I Am Alive

Ubisoft recently introduced I Am Alive with this quote from Italian socialist author Ignazio Silone: “An earthquake achieves what the law promises but doesn’t in practice maintain – the equality of all men.” When you have to hang your game’s hat on the philosophies of a controversial World War II Italian wordsmith who may or may not have spied for the Americans, you know you’re aiming high.

I Am Alive is not based on anything Silone wrote, of course, but the aim is the same: to create an equal playing field, strip away the rules or order that bind society and see what boils to the surface. As a gamer that means making choices. Who to save or kill? Do you search for survivors or food? Money or water? Will you help or hinder a rescue? What could have been a standard survival game, in Ubisoft’s hands, is turning into a nasty, complex glimpse into your soul. And Ubisoft hasn’t needed to put a single mech in the game to do so.

Set in Chicago in the middle of a sweltering June heat wave, a massive earthquake destroys the city and you will have to make choices. You will play as Adam Colins, a 24-year-old junior executive who, two hours earlier was enjoying an expensive coffee and wondering how he was going to get the exclusive corner office. Now his sole goal is to find his girlfriend Alice who is lost somewhere in the city. The earthquake was so devastating it toppled skyscrapers, collapsed bridges and sealed the city off from civilization. It has created an island nightmare where Silone’s vision of equality, of a rule free society has come true. In this new society you don’t buy expensive takeout coffee, you take it.

Played in first-person, this adventure will demand you make core choices: rescue, steal, protect, attack or heal. Adam’s journey to find his girlfriend is fraught with dangers, and the fragile balance of the rubble under your feet won’t be the only concern. Lawlessness has broken out. The streets have become twisted and distorted.

To ultimately find Alice you’ll need to gain access to hidden and secure areas. Align yourself with factions that have formed in the city and befriend other stragglers. There’s a doctor called Riley who has decided to stay in the city and help as many survivors as she can. Maybe if you can find people and take them to her she’ll help you. A fireman, Peter, wants you to bring stragglers to his makeshift refugee camp. Elsewhere, Vigil is an ex-soldier who is protecting a group of helpless survivors; again help him and he’ll help you.

The concept is for a choice-driven FPS in a similar vein to BioShock, where decisions and alliances determine where you can go and what eventually will happen to Alice and Adam. The game will span nine days, suggesting progress is made sporadically with the game opening or locking areas of the story depending on players reaching certain milestones. There’s also the whisper of a deeper conspiracy that points to a man-made reason behind the earthquake. We can’t wait to have a deeper dig into Ubisoft’s rubble. Pass the pickaxe.

Feb 3, 2009


  • DyLAN - October 23, 2009 7:49 a.m.

    will this be like lost?
  • Synster - February 4, 2009 7:45 p.m.

    Okay. To start, let's remember Jade had one major flaw in Assassins Creed. Trying to throw in that Modern element to it. Sure. It added diversity to the game, but completely unncecesary and took away from the immersion. Now then. This I Am Alive game is shaping up to be one hell of a Game. Those choices this article mentions seems to only add to it. So far, the only bad plot could be that these people "help" you if you help them, but that rarely works in all but about 5% of video Games. Very, very well written article Mr. Dean.
  • MW3M - February 4, 2009 7:28 p.m.

  • lava_lamp - February 4, 2009 7:27 p.m.

    >There’s also the whisper of a deeper conspiracy that points to a man-made reason behind the earthquake man, ubisoft enough with the gay twists
  • TheWebSwinger - February 4, 2009 6:36 p.m.

    No way is this game coming out this year.
  • Jbo87 - February 4, 2009 2:42 a.m.

    As Ubisoft are behind this i've got resonably high hopes but I would imagine it's more likely to lay the foundations for something even better. Although I loved Assassins Creed and Farcry 2, I will happily admit they could be improved but as first attempts at something different they were pretty damn good. With a bit more variety these games sequels could be some of the finest to grace videogame history.
  • KatamariLovesSpock - May 12, 2009 7:57 p.m.

    This game looks like sex on wheels! :o
  • Skooch - March 1, 2009 1:22 p.m.

    It sounds a bit like Fallout 3, except the idea is a bit more plausible. Post-apocalyptic environment, various factions to side yourself with... it'll be interesting if they added some recognisable parts of Chicago to give it a more realistic feel.
  • Makk_Mizzy - February 8, 2009 1:15 p.m.

  • Gotxxrock - February 5, 2009 2:24 a.m.

    The game sounds inventive and refreshing, but so did Mirror's Edge. As long as they don't try to make a gimmick out of the gameplay and moral tidbits, I think this should be A-OK, if not great. I look forward to following this game nice and closely =)
  • norid - February 5, 2009 12:28 a.m.

    hopefully this game works ,kind of reminds of mirrors edge for some reason
  • climbing wolf - February 5, 2009 12:20 a.m.

    So is it linear or open world?
  • octagons - February 4, 2009 11:44 p.m.

    Pretty cool concept I hope it works out.
  • Z-man427 - February 4, 2009 8:02 p.m.

    looks good, but the vaulting over rubble will be a weak point in FP. they need to make that as realistic as possible. But Ubisoft has proven themselves before. then again, they did make Imagine Babies...
  • Samael - February 4, 2009 7:39 p.m.

    So excited for this game, thanks for the new details. But, and correct me if I'm wrong, isn't Alice his ex-girlfriend? A small detail, but one that could come into play.
  • benster_23 - February 4, 2009 8:17 a.m.

    I like survival games, its just that most are not that good, ill be keeping an eye on this
  • FancyRat - February 4, 2009 4:40 a.m.

    Sounds hell of good, but I wonder if they can really pull it off without it becoming too shallow.
  • skyguy343 - February 4, 2009 2:14 a.m.

    this is the game that was supposed to have Jade Raymond involved, right? but then she wasnt, and i was sad

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