dimsey's NeverDead (Xbox 360) review

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Neat gimmick, somewhat bland game.

NeverDead isn't the best shooter in the world and it relies heavily on it's limb dismemberment, immortalprotagonist  gimmick to get on by. But for as long as it lasted I enjoyed my time with NeverDead.

NeverDead puts you in the boots of bland bad-ass Bryce Boltzmann, a demon hunter cursed with immortality and terrible one-liners. The game feeds you some back story  about Bryce and his supporting cast, but it's not especially good and all the characters are quite dull. But I suppose the story serves it's purpose of propelling you toward more demons to kill.

As a shooter it's fairly unremarkable.
The controls aren't quite as tight as I would like, aiming is a bit of a hassle though the game doesn't demand a high degree of accuracy. Playing as a character that can't die means you can get away with playing somewhat recklessly.

Rather than die the worst you'll encounter is dismemberment which at it's worst is downright annoying, especially in the last boss fight wherein you're popping apart like a crash test dummy every other minute. But most of the time it's just a minor inconvenience. You can regain your various appendages simply by rolling over them or if time is of the essence you can simply regrow them, but that ability has a cool down.

Dismemberment factors into the games few puzzles. It's pretty much always as simple as throwing your head to get somewhere you otherwise couldn't reach. I kind of feel like they could've done more with them.

Dismemberment does have some combat applications too.

There's an upgrade which can allow you to blow up your limbs, so you can throw your arm and use it as a grenade which sounds cool but generally isn't terribly effective.
Likewise you can continue firing your weapons once you've lost your arms, but as you don't really retain the ability to aim it's seldom very useful. It's not like there's parts of the game that say, require you to leave your arm in an area to use as a sort of impromptu turret or something.
Usually kills done this way are just happy accidents.

In addition to shooting folk or hurling your limbs Bryce also packs a sword, which you'll probably wind up using most of the time as it does significantly more damage than most of the guns - plus there are a few enemies on which guns have no effect, so you'll be wandering about with the sword a lot. 
With the sword you'll hold left trigger to target a foe and use the right stick to swing your sword, the best comparison for this control method I can think of is the Total Punch Control system in the Fight Night games. The game claims that timed, rhythmic strikes are required but simply flicking the stick around like a madman got me through the game just fine.

Frankly the worst thing about the combat isn't so much how it plays but more that the enemies are bland as heck. I just find the creature design to be completely uninspired and dull. I guess the same could be said for the characters in general, but I feel like the enemies you face are the worst offenders.

Not being able to die the game does have to fabricate some lose conditions.

The main one will be the "grand-babys" - these are little white balls that run around practically every fight since the game introduces them and what these do is attempt to eat your head should it become severed. If they get you, you have a chance to escape via a brief quick time event. It's not difficult to do so, but if you stuff it up then it's game over as you'll be digested for eternity.

The other big one is Arcadia - your constant, mortal companion.
She'll follow you around and is ostensibly helping you out, killing dudes.
But if she takes too much damage she'll be downed, in which you'll have to revive her before her meter fills. Which isn't difficult. I never lost the game in this manner once.

There are a couple of other, situation specific lose conditions that I won't get into but honestly?
NeverDead lives up to it's name. You never die. And personally I only had to start over maybe twice throughout my entire seven hour playthrough.

Once you're done with the game there's multiplayer challenges, but no one  was playing when I attempted so I don't have anything to really say on it.

That's about all I've got to say on it.
There are better shooters out there and your enjoyment of this will probably depend on whether or not the dismemberment gimmick wears thin on you during the games runtime.
Personally I didn't tire of it at all during the seven hours. Gimmicky as it is I think it's a neat idea, it's just a shame they didn't do more with it and that the rest of the game surrounding it was a bit bland.

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