The lights are on
Power Member - Level 10
Success! Months after
I bought the game but more importantly months after I began a playthrough I
beat Darkwork's and Ubisoft's I Am Alive!
83% complete, 39 deaths, 12 people helped, I stole no resources from the
helpless, and a total game time of 7 hours and 20 minutes. Wait.
What? Not even 8 hours in the
official time log?
Yes, I played on normal. I am not hardcore enough to go for a Survival mode playthrough...yet.
I died, a lot, 39 times
exactly. Some of those deaths sent me into
such paroxysms of fury that I turned off the game and was unable to return to
the location of my demise for weeks. I
Am Alive is a post apocalypse survival game.
"The Event" left civilizations covered in an ongoing choking dusts that
limits the survivors' ability to see the gaping chasms left behind by the
earthquakes until nearly falling in.
Accessorizing in the post apocalypse with air filter masks for everyone!
Survival is often synonymous with
frustration because surviving requires inventory management that is more than
stockpiling. Instead survival requires using
the correct item at the right time and effectively memorizing a level upon a
death in order to progress. In I Am
Alive's gameplay level memorization when death hits is required to prevent burning
through restarts that will kick you back to the level's beginning if you run
The game does not have a clear
beginning, middle, and end but is more of a snippet of one survivor's time in
the post apocalypse. As the credits
rolled on my television and I sat dumbfounded that I played the game for less
than 8 hours when I had begun playing months ago, I wondered what I learned
from the experience. Games are
educational after all and nowadays there is one skill set that nearly all
gamers have, a how to guide on surviving the post apocalypse (surviving the
apocalypse itself is an entirely other matter).
Gun is intimidating and scary. Crossbow eh well, I will rush you anyway.
Crossbow Is Not Scary
Most survival games use the
premise that our hero is killable. A
gunshot on nearly any body part is debilitating as is true in real life. However, the gun never has more than a
handful of bullets at a time, 5-6 bullets are a veritable bounty, whereas the
crossbow is a quiet weapon with retrievable bolts. The crossbow's problem is that the crossbow
is not scary.
In the dire world left behind by "The
Event", roving gangs prey on others but thugs are people too. Pulling out the gun results in a skidded stop
by our new friends running towards us with machetes, even when the gun has no
bullets (our buddies will in fact figure out that there are no bullets
eventually). However, the crossbow does
not instill fear whatsoever. Our machete
wielding friends do not break their stride presumably banking on either a miss
or a nonfatal wound either of which leaves their target with a need to
reload. Lesson learned: If you survive
the apocalypse and you have a crossbow, make it look scary.
I do not have a water. Will you take a soda?
Do Not Be Picky
The citizens of the derelict city
are a needy bunch. Each one wanting
alcohol, inhalers (the perennial dust storm is not helping), food or some other
basic need met. However, these
individuals want what they want and nothing else. Hungry?
I have a fruit cocktail but no, all that will suffice is rat meat on a
stick. Really? Given these two options it is the rat meat
that is the delicacy? How quickly we devolve.
The medicine I understand. A first aid
kit will not address your asthma attack.
But I can spare an extra soda and given the world's current situation I
would imagine that a soda would be welcome.
I get it, we are all managing our limited inventory space but seriously
no one will even pretend to want any of my fruit cocktails but these needy folk
sure will grab my painkillers.
Hmm, I will climb that for kicks. Not much else to do after the world ends.
Upper Body Strength Is All The Rage
The post apocalypse destroyed our infrastructure. Buildings are dangerously leaning, bridges
are cracked into many pieces, and roads features potholes that requires years
of construction (so we must stop complaining about our cities' summer
construction schedules). The
solution? What if all of the survivors
worked together to form construction crews in order to eke out an area of the
city into a habitable living space? Not
quite. Instead we all become stellar
climbers. Climbing, dragging one's
entire dead body weight up a vertical surface requires quite a bit of upper
Luckily when we get tired or out
of stamina rehydration salts or a quick soda is available in our knapsack to
fuel us on. But stay hanging from a wall
for too long and your health will be permanently damaged until you find items
that can restore your health bar. Just
like in real life, except fixing a damaged health bar requires chocolate.
In the post apocalypse, we may not
have double jump abilities but we sure can pull ourselves up and over a ledge
using only our mighty arm strength. Maybe
my Wii fit trainer would be better able to induce me to turn the device on if
she discussed the importance of a strong core in the post apocalypse.
Melee combat is much less exciting when it is more "realistic" as two struggle for control of the weapon.
Machete: One Size Fits All
We all know our basic weapon
types, ranged and melee. In the current,
non-apocalypse world I am not sure where to buy a machete or even a crossbow if
I wanted one. Are such weapons in the
seasonal section in Target? Apparently
everyone knows where the machete store is because after the apocalypse, we all
get one like a "welcome to the post apocalypse" gift. However, in a post apocalypse in which
violence is not zombie (or some other mutated monster) on human but human on
human the brutality of a melee swing is stopped as both parties fight for
control while the other thugs attack from all sides. The lesson?
Stay hidden, pick off your would be attackers one by one with surprise
kills when possible, and most importantly remember that gun (with bullets, a
crucial detail) beats machete.
Luckily these machetes are also an
effective Swiss knife doubling as a lock and chain breaker but is bizarrely
unable to break handcuffs. Oh no,
handcuffs, with a live person's hand inside require a bullet. I hope that you are a good aim.
If the elevator is broken why is everyone using the stairs for storage?
Out Of Order: Elevator
Humanity has built tall buildings
called sky scrapers. These modern marvels
are serviced by elevators but without electricity the elevator refuses to go up
and down. The alternative, the stairs
are dark and full of blood puddles.
Somehow, electricity supplying generators are scattered in hard to reach
areas throughout the skyscraper and its inhabitants are awaiting a suspiciously
adept climber to retrieve these items (sometimes an inhaler is needed as well). Inexplicably the world's inhabitants insistent
on living on the floors unreachable except by elevator but none are apparently
able to scale the sides of buildings and lug a generator back up. Did you already complete a ton of upper body
strength exercises? Good because now you
need to climb down while lugging a generator.
So take an elevator repair class now and be in demand during the post apocalypse.
Yep, a toilet at head height. The post apocalypse is full of surprises.
Luckily us gamers are well
prepared for post-apocalyptic survival.
We may not always be the coolest or the hippest kid in the room but when
society comes to a standstill we know to raid the pharmacy first, grab ranged
and melee weapons, as well as that headshots are the surest way to take out any
Many thanks to everyone who
stopped by to read and here is hoping that all are having time for long game
play sessions during these summer days.
Also, congratulations to all bloggers hereabouts, new and old, for
posting quality content during these summer months.
Have you played I Am Alive? How
long did it take you to beat the game?
What is your favorite survival game?
What is your foremost post apocalypse survival tip?
What would you nickname your crossbow to instill feat in your enemies?