Microsoft’s house party has officially come to an end this week, and they were hoping to go out with a bang by releasing the game I Am Alive onto the Xbox Live Arcade on Wednesday. This experience centers around trying to survive in an environment with limited resources while also making moral decisions along the way. Since its release, the title has received mixed reviews from critics. While some praised the more realistic tone, others complained that the adventure does way too much hand holding to provide any sense of real danger whatsoever. Let’s go ahead and see if we should “Unlock or Delete” it.
(The trial version is about 1.86 GB and is currently available for download on Xbox Live)
The Good: The overall atmosphere is creepy, eerie, and very intimidating to say the least. Adding in effects such as stamina depleting as you’re climbing, having a limited amount of resources to work with, and a morality system that makes you think twice before making decisions, really kept me on my toes at all times. I wanted to press on with the adventure, because to be honest with you, I was curious to see what would happen if I used a little bit more common sense in some situations, and less in others. It’s a nice way of making the player feel like whatever they do will have some sort of effect on the world as a whole. As far as controls go, everything is set up in a way that is simple and easy to understand.
The Bad:While the whole morals concept is a nice idea, the overall implementation of it is less than stellar to say the least. This was especially true when it came to the situations in which you had to engage enemies in combat. After they start to charge at you, the player is then required to pull a gun on the person to stop them dead in their tracks, which hopefully means that they will now leave you alone right? Wrong. Because no matter what you do, as soon as the gun goes way, they charge at the hero once again like nothing happened. Apparently, seeing a gun pointed at your face causes amnesia for some reason.
The Ugly: As impressive as the overall world is to look at, the characters themselves feel like something reminiscent of a console that should have bitten the dust over 10 years ago. The faces look like crap, their animations are stiff and rigid, and they have absolutely no personality to them at all. To top things off, the game does hold your hand way too much to the point where it made me feel like I was too stupid to make any of these simple decisions on my own.
Final Verdict: I am really torn on this one because while the concept is unique and intriguing, there are just too many issues lying underneath the surface to warrant a purchase. So my final verdict is to delete it and move on with your life.