You play a guy who is looking for his wife & child, and you encounter a desperate civilization, clinging onto life by adapting to the natural disaster aftermath. The story to I Am Alive, you would expect it to be gripping, intense and very thrilling, because of the attitudes and the means of survival. The story is completely nowhere, as it becomes a supermarket sweep in the dust clouds below to help citizens, and getting resources for your health & stamina.
Ubisoft has definitely given us a hit & miss game. Great ideas but not executed properly, such as the main gameplay mechanic which will feature in all ‘soon’ to be combat situations. Enemies will come up to you with either a machete or a gun, when they approach you, you can surprise them with a ‘surprise’ kill, and gain advantage in the combat scenarios, but however… The combat is terrible, it really is. Bullets are very limited, you do have a machete, but you cannot run around hack & slashing, only perform struggle kills with it, which opens you up to another enemy attacking you. Failed opportunity to make it a little bit interesting in my book. A gun which is useful, but you need bullets, and a hunting bow which is vital if you want to take a stealth route, and you can recollect the arrows back from dead enemies, which is nice.
When not walking through the dust clouds or the metro underground, you’ll be climbing buildings. Climbing is god damn terrible as well, as it relies on the stamina system. If you are not careful you would go into a desperate climb, which deplete your stamina gauge, so having less stamina until you find a source of increasing it back up again. Stamina does replenish on its own, you take regular rest stops when climbing, when you can! You can use pitons which act as a quick rest stop, replenishing a full stamina, so you can proceed onwards. It’s so clumsy, you’ll be trying to get onto a pipe, yet he will continue to go along the ledge instead.
I Am Alive uses an old school mechanic of retry. The game is pretty tough, a bit too tough in my opinion, as you’ll end up dieing in the combat situation more often than the climbing. You gain more retry’s by helping the citizens, such as giving them food, first aid kits, which in turn makes the player make tough decisions. Do you help the needy or do you keep the resources that you have found for yourself, as you will end up needing it. I applaud that very well on I Am Alive, as it isn’t a feature in the game, but its a player feature, if you get my drift. You, the player, creating a gameplay mechanic which wasn’t there in the first place.
The game is very dull & grey. When in the dust clouds, it resembles that of a massive dust cloud, which is good, but very grey. Objects like a yellow taxi or a red firehose don’t stick out at all, not even when you are right up to it. The only time[s] the game is colourful is when you are inside, up above the dust cloud or high on buildings.
Repetitive citizens requests are repetitive, and there is no gain of exploring, other than finding food, stamina stuff and maybe ammo for your gun or hunting bow.
The game is ridiculously short which was expected really, and I feel the game should have been released physically than a download game. The ideas that this game has got, did not get not executed well at all. With the tools available working on a full game, I Am Alive would have benefitted from that, rather than being a digital download. Ubisoft has ruined this game, on what it could have been.