Whether we like to admit it or not, we as human beings do consider the end of the world. It may not be a pleasant topic, but it is a popular one, a fact that many game developers have built, and are continuing to build, upon.
I AM ALIVE is a unique gaming experience, definitely in its own class for game play. But does the uniqueness of this particular game add or take away from its desirability? Let’s take a closer look at I AM ALIVE and see what makes this game tick shall we?
The game starts off with a video camera playing, showing our main character, Adam, making sure the camera works, and immediately you can feel the dread in this game. It’s a story of a man trying desperately trying to get back to his family, who was on the other side of the United States when the shakes began. Even the soundtrack is sad and ominous, creating the atmosphere of desperation, and determination. The little we know about Adam tells us he spent the better part of a year walking across the US, trying to reach his family, and instantly i can feel a kinship with this man, and the story has me within the first five minutes, being a family man myself I know what family does to you, how it can drive you, and the loss of it can drive you as well.
Adam is a climber, a modern day Ezio Auditore, and these skills are invaluable, as many of the walk ways are cut off, or collapsed, forcing Adam to take to the buildings, climbing up rafters, scaling ladders and poles. To make this climbing more realistic, players are given a stamina bar, which slowly empties whenever Adam runs, or climbs, forcing players to pay attention to where they are going, not having all the time in the world to sit there and decide on a path. This aspect keeps players on their toes, and keeps the game play exciting.
Now this game isn’t without its flaws. The combat of this game is a very simple aspect, but also a very difficult one to master. You will almost always be outnumbered, so taking your enemies by surprise is the one thing that can give you a tactical advantage. Now this wouldn’t be so bad if the AI was made to compliment this. The AI are very ruthless, and when they see you they will come running, or shooting, not giving you very much time to plan your assault.
Later in the game this is fine because you receive more weapons, but early on this can be frustrating as most of the time you need to bluff to get out of situations, and if they call your bluff you are left with nothing but an empty gun and 5 pissed off guys with machetes. Not a very ideal situation to be in. The turn out of most fights are almost always the same, as one approaches swing your machete and kill him instantly, and then everyone else will attack you. Bluff with your gun (unless you have a real bullet), and when they get scared, knock them out. It can get very tiresome when everyone has a gun on them, then you need to time your kills so you can take their weapons and shoot them before they can shoot you. Overall, not a terrible combat system, but definitely one that can frustrate, and at times, cause a good amount of rage to be had with the game.
While this game doesn’t shine in combat, the overall, the game play and the storyline that goes along with it was enough to hold my attention for the 6+ hours it took to complete. Mind you, that was with finding and helping 15 out of the 20 people in the game. I didn’t spend time searching out people, but the ones I came across I did try to help as much as I could. Overall, the game kept my attention, and while the combat was a bit sluggish and repetitive, I AM ALIVE succeeded in creating an amazing world, a story that drew you in, and characters that are memorable, and to me, that makes the game shine and stand out from all the rest.