Alive and kicking
THE Xbox Live Arcade store has been dishing out some engaging downloadable treats of late and this game is another surprise addition.
Mixing two of video gaming’s staples – a post- apocalyptic setting and the survival- horror genre – I Amalive is a dark tale of one man’s struggle to be reunited with his wife and daughter following a cataclysmic earthquake and ensuing deadly dust storm that has reduced the US to nothing more than wastelands.
Playing as everyday guy Adam, you’ll need to fight others to stay alive, scavenge for precious supplies and hone your climbing skills to survive.
Progressing through the game you occasionally encounter other survivors. Some will ask for help and you can choose to assist in return for a reward. Other more hostile survivors will try to engage you in combat. Weapons are limited and ammunition even scarcer, so some confrontations are to avoid by backing away, or alternatively you can bluff enemies by pointing an empty gun at them.
Considering how few and far between these encounters take place overall, it was disappointing to see the same situations and scenarios repeated throughout the game. In between, most of your time is spent in solitude exploring decrepit locales for clues and items, plus climbing up, and swinging over, hard- to- reach places.
One of the game’s twists is the stamina metre. Deplete all your energy midway through a climb, for example, and you fall to your death, so managing this resource is another important aspect of staying alive.
I Amalive’s visuals consist of a mostly grey palette, combined with an excessive amount of blurry, depth of field effects. It certainly sets a defined tone, although some variety wouldn’t have gone astray.
While the various quests are limited in scope, and there’s a little too much repetition, I Amalive still manages to offer a unique experience that is easily worth the budget price tag.