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I Am Alive
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Reviews & Ratings for
I Am Alive (VG) More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

So are flies - and they, too, don't last long, and sometimes suck

Author: abgkasjlkasjla from Denmark
29 May 2013

Our bland(he's not the only character like that in this...) protagonist is on the bridge(left in sections, with a raging river that comes into a waterfall that doesn't look like it was there before the earthquakes hit clearly visible if you look down) into the devastated city of Haventon, to reunite with his estranged wife and daughter.

He meets a young girl, and tries to help her(starting off the plot, which will be your pilot whether you'd like it or not; this is so linear that you won't feel much like replaying, and any hopes of an open-world experience disappear early, when this keeps giving new equipment every so often, letting you enter new areas, and making this hand-holding completely unnecessary), as well as others he comes by(requiring you locate them, and can spare the finite resources), and each will grant you a Retry.

Yes, this has you earning the right to return to most recent checkpoint(lest you'll start the level over), an aspect that could be fine(it tends to be the combinations of elements that cause problems in this) were it not for the trial-and-error problem solving. You do get infinite if you play on Easy(there are three difficulties), though it's a wonder they didn't merely limit your amount of saves, rather than reverse that. Points for trying to be different, with the execution messing it up.

Not everyone you meet is friendly - some of these are merely trying to protect their territory and will leave you alone as long as you respect that. And then there are the gangs. Armed with machetes(I guess this place was the world's biggest exporter of those?), and some with handguns, they have reverted to the law of the jungle, and you will be forced to hold them to that. There's no glory in it, these people were clearly regular guys, with jobs and families, but such is the situation.

Bullets are rare, and you're outnumbered, unable to take on more than one in mêlée(tap a button until you take the other one out... what, you wanted options?). The only way to get past them all is with psychological games. You can lure one close by pretending to be afraid and take out, and the moment you draw your pistol(which can be right after aforementioned), they will stop in place, and you can now tell them to back up. They won't continue to fear you, and the tougher ones will call your bluff... because you won't actually fire, will you? Hopefully you won't have to. If you don't wait until they force you to pull the trigger, or die(you'll die if you get shot twice, or hacked at three or four times), you may be able to have them keep going backwards until they're right in front of a steep drop, or a fire. Moving closer(which you don't want to do until they're in this position... and don't leave an enemy sidearm on the ground near one of them, because the moment you give them an opening, they will take it, creating thick tension), you can then kick them into the deathtrap.

This works for the first half, after which apparently they decided to plan conflicts as if this was a FPS(other things take a nosedive, as well... was this the exact spot where this changed game companies?). Again this makes things unfair, clearly to prolong this 7 hour game, same as why you go to and from where you're getting some item needed, via the same path a lot of the time. Sure, they'll put in new challenges, still, backtracking is a developer shortcut.

Given that one failure in dealing with these threats tends to lead to death, it's odd that they offer healing items for exploration. You know, rather than ammunition, the rarity of such is why you'll lose these encounters. Early Wyatt Earp approaches leave you unable to blow away those you do need to, not long after, and having to go back to the start of that mission.

This fares much better on climbing and exploration, built on the solid foundation of Prince of Persia(and to those worried this is repetitive... it is if you consider that franchise to be; I love the mechanics and don't find them to be, not everyone agrees with me, and I hold no ill will to those who don't feel that way), and expanding well on it.

The Stamina Meter will recharge whenever you aren't hanging/moving by your arms(along the way, you can place pitons, though you're rationing them, as well... you can also use soda pop, adrenaline shots, etc.), or breathing in toxic dust(get to a higher point), and it will decrease faster from rushing(you can always tap run to speed up whatever you're doing - why is this not in every action video-game?), and any jump will take a bite out of it. Run out, and it will initially shrink(and have to be restored with items) and you'll have to quickly get to safety - if it gets to the end, you'll lose your grip, and fall.

The conclusion to the story lacks punch, in spite of reasonable build-up, mostly because we don't get that into our blank slate of an unlikely hero, or his relationship with his family, whom he has returned to help. We do get into some of the interpersonal stuff with those he meets and stays in contact with, and that's done nicely enough.

