Amy (video game)
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|Genre(s)||Survival horror, stealth|
Amy is a survival horror stealth game, released in 2012, developed by VectorCell and published by Lexis Numérique. Amy depicts the journey of Amy, an autistic psychic child, and Lana. In a city suffused with a zombie-type infection which Amy is immune to (and can heal Lana from), Lana must stay near her young charge, for frequent healing, while protecting her from the infected, and the Phoenix Foundation who hopes to exploit her. The two must solve puzzles, including computer hacking, vent-climbing, and button pushing, to advance.
Amy received negative critical reviews, although updates were released to address complaints. GameRankings, Metacritic, IGN, Game Informer, Destructoid, and Escapist reviewers all denounced the game, and gave it exceptionally low scores.
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According to a press release by Lexis Numerique prior to their appearance at Game Developers Conference 2011, players "escort the strange 8-year-old autistic title character as they try to get her out of a city overrun with wild creatures and enemies."
To expand on this: Lana and Amy are traveling to a doctor in Silver City via train, when an explosion derails the train, and their plans. They discover that the people have been turned to monsters via a strange infection, and must escape the monster, as they continue their journey to the city. They must also fend off the Phoenix Foundation, an organisation who intends to control Amy and exploit her strange powers.
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The player controls Lana, the woman escorting Amy and protecting her as the two attempt to escape their disease-ridden town. They encounter monsters and the military, among other foes, in their attempt to escape. The player is forced to protect Amy from the zombies, often making her hide, to avoid detection. However, Lana starts succumbing to the plague without medicine, and thus must remain close to Amy, to return for healing. There are syringes infrequently, which allow Lana to heal without returning to Amy. However, when Lana is somewhat infected, she can safely walk past zombies, which necessitates a balance between healing and zombification. At certain times, Lana must rely on Amy for other abilities: Amy can use shockwaves, to push enemies and objects, causing distractions, as well as a sound bubble, muffling glass either being smashed or stepped on, defending Lana. Amy also hacks computers, climbs through vents, and otherwise defies expectations of her role as an autistic child.
On 3 April 2012, VectorCell announced a patch for Amy on the game's official Facebook page. The patch was released on 6 April. Major changes include the saving of the player's progress during chapters, the addition of more checkpoints, skipping of sequences in-game and several corrections to the subtitles.
IGN gave the game a 2/10, with reviewer Colin Moriarty stating at the end of his review that he "spent at least a dozen hours with [Amy], got as far as the end portion of the fifth chapter, and gave up out of sheer anger and frustration."
Game Informer's Jeff Cork gave the game just one point higher (a 3/10), and stated that "as a downloadable title, I wasn't expecting [Amy] to measure up against the triple-A juggernauts of the survival horror genre. However, I was expecting a game that was at least playable and contained some kind of entertainment. Make no mistake: Whether [Amy] is delivered to you via download, retail SKU, direct brain wave, or retinal implant, it is terrible and should be avoided."
Zero Punctuation reviewer Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw lambasted the game, describing the camera as being "like you're looking through the neck-hole of a t-shirt you haven't finished putting on yet," attacked the "clunkiness" of the combat mechanics and the unavoidable fights, the inherent flaws of the programming, and the forced-escort center of the game. Overall, Yahtzee gave it a highly negative review, stating "Basically what I'm saying is, it isn't very good. Did that come across? IT ISN'T VERY GOOD." He went on to list the game as his Worst Game of 2012.
Some of the criticisms, such as save system, protagonist's status reset after dying and un-skippable cutscenes, were addressed in the update.
- Gilbert, Ben (22 June 2011). "'Amy' dev Paul Cuisset discusses game's autistic character, female leads". Joystiq. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
- "The French Studio Lexis Numerique Announces Lineup and New Assets for Game Developers Conference 2011".
- "Lexis Numérique announces new lineup at GDC 2011".
- "Amy for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Amy for Xbox 360". GameRankings. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Amy for PlayStation 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Amy for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- Sterling, Jim (23 October 2012). "Review: AMY". Destructoid. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- Cork, Jeff (12 January 2012). "Amy Review: Survival Horrible". Game Informer. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- Moriarty, Colin (11 January 2012). "Amy Review". IGN. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- "Zero Punctuation: AMY".
- Mitchell, Richard (April 11, 2012). "Amy patch addresses criticism and player feedback". Joystiq. Retrieved 2012-10-25.
- Official website (English)