Many games claim to be about the post apocalypse, where some weird event has tragically ended life as we know it and us humans are now forced to scrounge for bullets or use strategy to out wit a group of foes, but I AM ALIVE takes it to the next level. Through the use of cut scenes filmed by a hand held camera, You play an unnamed survivor trying to make it back to your hometown a year after the “event” happened in search of a family he hopes is still alive. Just getting back into your town will be a bit of a climb, taking bits from Dead Island (a system where exerting one’s energy drains the stamina bar) and the Uncharted series, where you have to climb and scurry up and down the sides of buildings, over passes, and collapsed caverns. When you do finally reach town, you see that you only have a camcorder and an empty gun. In the distance, you see who you think to be your daughter, and you give chase, only to come across a group of people with machetes and guns of their own. This is where gameplay takes a turn; you can point your empty gun at the group of men and they will start to back off, but dont get to close or they’ll see that you are actually holding an unloaded gun and attack without stopping. Collecting a machete, while saving a young girl, will be your first task when you reach town. You are able to make enemies get on their knees, allowing you to execute or knock them out. Enemies drop very few valuables, usually only a few bullets at a time or a quest item. Let me stress that bullets are RARE in this game, but the threat of shooting someone lives on for a while.
This game has a great story that is well presented, but some of the quests seem more like fetching something and bringing it back, just to go back to the same area to search for something new, as earthquakes always open new areas. Going out in dust storms causes problems as well, as it saps your stamina continuously and you can run into gangs if you aren’t careful. Later in the game, you gain access to a bow and arrow (yes, one arrow) and through a series of mini quests, you help a family get out of the city you tried so hard to get into in the first place. This whole time, you are left wondering, just where is his family, and what is the deal with these cut scenes where someone is watching the tapes youve been making? This all leads to a heart-smashing end as those who pay close enough attention throughout the game can almost guess the outcome, but Im much to classy to spoil it here. I will say that it is a gut punch.
I am Alive may have its faults, but its still a great game for a great price (about 15 dollars) and had me immersed in a story while waiting for other games to come out. It doesn’t hold up to any replay value, nor does it show any indication that they’ll continue with the series, but if you are a fan of movies like “The Road” and games like “Uncharted”, you should give this little gem a try. It’s sure to wash the taste of Drake out of your mouth. Available now for PSN and XBLA