|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Dev: Ubisoft Shanghai|
|Release: March 7, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language|
As mentioned earlier, the game's visuals are very effective at conveying the atmosphere of the slow decay that has followed a major catastrophe, and there are plenty of neat visual set pieces to experience. The textures are excellent, and, as mentioned earlier, the sparing use of color is unusually well-done for the game industry. The sound design does its job reasonably well, though it can become a bit shrill, ramping up the "danger, danger" music even during relatively mundane moments of climbing up smallish obstacles. Perhaps due to development constraints, Adam's voicing is uneven. He expresses himself as a gruff yet compassionate man in some scenes, but when dealing with various survivors found throughout the game, he tends to stand dumbly as they plead for help, then recite soliloquies if he has the goods to help them. It's jarring to hear Adam speak at length in story scenes but stare blankly at people he meets in the world.
In the end, I Am Alive is a game with a great premise that falls apart when it comes to execution. What seems at first to be the epic, desperate journey of a man searching for his family becomes a guided tour through a post-apocalyptic obstacle course. Perhaps I'm too used to the modern crop of RPGs and action adventures that provide multiple paths through their levels, but I had trouble enjoying a survival game in which the player's ingenuity and strategic planning skills are so severely restricted by linear game design and a non-interactive environment.
Gamers who are looking for an experience thick with atmosphere and who don't mind this linear approach will probably enjoy I Am Alive, but the rest of us might want to wait and see if there's a more interesting survival experience provided by the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot.
Date: March 9, 2012