I simply didn't like this game. Just like that. And seriously, I only bought it because it looked exactly the type of game I usually like.
I Am Alive Review
Constant tension and difficult emotional decisions make I Am Alive a powerful adventure.
- Tough choices affect your and others' survival
- Unnerving psychological combat system
- Constant tension in all of your actions
- Intriguing story elements conveyed through background details
- Suffocating visual and audio design heighten emotional connection.
- Intrusive heads-up display clashes with the raw aesthetics
- Unnecessary moments of hand-holding.
Your city is in ruins. Destroyed cars litter the decimated streets and lie dormant beside the crumbling buildings that struggle to rise above the twisted train tracks. Dust swirls and cloaks, choking anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in its suffocating gusts. And the people are in even worse shape than the tattered city they still call home. Society has disintegrated as quickly as the structures that used to cage in its residents. Some people travel in wolfish packs, scrounging on the weak to feed their insatiable desires. Others huddle with their loved ones, thankful just to survive another day. How will you react in this bleak world? I Am Alive effectively conveys the broken state of society when devastation hits and no police force exists to keep order. There is no good or bad here, just alive or dead, and the tough decisions you make to keep breathing ensure I Am Alive's emotional depth.
The protagonist is an unnamed man in search of his family. On the surface, the decision to leave the main character nameless seems strange, especially when the supporting cast members all have a moniker to call their own. But it makes sense when you consider the purpose of this survival-themed adventure. Through difficult decisions and a constant feeling of dread, you are the main character in I Am Alive. By painting only a cursory character in the starring role--determined, loyal, loving--and leaving the rest of his details unstated, I Am Alive immediately draws you into this world and establishes that you, not a digital construct, have to make the tough choices.
When the event hit, you were on the other side of the country. Four hours to fly across the country, almost a year to walk back home. But your family needs you. Hints of betrayal, where you somehow let down your kin at some point in the past, are touched on and make you wonder what unforgivable act was committed to bear such a terrible penance. Like most of the details, you never find out exactly why the main character is struggling with guilt. It's never explained what "the event" entailed, either. Was it an attack by a foreign nation? Homegrown terrorism? Natural disaster? It's left to your imagination, but the cause isn't important. Only the effect. And when he arrives at his apartment, long since abandoned, with no clue as to where his family has disappeared or if they're even alive, you care.
That bond is further strengthened by the appearance of a young girl. Mei is surrounded in a parking lot by angry men with bad intentions. She's alone, scared, and looks strikingly like your own daughter. In a flurry of violence, you slay those men because doing nothing would have made it impossible to live with yourself. Mei begins to trust you. Her mother has gone missing, and your protective instincts take over. Tied to your back, you carry her through the desolate remains. You establish an immediate connection with Mei because she's helpless, sweet, and doesn't deserve to live in this terrible world. She can't even remember what the city was like before the event hit. When she develops a fever, you rush to find medicine--it's an objective you must complete, but you need no encouragement. She's your only companion and your closest connection to your own family, so you do everything in your power to keep her safe.
Story details are kept to a minimum. Instead of pulling you out of the action with long cutscenes, most of the information is conveyed as you walk through this wasteland. At one point, you come across a group of survivors huddled together by a roaring fire in the heart of the subway. They see Mei on your back, tired and hungry, and they offer you some meat. You greedily accept their present because a piece of meat replenishes most of your health and stamina in one bite.
As you survey their camp, you come across a cage that is now filled with bones. Dog? Cat? Human? You can only wonder what sort of meat was handed to you. Later on, you find a starving, desperate woman struggling to carry onward. When you hand her a can of fruit, she shows her thanks and you feel good for saving someone in need. Walk by her position later, you find her hanging from a noose. You didn't need to go back, but you wanted to see how she was doing, and now you can't get that image out of your head.
With direct routes destroyed by the event, you have to climb to get to new areas. You go up drain pipes, across rails, and down ladders as you take hold of anything that supports your weight. As soon as you grab on to a ledge, your stamina drops, and the pounding music solidifies the idea that time is running out. You're not superhuman, just a regular man, and you will die if you run out of strength. So you move as quickly and precisely as possible. Your limited reserve of items can be used to recharge your stamina in a pinch, but each morsel is precious. You have to make your resources last, which tinges every climb with the pressure of failure. If you press too far and let your stamina go below its breaking point, it won't regenerate fully when you step back on solid ground. There's permanence to your actions in I Am Alive that makes everything you do take on added importance.
