Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Oct 132014

Silent Hill 4: The Room might be criticized by some Silent Hill fans, but that’s nothing compared to the survival horror game I want to discuss today.

Video game Amy's cover image

VectorCell’s Amy was thoroughly trounced when it was released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2013. Its Metacritic scores for the two versions are 33 and 25 respectively, and some critics actually gave it a score of zero.

So why on Earth am I celebrating it? Because I actually enjoyed it.

I played it after the developers released a patch, a patch that fixed the most grievous issues the original version had (most notably, game-breaking glitches) and improved the checkpoint system. So, to be completely fair, the version of Amy I played was not the exact same game that received such awful scores.

You play as Lana, a woman accompanied by an autistic girl with psychic powers, Amy. The two are trapped in a city that has been overtaken by an infection, and have to escape while being hunted by the zombie-like monsters the citizens have become. Lana herself becomes infected, but the symptoms are staved off as long as she remains near Amy.

The idea has great potential. You need to protect Amy, and there are times when the two characters have to split up to solve puzzles and progress, but you can’t remain away from her for too long or you’ll die.

Potential is what the game has the most of. Some aspects are legitimately fun, like using Amy’s powers to start a car alarm and distract the nearby enemies. The final battle was also very cool, as well as intense. I was disappointed, however, that her power wheel was never filled. It was as if VectorCell held back on some things in order to make room for the sequel… which will probably never exist.

The rest of the gameplay is a mix of survival horror and stealth. This has some good points, such as avoiding broken glass to not alert enemies to your location, but it never felt like it was fully utilized. Hiding, especially, seemed most useful only during scripted encounters.

Even with the patch, Amy has definite flaws. Any items you collect can’t be carried over to the next chapter–except in one chapter. When that chapter broke gameplay rules, I was stuck for a long time, and annoyed when I found out what happened. It relies on checkpoints and auto-saves, which I typically dislike. Its story feels only half-finished, again most likely because of the planned sequel. And it never quite fulfills its potential.

Amy isn’t a perfect game by any means, but… well, let’s put it this way. I chose to play it instead of the Resident Evil 6 demo. Does that say more about Amy, RE6, or me? Either way, if the developers ever ventures into the world of survival horror again (though VectorCell itself has closed down), I’ll be happy to try out their next game.

Buy Amy from Xbox Live
Buy Amy from PSN

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