By Marc Saltzman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Bizarre, extremely gory action game where hero breaks apart.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This is a game about an immortal fighter who must destroy evil creatures with numerous weapons -- including machine guns and a katana sword -- so there aren't really any positive messages here (er, other than destroying evil). Plus, his body can break apart into limbs and then roll around and reform again, which is just ridiculous.
Positive Role Models
The main hero, Bryce, is an over 500 years-old warrior who fights against demons using an assortment of weapons and his unique skill in using body parts -- including his rolling head -- to solve puzzles and continue the fight against the bizarre baddies. While he's destroying evil and protecting the Earth, he's not a great role model because he uses extreme violence plus he swears, drinks, and smokes.
Ease of Play
This is a difficult game that takes some practice to master the controls. Enemy artificial intelligence is also on high, it seems; therefore, gamers will often find Bryce's body torn to shreds by creatures and must roll around to regroup quickly. This isn't an easy task. Some goals are unclear, though you can press down on the d-pad for a hint (which doesn't always work).
Violence & Scariness
Extremely violent, gory, and bloody, NeverDead is not for young eyes -- or for those with a weak stomach. In fact, not only can you shoot or slash enemies using a variety of guns and swords into red pulp, the main character can also be ripped apart, limb by limb, and then roll or hop around to reattach body parts again. Gamers can even roll his disembodied head into hard-to-reach places. Cutscenes show some of the extreme violence in slow motion including impalement and beheading. Demons scream out in pain when defeated. This game is very, very violent and gory.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There is no nudity in this game but female characters, like your sidekick Arcadia, has ample cleavage and the camera often zooms in on it, as well as her buttocks. There are also some minor sexual references and flirty looks between her and Bryce.
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The game does contain the frequent use of profanity, including words like "s--t," "bitch," "damn," hell" and "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character, Bryce, drinks beer out of a bottle during one of the opening scenes and some of the still images of him (used on the loading screens) shows him with a cigarette in his mouth.
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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.
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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
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: 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
- Last updated: August 29, 2016
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