I Am Alive PSN Demo Review

I may be  a little bit ‘unique’ in some respects however I do love good a post apocalyptic driven video game or movie.  Thankfully the most recent offering from Obisoft ‘I am alive’ serves up just that.  To begin with the games visuals are completely stunning, it becomes very clear very fast that I am alive had the same producer as the assassins creed games working on it.  The whole landscape that the game offers is beautiful, nightmarish  and brutal.  The game does a fantastic job of painting an end of the world picture of the future.

During the first act of the demo you are shown the games heavy emphasis on climbing and generally finding alternate routes over and around destroyed buildings and bridges since ‘the event’.  All the characters movements have been well thought out throughout this piece of the demo, real attention to detail has been taken in almost every respect.  I did my usual test of finding some water on the ground and walking through it, if you get decent ripples you have yourself a fairly decent game.  When ever your character takes any damage, he limps and his hearing goes slightly.  Just like in say ‘real life!’  I haven’t seen attention to detail in this magnitude since my beloved Dead Space so instantly I feel even better about this game.  I am alive had ripples.  If I’m being brutally honest I would say that slightly more time was given to the climbing aspect of the game in this demo.  OK that’s going to play a large part of what actually goes in the full game but it can get slightly repetitive.  During any climbing your character starts to lose his stamina, which did start to irritate the crap out of me, but on the same side of the coin did add to the survival horror portion of the game.  First aid, ammo, food & water and extremely rare.  More so that I have seen for quite some time.  your health does not automatically regenerate over time like in other shooters so Obisoft have really gone to town in making this title as good as a survival horror can be.  This download only survival horror is a breath of fresh air compared to other recent offerings…

The graphics are pretty awesome, mainly talking about the actual environment.  I found the character animation slightly dodgey in places but I am being pretty picky here.  That said all in all everything does look great, this game was not thrown together over night but meticulously planned and thought out.  The actual game play is 3rd person moving to fist person for when you point your pistol in combat etc.  However if your thinking you can forever blow your bad guys away think again.  During the whole demo you will find a single bullet so use it wisely, you will come across whats left of the residents of your city.  Some of them are simply trying to protect their homes so keep your distance, seriously these people have been through hell so don’t piss them off.  While other residents are just plain assholes who want to steal your shit.  I wont give too much away however during one point of the game I was surprised to how far Obisoft was willing to go to get the message across that law and order no longer exist.

As far as the story line goes its pretty weak, you have basically landed on the other side of America and have been forced to walk the whole way back which has taken you the best part of a year.  In that time your character expected his wife and child to be there sat in your apartment waiting for him. Well I don’t think many of you will think this is a spoiler but yeah, that didn’t happen.  So the full game will center around your character finding his wife and child in the waste land that was your home.  I must point out that I am alive is not an action game in any way, unless you think walking around for 8 hours to find enough bullets to half fill your pistol is action.  On the plus side though the combat parts of the game are wonderfully brutal, a mixture of surprise attacks and machete slashing will just make your whole day.  Another form of combat you have in your arsenal is the bluff.  I have myself never seen this used before, the premise is simple.  If someone comes at your with a knife or bare hands you pull out your pistol even though you know its empty.  Your enemy will back off giving you the ability to shove the good man into a convenient hole in the ground, bargain.

If survival horror is your thing your going to enjoy this one, its pretty enough to get you interested and different enough in game play to keep you hooked.

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Barrie Matthews

Head & Official PSN Writer - No one tells it like it is, like he does. Follow him on Twitter @Bazil81

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