When you aren't clinging frantically to the side of a wall, you weave through the chaos of your new reality. Although you only travel through a small part of the city in I Am Alive, it feels like an entire world. The devastation cuts off the quickest path to your destination, so finding out how to get where you want to go takes patience and determination. On the street, a poisonous fog continually saps your stamina, so you have to find ways to rise above the cloud. If you climb up to a fire escape to catch your breath, you can survey the landscape. You may walk in the wrong direction for minutes at a time, trying to find a way to cross seemingly impassable obstacles. There's a feeling of dread that permeates all of your choices. If you go off to the wrong place, you might not be able to climb to clean air. You might die on the street. So your heart races, but you press on and hope that you don't get caught in the fog.
Is anyone encountered grappling hook- Drawing gun bug ? Game is great but minor-vital bugs like these makes the game unstable and unplayeble. Stamina meter is okay for me but what makes me sick is the deathly effect of the dust storm or whatever it is.
Actually enjoyed the game, was not to fond of the stamina meter depleting so fast but had a bit of nostalgia due to the difficulty. Reminded me of older games and after beating it I felt a bit more accomplishment than I feel over the more recent games that have been put out. I think it would have done better had it been a full release but being an arcade game it surpassed my expectations.
played it yesterday after downloading the demo on my PS3 and frankly...it sucked. it might have been a good game, if it had been a full game release, instead of the barely finished mess the had to put out. the high points were the graphics, and the destroyed city. some of the downpoints were: the slow to respond controls, enemy AI being far too aggressive, and not being able to use your machete when you wanted , only when the game decided to let you. it felt like an unfinished game.. which is a shame... i gave it a 3 out of 10
This game supose to be on disc , bigger and open world and side missions like helping someone or exploring to find new items etc , a arcade mode with the limitations was a wrong choice I think , who don't have a xbox Internet connection can't play this one ... I gonna play anyway cause I like survive games and movies and the demo was fun ! ... but it's not available in Japan yet , lime many other games on arcade , and it sucks !
I have been following this game for a couple years. Originally the storyline was to start right after the "event" occurred, so you were struggling the first few hours/days. That would have been more interesting than a year later. I would have paid full price for the disk version of the game. I don't use XBOX Live so I am going to have to scramble to buy this version.
Wow, the climbing in the videos just screams Assassin's Creed. They must have used pretty much the same program to design that part of the game. Even the animation of it looks nearly identical.
More review, less spoilers please (For the love of God, do I still need to play this game after reading this "review"!?). In the future please write a REVIEW, not a plot summary. :-( Remember, more often than not someone reads a review to help in their decision on whether to buy it or not, not AFTER they finished it to find out if they should have enjoyed it.
@Daemoroth This is why I've abandoned Gamespot, they really don't get it. I still remember the frustration after I've read Demon's Souls review... they spoiled HUGE things of the game. Just a bunch of idiots here at Gamespot, simply avoid them. ;)
I absolutely love the graphics and atmosphere but unfortunately I found that to be the best part of the game. The controls are in need of serious tweaking and the story just didn't hold my interest at all. Had they stayed on point and made this about finding his family than I think it would have enjoyed it more. As is, the family aspect is nothing more than an opener and winds up taking a back seat to far less interesting story mechanics, many of which are fetching quests. I would score it a 6 tops. The really disappointing aspect to this game is that it really did have a LOT of potential. The size restrictions for being an Xbox Live Arcade game really hurt this game. Had they made this a disc based release, increased the size of the city substantially, and made the story more about exploration and tracking your family down than random fetch quests....well, it could have really been an amazing game. As is its a mediocre game that will be quickly forgotten.
dunno why u had no emotions coz to me its very intense. there is one special scene but dont wanna spoil it (the woman behind the grid in the tunnels, giving her food) when u "met" her later again. the game shows u there is no hope and the human being sucks. i recommend this title so much...of course only to ppl who like this style of game
@PokeZeMuNKyZ It has two difficulty modes: normal and survivor. After playing it normally on normal, I wanted to check out survivor for the achievements, to explore a bit more than I did in my first playthrough, and generally to see if playing through a second time would help me to more emotionally connect to the characters. I also like to write reviews, and prefer to play through the game on each difficulty in order to get a better grasp on what I will be writing about.
