Real life rarely plays an effect in a video game. Sure, you can be “killed” by certain characters, but only after taking so many shots and not actually recovering by taking cover. Very rarely do real-life damages play a part in games. So when they do, players could be startled. “I died from climbing up a wall?!” Ubisoft’s I Am Alive takes these life-like physics into heavy consideration, putting you in an apocalyptic world where survival comes first, then finding your scattered family.
When I Am Alive first starts, your protagonist makes his way back into a city rattled by “the incident”, which appears to be a nuclear blast. Buildings are torn to shreds, a city bridge is barely standing, and residents have been reduced to gun-toting nuts that either wants to be left alone or want whatever you’re carrying. This game isn’t the typical action affair. Run into a firefight and, yep, you’ll die.
Intimidation plays a huge part in I Am Alive’s combat. An empty gun goes a long way here, provided that you don’t let your target know that it’s empty. You can aim it at someone to get them to back off, unless they have a gun and threaten to shoot you. Luckily, you have access to a machete and can either kill someone quickly with a throat slice, or tap a button to stab them during a brief struggle. Again, though, watch out for guys with guns. Save whatever bullets you find for them.
That’s just part of I Am Alive’s struggle system. The game uses a stamina meter, one that ticks away when you take part in aggressive activities like climbing or running. Go too far with it and your general health bar will chip away, soon becoming nothing and, yep, killing you. This also plays a huge part when you’re running through dusty air, as you’ll easily choke on the fumes without the benefit of a gas mask.