It Lives: I Am Alive Suddenly Launches

By Nathan Grayson on September 6th, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

I, um, like what you've done with the place?

I Am Alive‘s road to PC has been simple, uncomplicated, and predictable in the same way as a rollercoaster built atop a black hole. First the game proper was allegedly dead and buried, then it wasn’t coming to PC at all and we were apparently just “bitching” for the sake of it, then we got an apology and eventual release date, and now – without any real warning – the monochromatic, melodramatic apocalypse survivor has leaped forward a week on the release schedule. I mean, I’m not complaining or anything, but I didn’t even have time to roll out the black-and-white red carpet. Well, I suppose a new trailer will have to do for now.

So yeah, it should be available for download on Steam any second now. And that’s fairly exciting, seeing as – when it released on console – it was deemed generally enjoyable, suffocatingly atmospheric, and occasionally shocking. It’s also apparently a survival game with actual, you know, survival elements (for instance, a finite pool of stamina that’ll run bone dry and kill you if you don’t cool the Uncharted climbing antics every once in a while), so that’s nice.

Given recent events, I Am Alive also strikes me as an oddly fitting summary of, well, Ubisoft’s entire relationship with PC gaming. I mean, it went from being a soapbox atop which its creator insulted PC gamers to a DRM-free early (at least, relative to its original schedule) release. And while I certainly wouldn’t say Ubisoft’s un-burned all our bridges just yet, this is a form of progress. I’m not sure it’ll ever fully apologize for giving our platform of choice the cold shoulder for years, but honestly, I only care about that kind of thing up to a certain point. So long as it can give us releases that are 1) high quality, 2) not mystifyingly delayed, and 3) decently ported, I imagine my anger will smolder into healthy skepticism. And honestly, when dealing with giant videogame mega-corporations, I think that’s how things should be.

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54 Comments »

  1. Hoaxfish says:

    I guess dropping the DRM hurdles makes releasing things unexpected fast for them

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I’m sure it’s released early because the pirates already have a leaked copy. There are some (probably 114% according to Ubi) who would pirate the game because it isn’t for sale yet, but would gladly buy it if available.

      • airmikee says:

        I won’t buy another Ubisoft game until it’s been pirated by 200% of PC gamers.

    • Kadayi says:

      They dropped the DRM hurdles over a year ago.

    • paranoydandroyd says:

      ALERT! They have changed the release date to 13 September. It is NOT launching today. Which is a crying shame, because I was really looking forward to playing it.

      Sorry, I already posted this lower down, but I wanted to make sure people saw it.

      • Premium User Badge

        JiminyJickers says:

        Nope, it is avalable to buy on Steam right now.

        EDIT: You were right, it now shows it as releasing on the 13th for me. Before it would let me buy it straight away now it shows as pre-order.

        EDIT 2: It is now available again, seems there was some issues with the pre-order bonus that made it show up as pre-order status. They now have fixed it so that you get the pre-order bonus even if you buy it now.

        People have confirmed that it definitely released now.

  2. Premium User Badge

    AmateurScience says:

    Perhaps Ubi are trying to redress the cosmic release date imbalance they have caused, and will now bring forward* the release of a game whenever they delay another?

    *I know this one is still technically several months late but baby steps and all that.

    • Aemony says:

      I doubt it, they probably pushed forward the release of the game due to pirates beating them to it. I mean, a cracked copy of the game was released a few days ago. Having their game pirated is one thing, having it pirated almost two weeks before the official release date is something else entirely. Unless they acted quickly enough, or the pirated copy was seriously broken in some way, they’d most likely lose quite a lot of customers. A game is, after all, bought/downloaded the most the days after the initial release (unless you apply the magic of Steam with constant updates, regular discounts and such, that is).

      So they’re most likely just trying to cut their losses as short as possible due to the cracked copy hitting the Internet.

  3. Enzo says:

    Don’t buy this. It’s pretty bad.

