'I Am Alive', Ubisoft's upcoming action video game developed by Ubisoft Shanghai, is set for release on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live in the early part of 2012.
We don't know much about this mysterious title, but trailers, previews and descriptions have alluded to a survival-action/horror game, set in a world following the aftermath of an 'Event', a worldwide cataclysmic event that wiped most of the human civilization and left the world in ruins and barely inhabitable.
New details have emerged from the game's developer, so let's take a look at what we know so far about this exciting new download-only title.
I Am Alive is set in the fictional US city of Haventon. The city itself is a "metaphor of a modern western city", with the developer hoping to avoid the "postcard effect (like putting gamers in destroyed versions of iconic landmarks). This new world is completely void of any of the social benefits we took for granted before the Event, like email, bank accounts, social status, and even a name.
So it's no longer set in Chicago?
The very first teaser trailer showcased an earthquake crippling the city of Chicago. The developer eventually opted against this tone following a complete scrapping of the original experience, deciding that "earthquakes and disasters are not something that we want to showcase as fun or exciting". Ideally, they wanted to make a game that was fun, but the original project's direction just didn't quite meet its expectations, hence the shift from Darkworks to Ubisoft Shanghai in 2010.
All about survival
In order to restore your character's stamina and health, you'll need to ensure they are eating and drinking. The game takes place roughly over the course of one day, so sleeping will not be included. The developer didn't want to implement a complex, deep inventory system so as to keep the focus on action and adventure, whereas such a system would push it into RPG territory.
I Am Alive will have two difficulty modes: Normal and Survivor. The difficulty you choose will dictate the amount of resources and "retries" you have. Dying will bring you back to the last check point, of which there are plenty (and will typically be close to where you last died). Running out of retries will bring you back to the start of the level. By rescuing victims and finding camcorders scattered around the environment, you can earn more resets.
If you play on Normal, your retries fill up to at least 3 at the start of every new level. Survivor mode ups the ante quite a bit, never refilling your retries, truly making it a mode for hardcore survival horror gamers. This is where survival elements -- like taking care of your resources and really looking through environments for items -- aggressively enter the fold.
So that's what we know so far about this great looking new title from Ubisoft. There won't be any multiplayer if you were curious, but that doesn't matter: there seems to be a genuine focus on offering a deep, intricate and challenge survival experience.
By Gaetano Prestia
What do you think of I Am Alive so far?