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AMY review

AT A GLANCE
  • The occasionally satisfying puzzles
  • How it reminds you of better games
  • Deleting it from your hard drive
  • Almost everything about playing it
  • The broken combat
  • Replaying sections dozens of times

There’s no dearth of awful entertainment options these days. Boring books, terrible movies, garbage videogames: these unfortunate castoffs are not rarities in our culture, and in some ways are actually valuable. They remind us how difficult it is to create really compelling entertainment, and make us appreciate the high quality experiences even more. That said, it’s blessedly rare that we’re totally blindsided by a game so wretched it leaves us baffled. Sadly, AMY is one of those games.

The story opens on a train, where we meet the eponymous character and her ward Lana, a woman who has recently “liberated” little autistic Amy from the ominous Phoenix foundation. After a quick phone conversation there’s a distant explosion, the train derails, and the world goes quickly to hell. Lana awakens in the shattered passenger car to find that Amy’s vanished, all her fellow passengers have transformed into monsters, and the world has degenerated into a full-blown zombie apocalypse.

Throughout AMY’s lengthy development cycle, a number of previews and pre-release features pointed to similarities between it and the (deservedly) beloved PlayStation 2 game, Ico. Let’s be absolutely clear: AMY is no Ico. Where in Ico the hand-holding mechanics and perpetual escort quest actually managed to be charming and interesting, in AMY that basic design is just one of a number of crippling flaws that result in a truly horrendous experience. Not that the chore of escorting AMY around is the worst offender here, but it does nothing to prop up a game that very badly needs some support.

The main offender here is easily the gameplay, which alternates between frustrating and boring. The controls are clumsy and unresponsive, which in a different setting wouldn’t be as aggravating, but when paired with lethal foes and unforgiving environmental “puzzles” leads to constant misery. Even this brutal combination may have been tolerable if the narrative was interesting enough to compel you forward; as it is, the story is flat and confusing (a circumstance not improved by the deadpan voice acting) and does a terrible job of incentivizing progress.

Second only to the gameplay in terms of eye-gouging frustration is the checkpoint system, which seems designed to drive players to commit acts of horrible violence against themselves or others. The handful of checkpoints that exist across the entire game are spaced so far from each other, and are separated by such vast gulfs of incredibly difficult gameplay, that you’ll likely find yourself repeating the same terrible segments dozens of times (or, wisely, shutting down your console and moving on with your life). The problem is further exacerbated by lengthy, unskippable cutscenes and events that you’ll have to grind your way through on every replay. While ducking into a closet to avoid a giant monster might be a tense moment the first time you experience it, when you’re forced to sit through that same moment countless times it becomes mind-numbing and tedious.

The list goes on: the graphics engine looks like it was developed for the previous console generation, there are inexplicable moments where the framerate suddenly drops and the game stutters hard (often during your attacks), the enemy AI is just bad enough to be hyper-deadly. Yet none of that is important - what’s important is that AMY is just no fun to play and, not only that, is actually really unpleasant a huge percentage of the time.

More Info

Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3
Genre: Action
Published by: Lexis Numerique
Developed by: VectorCell
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood, Intense Violence, Language, Use of Drugs

26 comments

  • fart master - January 16, 2012 8:44 a.m.

    I hate when I read a preview for a random game, am vaguely interested in it, and it comes out and sucks
  • cricket0 - January 15, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    A 2? That's a bummer. I really wanted this game to be good. :(
  • ZhaneEndrick - January 15, 2012 4:30 a.m.

    Wait a minute. Lana liberated Amy from the Phoenix Foundation? They were holding her against her will? I don't believe it. MacGyver would not have allowed it.
  • fault3 - February 1, 2012 1:35 p.m.

    best comment <3
  • inkyspot - January 14, 2012 10:24 p.m.

    I'm glad I brought Trine 2 instead
  • gilgamesh310 - January 14, 2012 5:48 a.m.

    @GamesRadarMatthewKeast, fair enough, that makes sense. The review was just a little vague, that's all. I wasn't just omparng those two games either. A lot of people just seem to have double standards when it comes to save points and stuff in games.
  • CitizenWolfie - January 14, 2012 3:01 a.m.

    Thankfully I waited for the reviews of this as I have some spare MS points I was willing to piss away. I hope I Am Alive and The Walking Dead game turns out to be better than this. Any news on TWD by the way?
  • AuthorityFigure - January 13, 2012 5:49 p.m.

    I know a girl called amy. I'm gonna go up to her and punch her in the back of the head after reading this.
  • Cenobite85 - January 13, 2012 3:53 p.m.

    I was really looking forward to this. I had no real problem with the graphics but after I saw the gameplay I got nervous. Then I played the demo and all my fears were justified. This was just a pure dissapointment on so many levels.
  • MyCoolWhiteLies - January 13, 2012 2:50 p.m.

    It's too bad. I hope I Am Alive comes out better.
  • shawksta - January 13, 2012 2:08 p.m.

    Pfft, ironic that you recommended it, and i was about to download it later tonight 0_0 Hilarious ways to "you'll Love"
  • BladedFalcon - January 13, 2012 2:56 p.m.

    Well, the game had an interesting premise, and the graphics looked decent for being a DLC game. And from the review, the biggest problems of the game could only be known once you played it. SO I can't really blame them for thinking it could be good. Then again, I was always suspicious of it ever since Red Johnson came out, since it was developed by the same people, and that game was pretty disappointing as well. Still, that one got a 6, I would have never dreamed this one would be so terrible as to get a 2 XD
  • SavageWolf777 - January 13, 2012 1:53 p.m.

    Was gonna go home and download this tonight, guess I won't be doing that. Glad I read this.
  • gibberish - January 13, 2012 1:51 p.m.

    This made my day, especially the "Like watching paint dry, if paint hated you". Haha hooray for failures!
  • BladedFalcon - January 13, 2012 1:45 p.m.

    "Like watching paint dry, if the paint hated you" Hahahaha! XD I think that's one of the best taglines I've read in a while XD Also,for the guy that thought this score was bad, i think Blackwater got a 0... or at the very least a 1 XD
  • lilspooky - January 13, 2012 1:34 p.m.

    A 2! WOW! As a horror fan, this makes me sad!
  • gilgamesh310 - January 13, 2012 1:13 p.m.

    Wow, when gamesradar gives a 2, a game must truly have to be atrocious. It's the lowest score ive ever seen them give. I don't see how Dark Souls is able to get away with infrequently spaced checkpoints and excruciating difficulty when other games can't though.
  • luckyseven - January 13, 2012 1:23 p.m.

    Harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2 got a 1. http://www.gamesradar.com/harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-2-review/
  • NeoKef - January 13, 2012 1:48 p.m.

    Wow, I thought Jim early post on DToid was a little crazy but seems to be right on.
  • BladedFalcon - January 13, 2012 2:04 p.m.

    Because in dark souls when you die is your fault, not the controller or the game's? And In dark souls, the checkpoints are actually not infrequent. The bonfires are spread evenly enough that if you know what you're doing, you can reach one from the other in less than a couple minutes. Like MetroidPrimeRib said, Dark Souls simply implemented right. Since the difficulty seems like part of the reward and appeal of the game. But in this game the frustration seems to come simply because the game is unfair, and poorly designed. believe it or not, there IS a difference.

Showing 1-20 of 26 comments

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