As many other gamers, when I hear the word “dead” in the title of an upcoming game I become a bit apprehensive. “Oh, another zombie game, whoop?” is how my brain often auto-reacts, and it was no different for NeverDead, an upcoming title from Konami. Interestingly enough, there isn’t really a single zombie in this game, and it’s the main character, Bryce, who is the subject of being "NeverDead." After a brief introduction to the game from a developer, I took my time with the 20 minute demo to get my hands all over Bryce and his very removable body parts.
Bryce was a demon hunter about 500 years ago. He came up against some pretty heavy hitters, including a demon king of sorts. This demon king didn’t really dig on Bryce killing all of his minions, so he put a curse on the goofy lug, making Bryce immortal. The game is set in present day, and Bryce is joined by a sidekick of sorts named Arcadia who isn’t quite as immortal.
When you have an immortal character, you’re faced with a few challenges. For instance: What is a game ending scenario? In the case of NeverDead, you have to protect Arcadia and watch your head. Protecting Arcadia isn’t a huge deal, since she’s pretty awesome on her own, but you’ll have to help her up if she gets into trouble.
Watching your head is another story. When Bryce is injured in battle, he is dismembered. Legs, arms, torso, and head all come apart. Basically, Bryce is his head - when he’s injured he has to collect his limbs manually, or he’ll end up being a roll-around head. In head form, he’s vulnerable to certain enemies who will eat him, where he’s trapped for eternity.
Limbs aren’t just his damage indicator, either. You can throw his arms at enemies and trigger them to explode. Arms will also randomly fire his weapons in whichever direction they happen to be aiming. Having the ability to dismember is also how Bryce solves puzzles, gets through obstacles, or generally rocks the game.
His weapons for hunting modern-day demons are a pair of guns, and a large sword. Using the sword was a bit tricky, since you had to target enemies with the left trigger, and swing the weapon with the right analog stick. This attacking works really well against armored foes, but it was a bit tough to get used to at first.
Aside from a dismembering main character, the environments were almost entirely destructible as well. Bryce was able to shoot, or slice up walls and ceilings to drop them on foes, or create pseudo blockades to filter them through a certain choke point.
Co-op in this game is a separate “challenge” mode, which was not detailed through the developers at the moment. They did say that Arcadia, Bryce, and other (secret for now) characters would be available to play with your friends. I’m sensing a survival mode, and with additional characters it may be more than two-player co-op. We’ll see when they reveal that information.
As an added bonus for music fans, the entire score is composed by Megadeath. This decision nicely compliments Bryce’s character and the chaos of the game.