Right from the start, "I Am Alive" dumps you into the carnage of a ruined world.
The unnamed protagonist has been struggling for months to get home to his family after a cataclysmic event tore the world and society asunder.
You take control just as he reaches his home city. It's a nightmarish, postapocalyptic wasteland. Abandoned cars and trucks litter the torn-up streets, buildings are crumbling into chasms in the ground, and much of the population has degenerated into savage gangs.
Along the way, you'll come across a young girl whom you try to save after mistaking her for your child. The gripping story is told through characters speaking in-game and a few flashback cut-scenes.
|'I Am Alive'|
|» System: PS3, Xbox 360|
|» Price: $15|
|» Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars|
The game does a fantastic job of putting the utmost importance on just surviving this deadly journey.
Most of the game is wandering the streets and rooftops of the city on different missions. You'll use drainpipes and damaged bricks to scale buildings, tread lightly across narrow beams over harrowing gaps, and flail somewhat helplessly when sliding down ramps. All of this is done while worryingly watching your energy bar -- you aren't a superhero -- because if you run out of energy, you'll fall to your death.
With all the thugs scattered around, you will get into some deadly fights. Thankfully you'll pick up a machete, gun and bow along the way -- though ammo is incredibly scarce. The intimidation-based combat system allows you to bluff cowardly enemies into backing off even though your gun may have no bullets. But some enemies are more aggressive and will keep coming. These parts are where the true challenge lies, figuring out how to fight bigger groups with such limited options.
The graphics are gritty, though a bit weak, but they do lend to the atmosphere. And the game will sometimes give hints that are visually jarring.
"I Am Alive" is a short but challenging trek. It's nowhere near as heard as "Dark Souls," but it will test every bit of your wits and focus.