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I Am Alive: Hands On Preview

I Am Alive

Ubisoft surprised everyone late last year when they revealed that the oft-delayed action/adventure I Am Alive is not only still in development, but is nearing release. Fast forward to today, and a quite a bit more information has surfaced about this elusive title. Firstly, it is set to be one of the featured titles in the recently announced XBLA House Party promotion. Don't be discouraged by IAA's new XBLA format; it is a full retail title that Ubisoft just so happened to distribute via digital download. Whereas so-called "traditional" Xbox Live Arcade games tend to be shorter titles, that lack the depth and visual fidelity of their physical counterparts, this is simply not the case with this game.

Taking place after a year after an apocalyptic occurrence referred to simply as The Event , I am Alive follows the story of a mountain climber's desperate attempt to reunite with his family, amid the ruins. In the process, our hero will encounter a wide variety of characters, some helpful, some needy, some malicious; but never undead. In a refreshing twist, developer Ubisoft Shanghai is avoiding the traditional - and often cliched - adherence to the usage of zombies, demons, or other such monsters; instead focusing primarily on humans.



Doom Returns to XBLA


About a year ago Zenimax removed Doom from Xbox Live Arcade due to "expiring rights." This was over a year ago and at the time Zenimax stated that Bethesda would put the game back up in the near future. It has now been re-listed. Doom is available once again on the XBLA Marketplace for 400 Microsoft Points ($5).

Via Joystiq and XBLA Marketplace


Alan Wake's American Nightmare: Hands On Preview

Alan Wake's American Nightmare

Last week, we caught up with Remedy at CES to spend some quality time with Alan Wake's American Nightmare, the recently announced XBLA based followup to Alan Wake. While the events of this game take place after the original, Remedy was quick to point out that this is not a true sequel. From what we've been told, this game is a standalone adventure in the Alan Wake universe, based upon the Twilight Zone-esque in-game TV Series, Night Springs. For those of you familiar with the first game, this will no doubt invoke memories of our hero's nemesis/shadow, Mr. Scratch. In AWAN, Mr. Scratch is back, as psychotic as ever; wreaking havoc wherever he goes.

Alan Wake's American Nightmare

Unsurprisingly, story mode was not shown off in this demo. Remedy opted instead to focus upon the new, arcade style "Fight 'Til Dawn" mode. The concept here is simple; survive until the sun rises. Fans of the Gears of War franchise will find obvious parallels to horde mode, with a similar emphasis on survival at all costs. Using the same combat mechanics from the first game, enemies must first be illuminated with a flashlight, before they can be dispatched. The instinctive play here is to simply shoot any and everything that moves; doing that in Fight 'Til Dawn Mode can result in certain death.



'Splosion Man To Make a Cameo in Retro City Rampage

Retro City Rampage

Fresh from the show floor at MineCon, comes a big - and surprisingly not MineCraft related announcement. 'Splosion Man is coming to Retro City Rampage! Both 'Splosion Man and Ms. 'Splosion Man will be playable characters and enemies. Today's announcement marks the first of what are presumably many RCR indie crossovers, with more to come before the game's release.

Watch the new trailer in all of its 'Sploding goodness below:

Retro City Rampage will feature over 80 story missions and arcade challenges, and developer Brian Provinciano teases that there will also be numerous "game within a game" segments as well. This self-described open world retro throwback will be available on XBLA and WiiWare early next year.


Orcs Must Die! Review

Stop the orcs at all costs!

Orcs Must Die!

For as long as anyone can remember the rifts have always been there. They supply magic to our world but are also a gateway into a dead world filled with monsters. The Order, a group of humans, both magical and not, have vowed to keep these grotesque  creatures named orcs out of our world. Fortress were built around the rifts in their dead world and its your job to keep the Orcs from getting through. As a bull headed, cocky student your mentor doesn't have much hope for you but with the other War Mages being killed at the rifts daily you're our world's only hope.

Orcs Must Die!

Orcs Must Die! is a great spin on the usual tower defense style game; with a third-person viewpoint that brings you down into the action. Equipped with a crossbow, a sword, magic and a variety of traps you can earn and upgrade, the possibilities for this game are endless. It's very player oriented and you can customize your choices to suit your style of play. Each of the levels begin with only the crossbow equipped. From there the player can wander around the level, select the best course of action, and select the weapons and spells needed from your spell book. Watch out for the highlighted paths through the levels, as they show how the orcs will be getting to the rift and from within the spell book you can see what kind of orcs will be coming. There are a number of different kinds of Orcs. Everything from basic warriors and archers to smaller, flying creatures and giant elemental ogres. Looking at their profiles you'll discover that they all have different goals. Some just want to get to the rift, while others' main goal is to attack you and your minions. Keep in mind that once you unleash the first wave you can't access your spell book anymore so make sure you've got everything you'll need. As you complete levels you gain more weapons, traps and even minions (like Elven Archers and Paladins) to aid in the fight against the orcs. Additionally, the number of item slots available will progressively increase as well.