    • mr.ioes says:

      I concur. The controls with mouse are really bad. annoyed me a lot. Past tense cause after 1 hour of play this game pissed me off too much. Especially the difficulty level is done terrible. Not that the game would be any more difficult, you just have to waste more time if you don’t do it correct. Exploring the world is being punished. So stupid.
      I suggest playing with a gamepad and on easy difficulty. You don’t get punished with doing the same choring level again then, but miss out on some achievements. Pick your poison.

    • Shane says:

      I’m actually enjoying it…
      Love the survival gameplay but i hate the retry number(since i restart from checkpoint a lot when i get injured) so i’m playing it on easy which only means infinite retries.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Jp1138 says:

    It´s only 15€. Not worth even that?

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      I didn’t like it. The whole game took me roughly 6 hours and it wasn’t exactly the spectacular COD flash-boom-bang 6 hours. It also ended with a cliffhanger, not that the story was particularly good. About the only redeeming quality of this game was the realistic portrayal of the way most bandits with a machete would react once you suddenly pull a gun on them.

  5. Tyshalle says:

    I seem to remember IGN giving it like a 4.5 or something, and IGN rates everything positive, if that’s any indication.

  6. Lawful Evil says:

    The Metacritic score for it is 75 (out of 100) and 69 for PS3 and xbox 360 respectively, if someone cares.

    • Chopper says:

      I would say that’s fair – it’s an above average game, and while not brilliant, is well worth checking out for a new and interesting take on Survival gameplay. Don’t know what it is like on pc, but it has been one of the better games for consoles in what’s been a weakish year.

      E: Edited for ungracious comments.

  7. Brun says:

    The cynic in me thinks that the cracked copy is an Ubisoft ploy to score points with the shareholders:

    1) “We know that this game, which has had a troubled and rocky development history, is going to be bad.”
    2) “So let’s ‘leak’ a cracked copy to the internet a few weeks before release, then rush the official release out the door.”
    3) “Then we can blame the poor sales on piracy when we present quarterly earnings to the board of directors.”
    4) “When we do that, the shareholders will be screaming for blood and tell us to go back to using DRM.”

    • Premium User Badge

      AmateurScience says:

      Woah there, that’s a little far fetched isn’t it?

      • Brun says:

        I wouldn’t put it past Ubisoft to treat their shareholders as enemies, given how they treat their customers.

      • jikavak says:

        Has been done before.

    • Premium User Badge

      felisc says:

      I really doubt any employee or manager would come up to his boss with a plan like that. That would probably mean losing a job on a silly note. No one wants to lose his job on a stupid plan.

    • BestFriends4Ever says:

      I like you, Brun.

    • gameoveragain says:

      The thing is about that is that it would be incredibly short sighted: yes, people are still(for some reason) buying Ubi games with the DRM anyway, but wouldn’t it make more sense for them to see what happens without DRM rather than assume that all hell will break loose?

      Oh, I forgot that we live in a world of “95%” PC piracy.

  8. Tei says:

    I dont know anything about the game. The first new I got was that it was leaked. Aparently this is not the PS3 game where you travel the wolrd with a girl. That one look better, but who knows? The better game is the one with less linear gameplay.

  9. BrendanJB says:

    I thought the game was decent. It can be janky, it’s slightly buggy at times, and the AI is nowhere near as intelligent as it needed to be, but I enjoyed the atmosphere and the pace of the combat and adventure. If you want to play something that is slightly different to most adventure/tps games, and don’t mind some hiccups, give it a shot.

  10. Jason Lefkowitz says:

    And that’s fairly exciting, seeing as – when it released on console – it was deemed generally enjoyable, suffocatingly atmospheric, and occasionally shocking.

    Is this really the case? I remember the reviews I saw at the time being mixed at best. And Metacritic (I know, I know, but still) appears to agree.

