review
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POSTED 13/3/12


I AM ALIVE

Ubisoft
Xbox 360/XBLA

Standing on the ledge with a gun in my hand, staring at the dust, staring at the dust, staring at the dust, staring at the dust...

If drab were the new colourful then I Am Alive would be rainbow city. There are shades of grey and brown here that even Pantone haven’t latched onto. Still, it is set in a blah future following some catastrophicous ‘Event’ that was obviously critical, as it’s capitalised. As such, cities are broken, powerless and dusty – really dusty, even dustier than Ms Springfield and good ol’ Slim.
 
You’re a bloke looking for his wife and kid in this mess, which is dusty. Problem is, you’re almost a year too late, so you head in search of only to be quickly sidetracked. Think survival horror without the horror, which is replaced by an emotional tug-of-war vibe. You’ll see yucky shit, from survivors desperate for sustenance to those willing to protect pathetic little patches with a barrelling bullet to your bonce. You can help some, but at cost to yourself as resources are super-scarce – unlike dust.

These resources are key to your life meter, splitting stamina and health. Climb stuff – and there’s much dusty stuff to climb - and your stamina will drop. Let it plummet too far and you’re stuffed, as your health will be eaten into. Have your health eaten into enough and things go red (ooh, some colour!), meaning you’re mostly dead. Got resources?

There’s little free roaming. You can jump – but only if I Am Alive allows, so you’ll have unscaleable teensy things whilst you’ll leap from girder to girder like a powered-up Mario. Meanwhile, those encounters with others are usually clunkicrous – especially combat - seeing you die WTFedly and discovering the joy of distant, dusty restart points.

I am alive. I’m dead. I’m the stranger, stuck in a dust storm.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2014. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.