I AM Alive is a survival-horror video game developed by Ubisoft Shanghai and published by Ubisoft. The game focuses on facing the permanent insecurity of a now decaying and hazardous world, and humanity's darkest inclinations. It was scheduled to be released on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and Microsoft Windows in 2010, but was released on March 7, 2012 on Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade only. It later received a PC port on September 13, 2012. The game formally took place in Chicago, but was changed to the fictional city of Haventon.
The game takes place in the fictional town of Haventon about a year after The Event, a series of earthquakes and ash clouds that brought the world to ruin. After a long journey toward home, the unnamed protagonist returns to Haventon to reunite with his wife and daughter. After making his way to his family's apartment, he discovers a note dating back a couple days after the Event stating that his wife and daughter fled to a survival shelter in the city.
All titles are official chapter names
The player controls the main character from a third person perspective during navigation, the camera switches to first-person when aiming and shooting. During encounters with hostile survivors, the player can use various tactics to stay alive, including using bluff and intimidation e.g. pointing an empty gun at hostile non-playable characters, sneaking to surprise enemies with a machete quick kill, or performing stealth kills with a bow.
The game has an emphasis on climbing and exploration. The player will scale wrecked buildings and navigate hazardous areas. Every effort has a cost and, when engaging in physically demanding activities, such as climbing or jumping, it is critical to manage the main character's stamina for him to survive. By managing stamina skillfully players are rewarded by accessing hidden paths, resources and other survivors.
Gameplay also involves collecting hidden resources and supplies scattered throughout the city: water, food, gas, medicine, cigarettes, tools, climbing gear, weapons, and ammunition. Anything that the player can salvage from the destroyed city can be used to keep the main characters strong and healthy, or prove helpful in his quest by allowing him to rescue survivors. Retries can be collected throughout the game by helping or rescuing people, with optional side quests to complete.
The game was first rumored to be in development in July 2008, when it was known that Assassin's Creed producer Jade Raymond was working on a new game, which was announced at E3 2008, along with a trailer. It was later revealed that Raymond was not working on the game. Development experienced various delays. The original developers, Darkworks, announced that it would not be working on it any longer due to a "mutual decision" and that the studio had other obligations, and that the game would be finished at Ubisoft Shanghai's studio. On August 2009, various screenshots of an old build of the game were leaked onto the Internet. An announcement from Ubisoft indicated a release window between Q2 April 2010– Q2 March 2011. These dates passed with no new information, until June 2011 when a notification was published at the Australian classification website which indicated a possible release in the late summer of 2011.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said at the start of 2010 that the studio was "totally re-engineering the product." Elias Toufexis is reported to have a major role in the game, playing a character known as Henry. In May 2011, Ubisoft cancelled a number of games, but it was revealed that I Am Alive and another Ubisoft title Beyond Good & Evil 2 were not among them, with Ubisoft stating that the cancelled games were unannounced games. On September 29, 2011, a new announcement trailer was released for the game with a release date of "this winter" at the end. On January 23, 2012, the developers announced on Facebook that the game would be available for Xbox 360 on March 7, 2012.
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the game received an average score of 72, based on 45 reviews, indicating "mixed to average reviews". At GameRankings, the game received an aggregated score of 73.81%, based on 26 reviews.
GameSpot gave it an 8, complaining that "The few unrealistic elements are a stark contrast to the engrossing world and only lessen the experience." Eurogamer gave it an 8, commenting "What I Am Alive lacks in originality, though, it makes up for in execution.", praising the tone and gameplay. Several reviews praised the survival aspects of the game, commenting on the scarcity of resources and oppressive atmosphere. IGN gave a negative review, giving it a 4.5, citing outdated graphics and poor gameplay elements.
The game itself received fame on the Xbox Marketplace, as it placed 1st on the Top Ten Most Wanted Downloadable Content chart for March.