    I really wanted to like it, and actually almost bought it for the 360, only to be turned off by all the weak reviews. Were the reviews wrong and it’s actually good?

    • gschmidl says:

      No, it’s pretty bad.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phinor says:

      If a friend I knew might appreciate the style and genre asked me if it was worth a buy, I’d say yes. If I knew he was almost broke, I’d say wait until better deals. I quite enjoyed the game while recognizing that yes, it has some flaws too. A good atmosphere is often half a game and I am Alive has that going for it. It’s pretty brutal at times but that’s part of the charm. The controls weren’t exactly great with a gamepad but it was playable with one of those. No idea about keyboard+mouse though.

  11. Premium User Badge

    frame says:

    I don’t see the release yet. Just bought the game (it was at the “released tab”) but it does not download.

    EDIT: After relaunching Steam, I can install it.

  12. paranoydandroyd says:

    ALERT! They have changed the release date to the 13 September. It is NOT launching today. Which is a crying shame, because I was really looking forward to playing it.

    • paranoydandroyd says:

      In fact, the article should probably be edited to reflect that.

    • csklr says:

      No, it is releasing today and just did. You may be saying this because of the note they added on Steam that the pre-order bonus is available until the 13th because they changed the release date.

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      Nope, it is avaible to buy on Steam right now.

      EDIT: You were right, it changed on me, how sneaky.

      • Linfosoma says:

        That doesnt means you can actually play it, it’s not the first time something appears as released on Steam and then gets delayed.

        • Premium User Badge

          JiminyJickers says:

          Your right, it changed it to release on 13th all of a sudden. Before it would let me buy it … sillyness.

          • Goker says:

            It’s a special offer thing. They were giving a copy of “Bloody Good Time” to anyone who pre-ordered, but since they took the release to a week earlier, that time was shortened. So they decided to still give the copy of the game to anyone who buys it before the 13th.

            “Due the change of release date, the offer of receiving a copy of Bloody Good Time has been extend to September 13th at 10am Pacific.”

            I had it pre-ordered and played for 114 minutes, apparently. Stopped cause of hunger. It’s a good game, worth a try.

          • Premium User Badge

            JiminyJickers says:

            You are right, yes it has now flipped flopped back again to being available again.

            A bit dubious about the game after many people said they don’t like it. Will do some research first.

    • malkav11 says:

      Maybe that’s a regional thing? Because I can confirm it being available right now in the US.

  13. StoneMason says:

    The previous release date was the same as Black Mesa: Source.

  14. eclipse mattaru says:

    So Tages is now considered “DRM-free”?

    • Shadowcat says:

      Ubisoft haven’t stopped using DRM. They’ve just stopped using their “always-online” DRM.

      • Worcanna says:

        There isn’t anything with some DRM, by the way. A lot of people wave arms and scream at it but even steam is considered DRM remember, even more so its always online since offline mode only works when you turn it on…online. :) It was more that the always on DRM tends to be done badly without the CHOICE to play offline should things go badly. Like constant save file sync with FF7. Why can’t i have my save files and you keep copies? Either way, a little DRM isn’t always the hell it seems. Its when it gets hard to deal with that it becomes a problem ^_^

      • eclipse mattaru says:

        The article says “DRM-free” and the game’s data sheet says it uses Tages, that’s the reason for my comment.

        We don’t have to be always online, yippee yay cool awesome and whatever you want; but I wanted us all to remember that Tages is not only *still* DRM; it’s such a botched trainwreck that some older games (Beyond Good And Evil, for instance) don’t even run until you download and install the 64-bit version from the Tages website. And you have to figure that out on your own, by the way, because the DRM will simply error out without giving you a single clue as to what’s going on.

        They’re dialing back on their naziware, yeah, but the thing we’re going back to is still far from ideal. And it’s most certainly not “DRM-free”.

  15. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    I would pirate Ubisoft games because they treat me like dirt. Take some clues from GoG.com, Ubisoft. Please.