Mei, the child you aid early, adds humanity and hope, keeping it from ending up too bleak. Graphics are passable, if that. This is one of the bad ports... the camera sticks and controls can be slow to respond. At any rate, I'd go for a rental of this.

There is some bloody violence, disturbing content, strong language and sexuality in this. I recommend this to any fan of post-apocalyptic settings, dark atmosphere, as well as being posed challenging ethical questions. 7/10

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

One of the best post-apocalyptic video games made.

Author: johnnymacbest from United States
17 November 2012

Ubisoft has crafted itself quite a remarkable reputation as being one of the top-tier video game developers in the world. With top-selling hits such as the Splinter Cell, Assassin's Creed, Ghost Recon, and Rayman series, Ubisoft's I Am Alive, is another stunning addition to the tried and true formula of post-apocalyptic virtual mayhem.

The main character(whose never named)roams the desolated wasteland of Haventon, a city devastated by a cataclysmic "Event". What caused the Event is never explained; it could be surmised that it was an unknown natural phenomenon, but the focus is more on survival as well as helping those in need who reveal what happened during the time in the form of side-quests(which I love dearly). These small little tidbits add more to the story and makes you more involved despite the short length of the game.

But it's the core mechanics of I Am Alive that really make it shine. Instead of being this invincible survivor of the apocalypse, the main character has a stamina meter that you must pay attention to at all times as climbing, running, and fighting will drain your stamina. Not only that, you also have to contend with a thick cloud of dust and desperate survivors who will kill you for your supplies. Stamina can be replenished by food items and enemies can be defeated by a limited arsenal of bullets and a machete, which is great for close-quarters combat. However, you can use non-lethal methods on weaker foes as killing larger enemies will cause them to lower their mêlée weapons and surrender. Along the way, you will obtain other tools at your disposal such as a grappling hook and pistons which allow you to rest while scaling high-rise, abandoned buildings as you search for your wife and daughter, which is the main crux of the story.

However, I Am Alive, also reveals the dark aspects of humanity when faced with a crisis with little chances of survival. Desperation, despair, the sense of isolation, sinking to the lower levels of man, and survival of the fittest by any means necessary, are all presented in this game with some shocking surprises that take you(and even me) by surprise. And the dark, gritty visuals and musical cues help enhance the mood and atmosphere of the game immensely; coupled with stellar voice acting, especially the main character and others as well. You really feel the plight of the main character and you identify with him. In other words you grow on him and the other characters as well. It's this sense of dread that really gets under your skin and the developers did a really great job.

There are some faults though. The game is short and more could've been done with the core mechanics and the game could've been a little more challenging. But If one could overlook those flaws, they'll find a game that is well made and absorbing to play and experience. I hope Ubisoft makes a sequel that will further flesh out more of the wonderful atmosphere that they have crafted in this genre. Judging by impressive sales of this download-able-only title, I wouldn't be surprised if another installment is down the road. I Am Alive is one of the best download-able titles made for whatever system you have. Play it for yourself.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A real post apocalyptic world

Author: koshdegr8 from Dublin
1 October 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I first heard of this game when it came to PS3 demo without knowing much about its content i gave it a try. First of all i felt the way the game opened was beautiful not trying to shub the story to your face just letting you explore a little by little and feel first hand what was going on. Then you started to get the hint of the tragic story of whats left of the world and struggling environment of its few remaining inhabitant. But after completing the original demo sadly i never got the chance to get back to game when it came out and really feel the full story until now and boy was i glad i waited for this gem. Despise hearing a lot of negative chatters over the game i felt true to what i played in the demo an believed the rest the game will keep up with the same taste and it did. The realism of this game is quit amazing where simple logic can be applied to most situation whether it was the combat, environment or dealing with any random stranger you come to come across. Ubisoft really tried to keep the game as simple as possible. After finishing the game i was really surprised by the negative thing people had against this game i felt it was true to what it was trying to be. I admit the game was short but that was not exactly a flaw they wanted to leave the story like that for some unknown reason but i was fine with that.

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