PS3 Reviews: AMY Review

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AMY Review

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Graphics:

 

4.1

Gameplay:

 

3.1

Sound:

 

3.7

Control:

 

2.8

Replay Value:

 

2.0

Overall Rating:       3.3

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

VectorCell

Developer:

Lexis Numerique

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Survival/Horror

AMY was my second most anticipated downloadable game of 2012 next to Journey. I’ve been craving a true-blue survival/horror experience, and I loved the concept. This didn’t appear to be handholding or babysitting; it looked like an intriguing partnership between two interesting characters, set among a frightening, post-apocalyptic environment. Sadly, the mechanics are very nearly broken and the setting doesn’t do its job. It’s boring, frustrating and poorly constructed.

Now, I’ve noticed that the game is getting a lot of flak for not looking too great, and for mediocre frame rate. However, although it did fall flat, this is an ambitious graphical presentation, in that developer Lexis Numerique tried to create a game that looks like a full-budget Blu-Ray production. Character detail is actually pretty good and the effects aren’t terrible, either. It’s just that the technical issues are so glaring that it’s hard to pay tribute to the effort.

The sound is another point of contention for me, because I didn’t think the acting was as atrocious as some sources have claimed, and the creepy ambient effects were appropriately unsettling. Unfortunately, the soundtrack is almost nonexistent and those voices can get really annoying at times. I think we need to understand that this is a digital game and should only be compared to titles in the downloadable realm. In doing that, I think it deserves a little extra credit, but it still falls well shy of expectations.

The gameplay is the biggest failing by a long shot. It’s just a mess. I’m not even sure where to start… Okay, let’s begin with the awful, clichéd, uninspired game design, which involves a series of locked doors with switches in other places, and fetch quests that involve keycards and…and…’snore’ I remember it all from, you know, 1998, but I thought we’d moved past this. Besides that, there’s just no logic or reason to the level design. Perhaps the most accurate criticism is this: it’s painfully obvious we’re playing a video game.

These days, good games have such great immersion that we often forget where we are and what we’re doing; we’re just involved in the virtual reality presented before us. AMY gives you no chance to get immersed or involved. It starts with some promise. Lana and Amy are on a train and a few things are clear: something bad has happened to the world, and Amy can’t speak. But she’s special in other ways because she seems nervous and then an explosion…unsurprisingly, in the aftermath, Amy disappears and you have to find her as fast as possible.

That’s the first step. Along the way, you’ll run into an injured taxi driver whose incessant and pointless jabbering made me wish a zombie would eat him. During this time, you’re also introduced to the sluggish, jerky combat and totally inane puzzles. The latter are not well created and the battle, while somewhat functional, is hampered by endless hitching and a bonkers camera. The camera sits too close most of the time, and when trying to move quickly (like dodging), it just fails miserably.

The buddy dynamic could’ve been great. It really had a ton of promise. Amy is smaller, so she can crawl through openings and reach rooms Lana can’t reach, and you can give her orders. But they just don’t build on this enough. Most of the time, you just want Amy to hit a switch or something equally uninteresting, and holding her by the hand doesn’t work well. If you brush an obstacle, like a wall, she’ll let go, which means you have to be really careful about where you lead her.

To top it all off, the checkpoint and saving system is horrendous. It’s enough to make you beg for a root canal. Checkpoints are few and far between, first of all, and secondly, if you die, you’re stripped of your inventory. ...what? Seriously? I suppose in a different sort of game, this brutal feature could be seen as a realistic challenge for dedicated gamers. But here, it’s just infuriating. Plus, you can’t save until you finish an entire chapter; there’s no auto-saving at checkpoints. Just…why?

It doesn’t help that death isn’t always your fault. The camera is so off the wall and the movement is so cumbersome that half the time, you’ll never really see exactly how you died. Lana can’t take much abuse, either, so it can be downright maddening if you’ve played for an hour, haven’t seen a new checkpoint, and suddenly die in a flurry of zombie activity that usually seems overbearingly difficult. Then you’ve got military guys who just decide to shoot you on sight. Yay.

AMY lets you down in just about every possible category. The mechanics are bad, the Lana/Amy tandem is barely mediocre, the acting and writing is sub-par, the game design (from the ridiculous checkpoints/saving system to how the environment is laid out) is poor and immensely frustrating, and lastly, it just isn’t scary. The latter is quite possibly the most disappointing part of the whole debacle. I think it deserves credit for the attempt, but that’s about it. It’s really too bad.

The Good: Character design is decent. A few creepy audio effects. Amy is a mildly interesting character.

The Bad: Soundtrack doesn’t do much. Writing and acting are well below par. Multiple hitches in the frame rate. Camera is atrocious. Overall game design is uninspired and boring. Puzzles are poorly crafted. Combat is clunky and unreliable. …there’s more, but I’ll leave it here.

The Ugly: “Let’s wander over there and see what happens…oh wait, I don’t care.”

1/19/2012 Ben Dutka

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Comments (27 posts)

MyWorstNightmar
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 9:27:37 PM
Reply

So now I know why they let us set the price for the game. They knew they had a dud on their hands. They got some good pub out of that stunt. Well, it won't get my money. Thanks for the review Ben.

