March 9, 2012

A Global Event

Lasting First Impressions of I Am Alive from Ubisoft

IAA_XBL_GameArt_584x800 After nearly 4 years and a few development shuffles and delays, Ubisoft Shanghai finally let loose the highly anticipated survival adventure, I Am Alive.  Set in a devastated city following a cataclysmic event that has left the world in ruins and barely survivable, you are on a journey to find your missing wife and daughter.  Part adventure, part survival horror, I Am Alive is a beautifully crafted gem that deserves the attention it has been receiving.

The muted grey tones that make up the majority of the absolutely stunning visuals bring this decrepit and decaying world to life in a way that no other game has done.  The devastation seems so real and life-like, you will believe you are really there.  Small hints of colour shine through the haze and ruination hinting at the hope that life is slowly returning to the desolate city of Haventon.

I am reminded heavily of games like Tomb Raider and Uncharted as this title employs a similar adventure style with the climbing up and over obstacles in an attempt to find your way through.  What Ubisoft has done beautifully with this is to employ the additional element of stamina that will quickly wear thin if too much time is spent climbing or doing anything exertive.  Should your stamina fail, you risk the possibility of falling to certain doom.  Conservation is definitely the name of the game here.  Not only with stamina but with supplies too.  While you may carry a gun for protection, most of the time you will have only one bullet left to use; choosing where and when to use it will not always be an easy decision. I am Alive is not a run and gun shooter by any stretch of the imagination. This is about survival to the very core.  Careful planning and conservation of energy and supplies will be the cornerstones to survival.  If you can safely walk away from a confrontation, do it.  This game truly feels real in a sense that no other game has come close to portraying; you will believe this could really happen.

I Am Alive screen

The city of Haveton is inhabited by fellow survivors of “The Event” but not all of them are friendly so watch where you step.  Others, however, may need your help or may need what little supplies you have for yourself.  Thought-provoking choices will be presented throughout the game.  What I fully enjoyed about I Am Alive is the very realistic world created here. The city is just as you would imagine one to be after a world destroying event has occurred.  Some people would be aggressive, but intimidation with the show of an empty gun would cause them to back off and leave me alone, while other people might do the same leaving me to simply walk away unharmed.  Other people would be in need of help, while still others could be aggressive and drastic action would be required to survive.

Ubisoft has done a fantastic job instilling both a sense of dread and one of urgency into this incredible post-apocalyptic action/adventure.  The tale of a man searching for his lost family is not a new one, but presented here it is a powerful one that will leave you emotionally invested in this man’s journey. I Am Alive is an incredible game and definitely worth the investment of time required to complete it.

Ubisoft, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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