The first substantial information about Ubisoft's enigmatic survival game has arrived, revealing an interesting take on the first-person genre and dispelling rumors of Jade Raymond's involvement.
Back when I Am Alive debuted at last year's E3, we didn't know much about it than that it was some sort of disaster-survival game where water bottles were really important and Jade Raymond was probably making it. Now, thanks to an issue of GamesTM (transcribed by 1UP), we have some real information on the game, and it does sound pretty interesting, even though we now know Jade Raymond actually has nothing to do with it.
In I Am Alive, you play as Adam Collins, a survivor of a massive earthquake that has wrecked Chicago. Adam has to find his girlfriend, save her and rally a group of survivors to alert and get help from the government. True to its title, I Am Alive seems very much to be about being (and staying) alive in the wake of something that has literally rocked the foundations of life as we know it. "In I Am Alive, we're not only turning your everyday life upside down; we're also changing the very social values and rules that both everyday life and videogames rely on," Alexis Goddard, senior producer, said. As such, items are realistically scarce - even moreso than they'd be in a survival horror game - and they have to be used creatively, like the water bottle in the trailer, which Adam used to lure a group of attackers into a trap.
Guns are present in I Am Alive, but in a Mirror's Edge kind of way, don't exactly mean you can just barrel through a room unloading rounds. "We encourage the player to use tactics, diversion, and distraction," Goddard said. "You've found a police shotgun, which is out of bullets...How about some intimidation? After all, who knows the gun is empty but you? Just point it at looters and they'll remain at a distance as you progress toward your objective."
And like Mirror's Edge, all this anti-shoot-em-up action takes place from that most trigger-happy of gameplay perspectives: first-person. "We wanted the player to really feel the power of Mother Nature, to feel the danger coming from the collapsing towers and devastating rifts, feel the chaos happening all around him," Goddard explained. "There's nothing like a first-person view to create that kind of emotion."
Similarities to PS2 earthquake-survival game Disaster Report aside (water's pretty central in that as well), I Am Alive seems like a very high-concept take on some established videogame genres. Hopefully we'll hear more about it as the year progresses.