In regards to your MOST anticipated PSN game, let's keep hope for Journey.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Sogi_Otsa
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 9:37:53 PM
Reply

I'm enjoying it, not great but a 6~7 out of 10. voices could be better, audio is clean. critics hate it but it has a nice rating online so the players like it.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

DazeOfWar
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 9:39:50 PM

I think it has a good rating because people are wanting to try and justify the crappy purchase they made. Get other people to throw their money away. lol

Agree with this comment 8 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 3:08:55 AM

DazeOfWar, I think you are absolutely right.
The urge to justify our own investments is often strong.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

berserk
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 @ 11:20:32 AM

Always find that argument funny , it was 10 buck not 60 .10 is not much for a lot of people and i give it a 7/10 because it is a 7/10 for me ( i m sure not being hyped for the game helped tho ) .

I m sure some did give a better score to justify their purchase but most gave the game the score they thought it deserve .

Last edited by berserk on 1/24/2012 11:25:09 AM

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Marckon
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 9:52:22 PM
Reply

wow this must really suck. I hope these guys learn from their mistakes and refine their craft or learn how to materialize their ideas better. I usually don't give two farts about game scores, but when they are overwhelmingly low across many places, I give in and rethink what i buy.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

WhiteF8ng
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 10:32:03 PM
Reply

I was looking forward to this one but I guess not. Hope I Am Alive lives up to the hype...

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

hellish_devil
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 5:08:23 PM

Is there hype for I Am Alive?

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

cLoudou
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 11:01:05 PM
Reply

Glad I waited for a review first.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 3:00:46 AM
Reply

:(
i was so excited for this it was looking freaking awesome!
RIP survival horror!
and here i was thinking amy would revive it.
:(

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Fane1024
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 3:27:52 AM

Honestly, based on opinions you've expressed in the past, I'd bet you'd think Amy's the best game ever.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 4:07:13 AM

lol that was mean, Fane. Funny, but mean. :D

Agree with this comment 6 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Karosso
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 7:47:04 AM

LOL Fane, that comment was spot on :)

Agree with this comment 4 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 8:14:29 AM

you should talk!
i wouldent be surprised though, it has had some really good reviews for who can appreciate it for what it is.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 5 down Disagree with this comment

Fane1024
Monday, January 23, 2012 @ 2:47:37 AM

I rarely express a negative opinion about a critically praised game or a positive opinion about a mediocre game and, when I do, I take care to make it clear that my personal reaction does not indicate the objective quality of the game.

For instance, I don't hold FFVII in as high regard as others, but I'd never write a rant saying it's the worst POS ever made. I also enjoyed playing Alias, but I'd never say it was the best game ever made. You, on the other hand, fill your comments with hyperbole (and exclamation marks).

Since there is no basis in fact for your comment, I read it as a form of "I know you are, but what am I?". Touche.

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Mamills
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 5:03:29 AM
Reply

i really never understood the hype for this one.
it never looked good

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Vivi_Gamer
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 5:18:33 AM
Reply

I'm devistated, this was one Downloadable game I was actually looking forward to A horror game that does give the player too much weaponary to over kill the enemies... I really thought the companion-assist system would work for a survival horror (Unlike how tedious it was in MGS2 with E.E.) Such a shame...

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ZenChichiri
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 10:09:36 AM
Reply

A sad day for gaming. I really do love survival horror, so I might check it out on a whim, but I know I'll be disappointed.

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AcHiLLiA
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 10:29:32 AM
Reply

I was looking forward to this game more than the next Silent Hill. This game looked more interesting. I guess the game trailers are better than the gameplay itself?

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ZenChichiri
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 10:39:00 AM

Me too. I got to play a bit of Silent Hill Downpour and I have to say, it doesn't look promising. I will however wait and see, kind of like I did with Amy ;P

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Sogi_Otsa
Saturday, January 21, 2012 @ 4:28:46 PM

it's kinda reminiscent of older games. rule of rose and clock tower 3 are decent comparisons.
you may like it. don't let reviewers kill it for you. also, and this is odd btw, but the graphics get better after chapter 1.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 4:10:51 PM
Reply

Downloadables are never as good as full games.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 5 down Disagree with this comment

Robochic
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 6:49:51 PM
Reply

well i heard so much hype on the game i knew it was going to be bad, i was hoping it wouldn't but i know what i'm not downloading now.

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Sogi_Otsa
Saturday, January 21, 2012 @ 4:25:55 PM
Reply

pretty much everyone who bought it and played it have enjoyed it. don't listen to the reviews. only you can judge. bad games can get good scores just like good games can get bad scores. i enjoy it, and the boards i checked out are 5:1 in favor of it.
if you liked the clock tower games (3 in particular), rule of rose, and similar games, make sure you give it a shot.

Last edited by Sogi_Otsa on 1/21/2012 4:26:21 PM

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SS4
Sunday, January 22, 2012 @ 7:13:05 PM
Reply

It looks like it had lots of potential but was poorly executed. It would have probably been a big hit on PS1 but gamers and critics have changed their expectation since then.

I'm sure it can still be fun for some and there is nothing wrong with it. Just that when the hype is so big you often end up disappointed so it got worse reviews than it deserved maybe...

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The Doom
Monday, January 23, 2012 @ 12:40:03 PM
Reply

Hater's gonna hate. The game aint bad :P

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Pyramid
Sunday, April 28, 2013 @ 4:37:56 PM
Reply

Bet no one read this after more than a year but today this game is $1.99. Its ok at that price?

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