Posted by : Unknown Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Release Date- March 7th, 2012
Price- 1200 MSP ($15 MSRP)

Survival at any costs

I am Alive has been through quite some changes ever since it's inception from about 2008. It finally arrived this year as part of Microsoft's House Party promotion for Xbox Live Arcade, but it will be making an appearance on the PlayStation 3 sometime in the future.

You'll play as Adam, a man who has traveled the world and comes home to find everything changed due to the Event, a series of disasters that have crippled humanity with a flurry of earthquakes, toxic dust, and other effects, and you'll have to make your way around Haventon in hopes of reuniting with your family. Besides the effects of the Event, you'll also have to fend of survivors who are easy to attack in order to protect what little they have left – but others will simply try and kill you and hope you've got something worth having.

With about 4 hours worth of gameplay with two different difficulty levels, I am Alive won't last you too long, but its still a game worth checking out, especially if you've been following the game through it's many announced changes and delays.

To help create tension and unique platforming, stamina is involved when traversing the harsh environment in Haventon. As you climb higher around the game to escape from the more harsh areas, stamina will slowly deplete, with more rigorous actions taking more out of you. There are times when you have to perform a long jump to get to different areas, and these are the moves that really drain stamina. Items in the environment help regain lost stamina, including foods and other consumables, so you'll have some extra supplies but these can be few and far between.

There may be times when you have no items to help with stamina, and when this occurs you'll have to rapidly use the Right-trigger to push yourself to a safe place to rest. When this occurs, it will decrease your stamina capacity, but thankfully this can be replenished with specific items.

Combat in this game is interesting as well. When you encounter hostile survivors, Adam will raise his hands to show he's not dangerous, which is an good opportunity to either back off or go in for a surprise kill. Most encounters will require you to push back enemies with your pistol, which could be empty and still effective as long as you don't try and shoot, allowing the attackers to hear the click of an empty gun. When I was toward the end of the game, I was happy to be equipped with five bullets, the most I've had at once during my normal playthrough.

Later in the game you'll gain access to a bow to help you in hostile encounters which is cool, as you'll be able to reuse bows after using them in combat. I found myself towards the end of the game backing up the enemy with a gun, then shooting them with my bow, and then picking up the arrow while still holding off any other enemies. This tactic didn't work all the time though – there are points where you'll face armored enemies, so manually aiming your gun with them is better than using a bow/gun combo.

Throughout Haventon you'll find others in distress, and helping them will give you an extra retry in the game. The retry system works like this: You're given a set number of retries to a certain checkpoint, but once you use them up you'll have to restart further back. It sounds annoying, but retries are given out pretty nicely, so this shouldn't be an issue unless you play on Survivor mode where they are given out less.

The few problems I had with the game would probably be it's short story and check-pointing system even though I always had at least three or so retries available, and some issues I encountered including a climbing bug and not being able to exit out of a melee animation when I was surrounded by attackers.

Overall, I am Alive is worth a look despite it's long delay to be released. If you like Apocalyptic games and settings, you should try this one out.

"One year after a worldwide cataclysmic event has wiped out most of human civilization, a man struggles for survival. Faced with an insecure, decaying, and hazardous world, he scours a desolated city, searching for his long lost wife and daughter. Survive the suffocating, murky streets covered in dust. Climb the teetering remains of the last standing skyscrapers to reach breathable air and find untouched resources. Explore the crumbling ruins of a once-thriving metropolis. And discover a changed human condition, punctuated by distrustful survivors, dangerous armed gangs, and victims in need."

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