• I Am Alive

    I am alive; no Iím not trying to state a very obvious fact, Iím talking about the game that originally in 2008 was teased to us by Darkworks. It was originally about a man called Adam; In the teaser he is getting chased by his friends through the ruin of a city (New York probably) after a devastating earthquake. The implication being he must have something of value and indeed he does, a bottle of water, which he throws on the floor. As his 3 amigos jump to get it, the glass floor beneath them breaks and they fall to their death.

    Now if these kinds of mechanics were present in the game, it would be amusing, but lo and behold the studio that made Alone in the Dark, has been dropped by Ubisoft and is now broke. Thanks to lady luck, 'I Am Alive' was picked up by Ubisoft Shanghi instead, possibly due to the fact so much work had already gone into it. It seems the content which already existed was thrown together and cut down to a small downloadable game from the fully-fledged game promised. Now how did this play out? Well, pretty badly, to be honest, and here's why;


    Quite quickly I was struck by the fact that there was a distinct effort to make everything grey and dusty, showing what it would be like in a city torn apart by earthquakes. Its effort seem to try duplicate the bleak reality of the film 'The Road' ( which i'd greatly recommend), but fall short as the execution was poor. It was apparent they were trying to cover up a quick job because the textures were ridiculously low res for the most part, and the engine itself looked worse than halo 2ís pc port.

    This overlooked, I carried on playing, trying to find my wife and kid,but due to the pesky earthquakes, i was left with some climbing to do crossing a mangled wreckage of a bridge with rapids beneath it. The climbing reminded me of previous mechanics used by Ubisoft but luckily due to the obscurity of this game no one will realise the direct rip off. The climbing and manoeuvring is based on a stamina bar, and if it runs out, you need to mash your left mouse button to reserve as much stamina capacity as you can - you regen it while standing still. Oh and if you fail to do so you will fall to your death. You can place pegs in certain materials to hang on to and regen your stamina; you find these throughout the levels. Fun, but it felt much like a mini game rather than an enjoyable and innovative mechanic.

    Next was my first taste of the combat system, which, combined throughout the game, has about 3 minutes worth of diversity. For example my first taste is a man with a knife threatening me. He walks up to me while Iím trying to open a gate, so I pull my gun out. Sadly I had no ammo, but luckily the combat system enables you to simply scare people with guns, causing him to back away, so far away he somehow clumsily fell to his demise into a small crevice. I caught his knife and now had a second weapon. Hurray I thought; an empty pistol and a knife courtesy of my dead fellow west coaster.

    So does the combat diversify? Well, they add in a mechanic where you have to aim to shoot a guy in the head instead of his armoured body. Then finally add bow and arrow with which you retrieve the arrow. The combat offers some satisfying planning then executing but that lack of variation really does show in how little there is to write about it. They add a grappling hook to swing around which barely gets used. This couldíve proven fun if there was more exploring, but sadly the story was linear. There is a mechanic where when at street level there is so much dust that chokes you up, It depletes your stamina until it kills you. This proves to put me off doing side missions due to having to use the supplies I attained to complete the main story, to get to people for the side missions, and once completed left me at a loss, which is a giant mistake from a physiological point of view.
    You do get a gas mask but even that doesn't filter out dust( what a great gas mask right?), so exploring proves tedious. Also the lives system is more outdated than my grans lingerie closet.

    So it seems this game was all filler, no killer; the story is bland, the ending poor - this isnít worth the money, no. I wouldíve liked to have seen what Darkworks wouldíve done with a proper release but Ubisoft Shanghai shouldn't have even bothered.

    Overall I am disappointed because this could've proven to be a amazing game but it let everyone down, so lets hope someone else tries this genre and with so much more success!
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Target's Avatar
      Target -
      Shame
    1. nikoli's Avatar
      nikoli -
      dude this finally got published and half life 3 is out tomorrow
    1. Marshy's Avatar
      Marshy -
      I didn't expect this from you
    1. Setsoru's Avatar
      Setsoru -
      this game is a patronising waste of time, LOOK AT ME IM ALL ABOUT CLIMBING LOOK HOW ONLY THE PARTS OF THIS COLLAPSED BRIDGE YOU NEED TO CLIMB HAVE RUNGS, ITS SO LUCKY THEY ARE THERE
    1. Hutch's Avatar
      Hutch -
      This article has poor English.
    1. Joe's Avatar
      Joe -
      Legit article Nick nice one
    1. nikoli's Avatar
      nikoli -
      thanks joe and fackayouarouu hutch
    1. MaDness's Avatar
      MaDness -
      awesome review!! you got this one spot on, i didnt know tht ubisoft dropped darkworks, thus forcing ubi shang to try and squeeze what pfrofits they could from what was left, very dissapointing really. all the same nice 1 nik
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