Review by Paranoia7
"Lacking innovation, AMY disappoints"
Graphics 4/10 - There's some interesting textures here, in parts. The main girl's has a nice transition effect from zombie to human and back again. Even holding Amy's hand you can see the varicose veins disappearing from her wrists. I walked into a decrepit bathroom and was astounded by how effectively ruined and nasty it looked...until I turned around and saw the gleaming new toilet. And that's a good metaphor for Amy's graphics as a whole. There's a few bright spots, but with all the glitches and oddities, nothing works. The models move like old PS1 titles, the camera cuts oddly, models morph into one another and disappear. Its mostly just mess of ugly with some pretty marshmallows in to sweeten the bitter medicine.
Gameplay 2/10 - Combat is glitchy at best. Walk up to a zombie, hold the trigger to enter battle mode, X to swing and B to doge. Sounds like a standard silent hill set up, but there's almost no collision detection. The game makes no distinction between point blank range attacks and distance attacks. It's more or less random when you or your enemy hits. You can completely whiff your way through a combo clearly going through your target's skull, and you can be killed in mid-dodge by a claw that never touched you.
The rest of the game is pure trial and error. Individual puzzle, if you can even call them that, are also trial and error. A door's instructions will tell you "The passcode is all green, so keep pushing the button until you see all green." Meanwhile, maneuvering through the stages are a matter of clicking on everything until you have the order completely figured out (cause when you die its back to the beginning of the entire stage for you). The bright shiny object the game points you toward is ultimately meaningless, you were supposed to run through a mechanic all the way down the hall that the game wouldn't mention if you didn't find/click on it yourself. This is the definition of bad design.
Sound 3/10 - The voice acting is awful. Never mind the poor wording, where any characters who aren't your basic stereotypes sound like they are reading straight out of the Oxford English Dictionary...these people are just plain LOUD. I had to turn down my TV to a quarter of the volume I usually use and the echoes throughout the train station were still booming.
The music does nothing to aid in the atmosphere. Actually, nothing aids in the atmosphere. You get the occasional odd whistle when something weird happens or a chime when you manage to unlock a new door, but they are generic sounds you've heard in a billion other games. At no time did I feel engrossed in the adventure at all, and while Amy may be a mute, she's no less an annoying little kid if only by the company she keeps.
Innovation 0/10 - The character companion schtick has been done before, and Amy's specific puzzles have been seen in games as old as Alone in the Dark 2 (see the "Gracie" moments in that game). Let that sink in...Alone in the Dark 1 was the FIRST 3D SURVIVAL HORROR GAME EVER.
Story 4/10 - So predictable you can tell where every monster is going to be long before you get there. There is nothing to scare you and the only thing driving you forward is finding out what is turning you into zombie (a mechanic which the story itself never establishes, by the way).
Overall 2/10 - Where anyone got the idea that Amy was innovative or compelling is beyond me. This is a bunch of rehashed survival horror mechanics that are being touted as new, laid over a trial and error design for one of the hands down worst DLC experiences ever. Anyone with a walkthrough in hand will beat it in under one hour easily. Its not the biggest waste of time ever, but it makes a run at the record for sure.
Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 01/11/12
Game Release: AMY (US, 01/11/12)
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