound like it would be fun.

The graphics look faded out and low quality, the voice acting was grating, the lock on system wasn’t very good, the camera was even worse than that, the AI controlled side kick is annoying and overall it was something that I plan on trying to suppress the memory of now that I have finished this preview.

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