Whenever I purchase a downloadable title I’ll try and ramp down my expectations and try and remember that I am not playing a full feature title. With I Am Alive this was not necessary because the game reminded me at every turn. After grinding through the longest 5-6 hours of gameplay that I’ve experienced in years it became clear why this game was delayed, delayed again, went from being a feature title to a downloadable one, and also why someday they will probably be giving this game away just to boost its download numbers.
In I Am Alive players take the role of Adam, a father and husband who has lost his family after a devastating chain of natural disasters has ravaged the city of Halverton. As Adam embarks upon his journey to find his family he finds that in the wake of the storms and quakes an extremely linear path has conveniently been crafted from one end of the city to the next. Often this leaves players searching for an alternate route to shake things up, only to find their adventurous actions leading to dead ends and another can of fruit.
The game however is not completely flawed, once on the right path players will find the climbing segments of the game to be the star of the show. Combining the management of a clever stamina bar and the ability to leap from ledge to ledge. Adam is surprisingly nimble while hanging from the sides of buildings, off the edges of bridges, subway tracks, and other interesting obstacles.
Once you have experienced the climbing portion of the game there is not much else to satisfy gamers. The inventory system is bleak, predominantly featuring items to recharge both your stamina and health. Enemy encounters are bland and repetitive, usually groups of 2-4 enemies either wielding a machete or handgun, with the occasional suit of riot gear. There are 20 victims spread across Halverton most of whom need Adams help to get up off their lazy butts and move to safety, they want the obligatory health pack or painkiller but my favorites were the ones who were too lazy to go find a pack of smokes or bottle of wine, gotta love the end of days right?
Overall the experience is repetitive and bland and to make things worse its blatantly obvious that the developers added “Smoke” to the city streets to hide their graphical shortcomings. I Am Alive barely survived long enough to make it onto PSN and XBLA and its clear to see why, poor graphics, a nonsensical storyline, and repetitive gameplay make this a pass for all gamers looking for their next download.