I AM ALIVE AM ALIVE
Set in a post apocalyptic world, Ubisoft's
I AM ALIVE might sound like another clichéd survival horror game but
in actual fact, it's probably one of the most realistic third person
shooters to date. Imagine a world where I AM LEGEND meets MAD MAX and
this is the world that you will be playing as society has crumbled due
to some mysterious event and from the lack of order, chaos reigns.
It's become a dog eat
dog world that is quite dangerous due to the pack mentality of this new
world, although there are some "normal" individuals left. This is where
you come into the picture, an unnamed man who is desperately searching
for his family in this tainted and quite irrational world.
There is also an element
of mystery involved with the story as the game never fully informs you
how this disaster occurred and it also pulls on your emotional
heartstrings, especially in relation to your family and whether they are
still alive. Your upper hand against the thugs and packs that you
encounter is your determination and love for your family plus the
limited weapons that are scattered through this desolate world... the
biggest weapon however if your brain, welcome to I AM ALIVE.
Unlike similar games of this genre, I AM ALIVE is quite a difficult
title as the realism has been upped to a whole new level which will
inflict you with an unhealthy amount of controller rage. Joining our
nameless protagonist are a variety of interesting individuals that you
will meet like Mei, a young girl who has similar parallels to your
daughter and is also the catalyst of unleashing your inner rage as you
try to protect her from a group of nefarious men.
Without spoiling the
story, unintentionally she becomes your adopted daughter that may be a
replacement to your daughter because the possibility or probability of
your family surviving is quite slim. It's an interesting take on the
character. Atmosphere plays another key role to the overall gameplay and
the world has been beautifully designed to portray this dark and
desolate world that at times makes you feel like you are the only person
left on this world.
Navigating the world of I AM ALIVE is a challenge in itself. As many of
the roads are now blocked, you need to traverse the ruins from climbing
up drain pipes or precariously hanging on ledges. This is where the
realism of the game comes into play again because as we all know, when
you hang or climb, you do become tired. This is also true for our
protagonist and when you are hanging or climbing, your stamina levels
start to drop. It's obvious what happens if your stamina drops too much
(e.g. death) but you can call upon your reserves for that added boost.
It's definitely a juggling game and does add a unique element of
strategy into the gameplay.
You never also get stuck
either as the game does a decent job at creating this giant world with
subtle hints from the game pushing you in the right direction. The map
is also handy. Combat is a true mindf**k. This isn't like your standard
third person shooters as there is an element of psychology involved.
This world is totally messed up and the people that you meet in it are
also totally messed up.
The individuals that you
encounter have this almost primordial survival mechanism to their
existence which may force them to see you as a threat or as a victim
where they can benefit. You do have a gun but once again this has
limited ammo and sometimes you can bluff your way through fights with an
empty gun. Other times, it's reversed and when someone wants to kill
you, you need to use your counsellor skills to help lure their guard
down before you slice their throats.
There was one moment in
the game where I only had one bullet left in my gun and four attackers.
I shot the first attacker which put the fear of god into the other three
but I was not out of ammo. Fortunately, I managed to bluff my way to
victory thanks to the other three surrounding. It's eerily realistic and
it's these little nuances that make the game so engaging to play.
To compliment the exceptional gameplay, I AM ALIVE has some impressive
graphics that successfully creates this post apocalyptic world from all
the destroyed buildings, abandoned vehicles and overall dirtiness to the
title that is quite gray and abysmal. Characters are well animated and
there's some nice lighting used in the game. Add in decent sound effects
and voice acting and I AM ALIVE is almost a Grade-A release.
I AM LIVE is an enthralling game that will draw you in from the very
first few minutes that you start playing. Given the realism of the game,
it can be quite frustrating, however this is the charm of the game as it
opens up the title for quite a psychological ride that definitely
challenges this genre, especially with how you interact with others from
combat to conversations. As the developers have kept the story open to
interpretation, this in turn is filled by the imagination of the gamer
which makes this game uniquely different for every individual that plays
it. Definitely a great game from the PSN!