Arcade Wednesday - I am Alive
Ubisoft's survival horror title, I am Alive (2012: Xbox 360, PS3, PC), puts you in the role of a man looking for his wife and young daughter after America is destroyed in a disaster known as "The Event." Over the course of the game, the protagonist must fight exhaustion, gangs, and the environment itself. He also runs into other victims and faces decisions as to whether or not to help them.
The game starts off with a recording from the protagonist (who remains unnamed throughout the entirity of the game) describing the disaster and his story. He is going to his hometown of Haventon to find his long lost wife Julia and daughter Mary. He arrives to the city and must traverse a crumbling bridge and eventually must climb the scaffolding in order to get across. After making it across, with his energy nearly drained, he encounters a few gang members. After being forced to kill them, he runs into an alley to hide, and sees an old woman with her adult son. He has been hurt and she begs you to go find a first aid kit for him. If you decide to help her (and other victims you meet during the game), you get a little more information about what happened during the Event. The protagonist makes it to the apartment, but sees that Julia left him a letter saying that she took Mary and left for safety. He then goes outside to continue his search, and he sees a little girl. Thinking that it's Mary, he follows her, and finds her being attacked by three men. He saves the girl. but realizes that it is not his daughter. She introduces herself as Mei and she hands him a walkie talkie and a man asks the protagonist to bring the girl to him. He arrives and meets the man on the radio, Henry. Henry asks the protagonist to find a missing radio for him, and he then trusts him as a friend.
The protagonist is sent to find Mei's mother, Linda, in a hotel in the city. He finds that she and other women had been kidnapped by a group of killers. They escape, Mei and Linda reunite, and the group hears that a boat will be coming to Haventon to rescue survivors. The protagonist uses Henry's fireworks to make a beacon for the boat. Before the boat arrives, hunters attack them and take Henry. Linda and Mei get on the boat, but the protagonist stays behind to find Hunter and his family. The game ends with the man's final recording, and a woman, presumed to be Julia, watching them and crying, sitting next to his gear and corpse.
The game is set in third person perspective, but switches to first person while fighting and aiming. While navigating through the city and ruins, you expel energy. Once you run out, the health bar will drain, and if that drains, the protagonist dies. I am Alive makes you use your resources wisely. You may have a gun, but it might not have any bullets in the chamber. During fights, you can use that empty gun to bluff and intimidate the enemy into thinking you are truly armed and dangerous. When you help other survivors, you can collect reties to use if you die.
I am Alive was originally planned to be a console game, but the project was cancelled. Ubisoft picked it up again and made it an arcade title. However, the game seemed and was ultimately rushed, and that showed in the reviews. The reviews were mostly mixed and positive, but not exactly negative.
You can find this game of the Xbox Live Marketplace for 1,200 Microsoft Points, the Playstation Network for $14.99, and Steam for $14.99, but is on sale for $9.74 until March 18.