NeverDead

 
Bizarre, extremely gory action game where hero breaks apart.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

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.

Sex

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.

Language

The game does contain the frequent use of profanity, including words like "s--t," "bitch," "damn," hell" and "ass."

Consumerism
Not applicable
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.

Privacy & safety

Creates safety and privacy concerns. Both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions can be played online -- cooperatively or competitively -- with up to four players. It's also possible to communicate verbally with a headset microphone when playing online, which might expose players to off-color dialogue or inappropriate conversations.

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.

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

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  • Families can also talk about the impact of media violence. Why do you think this game has such excessive blood and gore?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
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 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This review of NeverDead was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 February 14, 2012
age 13+
 

Dark humored,awesome and very bizzare.

Like Csm said,the guy who survives with missing body parts is pretty surreal and bizzare and there's lots of violence and black humored.I have this for my Xbox and Ps3 and have both the uncut and cut versions which I play.The uncut is off for 15,but the cut is 13 so if you wanna give your kids a starter,use cut as it features much less blood.Also,brief nudity and some language add up.Though campy,the game is unrealistic and is meant to be a simulator.Even then,only extremely mature people should play this as it is still violence.Thats what matters.
Kid, 11 years old February 5, 2012
age 10+
 

good

What other families should know
Too much violence

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