A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know NeverDead is an extremely violent and bloody video game. It's meant to be an over-the-top action game with a very "unique" hero -- he can survive without a torso, legs, or arms when they're torn off his body -- so mature gamers who play this game know it comes with a ridiculous, campy premise. But parents should be aware of the graphic gore. Plus, there are close-up camera shots on female body parts, some profanity, and optional open chat if played online.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
NEVERDEAD is an apt name for this bizarre, over-the-top action game. That's because it stars an immortal warrior, Bryce Boltzmann, who hunts demons down using a number of weapons, such as automatic machine guns and a katana sword strapped to his back. Not only is he unable to die, but unlike movies like Highlander, he can still fight on without his head. Bryce's body will get torn apart by the vicious demons and players can still roll and hop around to regroup Bryce's parts and continue the fight (yes, it is bizarre). At the start of the game, Bryce bands with a female heroine, Arcadia, and together they tackle these demons to protect the Earth from an evil invasion. The game offers both a single-player campaign and online options for both cooperative (co-op) and head-to-head play (pardon the pun).
Is it any good?
NeverDead is just so-so. Ridiculous premise aside, the third-person action game can be fun because of the frantic (albeit extremely bloody and gory) combat, imaginative enemies, and some puzzle-solving sequences. Losing your body parts during a battle and scrambling to put them back together again -- as you're being attacked -- adds welcome tension to the fight. But the game can be very tough, as a result, and though you cannot die it can be frustrating to be ripped apart by enemies faster than you can regroup. The game also slows down when there's a lot of action onscreen at the same time.
On one hand, NEVERDEAD offers a unique spin on third-person action games with the body dismemberment feature (including rolling your head into hard-to-reach areas) but a few shortcomings prevent it from being an A-grade disc. As a result, this might be a good rental if you think the premise sounds intriguing or wait until the price is discounted over time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of such a game as NeverDead. Is this silly premise a draw because it's so bizarre and over-the-top? Why would such a game be interesting?
Families can also talk about the impact of media violence. Why do you think this game has such excessive blood and gore?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Konami
- Release date: January 31, 2012
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language
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