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E3 2011: NeverDead Hands on Preview

This year’s E3 appeared to be full of crazy, insane games, from THQ’s Saints Row, Capcom’s Azura’s Wrath and Konami’s NeverDead.

NeverDead is a fantastic new game from a partnership between Rebellion and Capcom; a collaboration of Japanese and British design comes together for explosive gameplay as you take on Bryce Boltzmann; a demon hunter who was rendered immortal after the death of his wife, and a demon replaces one of his eyes with a demon’s, so, your playable character will never die.

What makes Bryce a unique character is that he will keep fighting til the very end, everything is but flesh wound to him. You can rip your head from your body to throw it to those hard-to-reach places. Lose an arm? Bryce can keep on shooting, even with the arm flailing about on the floor it can do some damage.

Loose a leg? Bryce will have no problem hopping around; evading his enemies, he might not be as fast, but he’ll get to his ultimate destination. Loose both legs and you’ll be in a bit of hot water, but Bryce will continue to crawl around as far as his arms will take him.

Become a torso with a head attached, and you might as well separate your head; you’re far more agile, and your head will pack a mean punch if you charge it towards your foes. There’s also a pretty useful trick to explode your body parts when you become a rolling head, both tactical and deadly effective.

Performing an evasive roll into your body parts will re-attach them; you’ll be useless if you don’t find your torso however, a head with two legs is no better than one. Better yet, if you happen to lose a particular body part, an indicator will show you where you left it. Picking up your body parts is not the only way to re-attach them; Bryce can regenerate himself in a safe place, and his body parts will re-grow at an alarming pace.

You’re probably beginning to wonder where the challenge is in a game where the main protagonist is invincible. The only failure state in NeverDead is found in your female partner Arcadia, if she is taken down, and you don’t get to her soon enough ala Kane and Lynch, then its game over!

At its core, NeverDead is an action shooter; Bryce carries two different guns; a fast automatic pistol, and a much slower pistol, both of which can be fired independently of each other. Some enemies will be immune to bullets, so you’ll need to occasionally switch over to your Katana Sword that is controlled via your right analogue stick through fluid motions.

Whilst simple sword and guns are nothing unique in a sea of Devil May Cry, No More Heroes and Fable; NeverDead’s unique concept and engaging gameplay makes it an interest non-independent titles at the show, whilst the demo was alpha code, and was very early, it currently looks like it will be a fantastic addition to the genre. All they need to do is add some dynamic, diverse enemies, and remove some of the receptiveness that the genre is rife with. However, already NeverDead is looking stylish, gritty in a 2000AD sort of fashion and absolutely unique.

NeverDead is scheduled for a release of Q1 2012 for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, expect to see more on this title as it becomes available, we can’t wait for its release after this preview of this unique game.