Earthquake sim I Am Alive rated by ESRB

Ubisoft’s I Am Alive struck a chord with E3-goers (OK, possibly just me) back in 2008 with an intense debut trailer that centered around a desperate hunt for a single bottle of water in a Chicago that’s been devestated by an earthquake. Flash forward three years later and besides an “It’s still in development, we swear!” teaser trailer released during E3 2010, I Am Alive has completely vanished from Ubisoft’s future game slate.

But last week the ESRB confirmed that the game may be closer to completion than we all assumed by assigning I Am Alive a Mature rating. The PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 game’s mature subject matter likely played a role in receiving the rating it did as well as the “Blood, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes and Strong Language” the ESRB found. The Rating Summary goes a step further and describes a very bleak landscape for the game’s main character:

This is an action game in which players assume the role of a man who must find his family in a post-apocalyptic world. From a third-person perspective, players traverse through city ruins and use a machete to kill human enemies in melee-style combat. Battles are accompanied by realistic gunfire, slashing sounds, and cries of pain; characters emit brief splashes of blood when hit.

Players have the ability to kill or knock unconscious wounded/vulnerable enemies via finishing moves (e.g., throat slashing, impaling, pistol-whipping); these scenes are highlighted by close-up camera angles and increased player control (e.g., on-screen prompts with button-press sequences).

During the course of the game, players encounter women who can be saved from nearby enemies; sexual mistreatment is sometimes implied in the dialogue (e.g., “These guys kept me as their pet, or mascot, or something.”). One sequence depicts the background silhouette of a man fondling and threatening a captured female survivor; the exchange includes phrases such as “Do you hear me? Don’t touch me!” and “Don’t be like that. You know I can make your life a lot easier if you would just cooperate.” The words “p*ssy,” “f**k,” and “sh*t” can be heard in the dialogue.

Ubisoft has yet to comment publicly on I Am Alive’s new ESRB rating, but you can watch the game’s astonishing E3 2008 trailer after the break.

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John Scalzo is Warp Zoned's Editor-In-Chief and resident retro gaming expert. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at john AT warpzoned DOT com.

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