I've beaten it twice and have felt none of the emotions that this reviewer has been writing about. The fog prevents me from exploring and the story is pretty bad. Personally, I don't recommend it, even though there are a lot of good ideas here. Again, this is just my opinion.
@bobbyjoe321 it's retailed at around $80,000,000. hence the 9.0 rating. it'd have a perfect score if ubisoft wasn't catering to the rich.
I think the Left for Dead series sucks and Gamespot and IGN gave both of those terrible games a 9.0. So it is hard to trust any site for an accurate review. What I do is read to see if any of the key aspects I find important are flawed and if it is the type of game I like to play. I don't care if a game gets a perfect 10 if it is turned based. I like the post apocolyptic survival scenario. And at $14.99 it cant be that bad. Remember, there are other games at around 5 hours of gameplay that want you to pay $59.99.
The reviews for I Am Alive are proving highly divisive. IGN say "avoid it", while GameSpot notes its emotional aspects. I'm all for cinematic, powerful experiences yet I always read both IGN AND Gamespot reviews. It's a difficult predicament...
yeah @residentevil_VI, ign is sometimes strange. i mean that game is awesome im so thrilled when playing it and its just 15 bucks so one of the best xbla games out there.
@theblackfrog iGn is a lame site i really get pissed off when i enter this site so i quit it thats wat u too should do
@SnakeEyesX80 In case you aren't just trying to be smug, a majority rule does not constitute an objective standard.
Just played the demo, it was really good, very tense and cerebral. the bridge view was breathe taking. although the graphics are not up to standards. but as far as the game play is concerned, i liked it. however, i can't say for the rest of the game since i only played the demo. also, i learned not to trust IGN's review. they're not really a gaming review site any more, more of in the line of Entertainment Tonight.
dunno whats wrong with ign and 4.5, please come on. this game is great. i would give it myself an 8-9 score. very tense game
This is the first time in my experience that an IGN review is more on point then a gamespot review. This essentially reads like a puff piece, while the IGN review quickly and effectively pointed out the glaring inadequacies of the game (and I'm not talking about graphics) that warranted a low score.
It's getting rather annoying the 360 always snatching these types of titles up, then leaving the rest of us to wait around. " Spring 2012 " for the Ps3. Siiiigghhh, was so excited today too to get to play this. It's a bad day to be a Ps3 fan. :/
Lol, some people need to learn about the Kate and Lynch 2 controversy before saying that IGN is biaised and not Gamespot. This said, McShame is the worst reviewer in the gaming industry (Infamous 2, Zelda, mentionning bugs that are not in NCAA football).
Excuse me guys, did you really compare this thorough review to IGN-Greg's quarter of a page "review"? Are you serious? He gave it a 4, bashing it all the way to the end of his "review" - yeh, that total of 20 lines that didn't even explain anything.
That is not a review... more a complete footage. Do you want to spoiler more of the game, please? Why don't you write even the ending, so we can spare the money! MEH!
Why is it when there is a discrepancy between review scores you get a bunch of morons saying how bad certain sites are for not scoring it the same.... if anything it should show you that reviews aren't fixed, and if you find one or two reviewers that your agree with most of the time you know you can trust their opinion... if you don't like the reviewer and he likes it then you know to steer clear... but having this constant pissing contest between reviewers is asinine and just shows what a tool you are......dche
@jkdwest Greg Miller's opinion is just as "valid" as Tom's. The enjoyment you get out of a game is completely subjective, nobody's opinion is "right" or "wrong".
@AnyKeyz: Uh... Yeah.... Hahahaha.... This game has an aggregate score of 75 from 17 reviews (including IGN's 4.5), must be absolutely horrible. I'm sorry, no site is perfect, but anyone that takes IGN more seriously than Gamespot (IGN? Really?) shouldn't be laughing about a 'poor' anything because their views on quality are already somewhat skewed.