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I AM ALIVE
I AM ALIVE

 

I AM ALIVE

ESRB: Mature - M
Platform: XBox Live
Category: First Person Shooter, PlayStation Network, Shooter
 
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6.5
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Author: NeoSteel

The end of the world, pitting humankind against itself. When faced with our own demise, the worst of human kind rears its ugly head, proving once and for all that no one can truly be trusted. However, in I AM Alive, mankind should be only one of your worries. You must deal with the dust that the Event has left behind. It will kill you, suffocating you with every struggled breath you can muster. Starting with nothing, and ending with nothing, giving everything you have to find your family and help those you find along the way...life is hard for a man with no name, a machete, and an empty handgun. Tread lightly, but walk swiftly. Be prepared to fight for survival, and be prepared for survival to fight back. I hope you aren't afraid of heights...
 
Graphics
 
The graphics in I AM Alive are that of a medium budget disc title. They weren't spectacular by any means, but they certainly got their point across. When you encounter a dust storm, your visibility is cut to nearly nothing. At night time, your flash light is literally the only thing that will allow you to see. The cut scenes don't blend into the game play very well at all, and the load times between each seem to take forever. It is very difficult to see where the linear plot and movements of the game separate themselves from background graphics, which makes exploration lethal. Not to be outdone, however, I AM Alive does make up for all of its graphical draw backs with incredible character detail.
Sound
The game, for the most part, is actually fairly quiet. There isn't much to the sound of the game, only that you can hear yourself stepping and the crazy people yelling at you to stay away from them. You will hear the grunts of your character as you climb through the metropolis that begs for you to escape it, then laughs in your face as you fall to your death....which brings in the most annoying “hurry” music I have ever heard. Though out the game, you will come across walls that seem to stretch on for miles. You will find yourself grimacing at the thought of climbing them, not because of the looming doom of falling to your death but the mess of violins being played by a large group of epileptic weasels. When the atmosphere isn't screaming at you about dust storms, your character is talking to himself....though you won't be able to hear it. And if you just happen to have ANY sound going on in your house, you will most likely miss an important part of the back story. You can't turn the TV up too loud because the ambient sounds are deafening while the in game voice acting is less than a whisper. The sound options never helped that any, either. The sound needs a great deal of work...
 
Gameplay
 
The gameplay is infuriating. There is no getting used to the way your character moves, and it’s nearly impossible to anticipate a climbing move because the tutorials give you one way while the game needs you to move another. Holding the A button while moving the left thumb stick in a certain direction (while climbing) makes your character jump in that direction if there’s something for him to grab on to. However, doing the same thing will do absolutely nothing but make your character look like he’s stretching. Every tutorial that you get is more or less the game telling you “This will work a few times when you don't need it to, a few times when you do need it to, and never when it's absolutely necessary.” Climbing vertically is only part of the problem; you can also climb horizontally....at least you're supposed to be able to. A part of the game requires you to move across a set of bars that have conveniently fallen into a monkey bar formation. Can your character move one arm in front of the other with a swinging motion? No, of course not. Taking the tutorial of “Press A to climb across” takes on a whole new meaning when your A button flies across the room in an huge helping of rage quit.
 
Stamina is another thing that forces my hands to rip the hair out of my head. Every single action in the game causes you to lose stamina at an alarming rate. Your character seems to be a season, veteran climber...however; he can't climb a ladder without getting winded. But, at the same time, he can scale the side of a building, breathing like a 40 year smoker, as if it were nothing. The game gives you pitons, which are used to rest and regain your stamina...but those don't really make much sense. You can plant them pretty much anywhere, but you can't plant them wherever you want. Limited numbers make you think twice about placing them, and when you desperately need to place one, you won't be able to. Climbing is....infuriating...
 
The battle mechanics in the game are atom of fun, unlike everything else. You discover a group of men with machetes and guns, they start making remarks about how they're going to kill you, you put your hands up, man #1 walks up to you, pushes you, and then has his throat cut open with your machete...in the same motion, you pull out your handgun and shoot the first major threat, causing the other threats to put their hands up and shake in their boots at the man who is now pointing a gun at them...unaware that its empty and you're bluffing your life away. Just don't pull the trigger and give away your bluff, nor do you want to bluff for tooling...an empty gun will only scare a group of guys for so long. But, I do have to admit, kicking a guy off a cliff as he's trying to kill you is quite satisfying.
 
Conclusion
 
If you have some extra space on your hard drive, and some MS Points that you have absolutely no use for...I AM Alive is the game for you. It has a couple of redeeming factors, but not nearly enough for me to recommend this game in a serious fashion.








 
 

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