There are some things I just cannot stand to do in life. Cleaning the oil trap at my Grandma’s house, dealing with two day old roadkill and using a port-a-loo at a rock festival are just some of the horrible things I never want to do again. Well, I just added another item to the list and that is playing Amy.
A downloadable survival horror game, Amy saw me taking control of Lana, a poorly drawn and horribly voice acted individual who had just broken out a (thankfully mute) girl named Amy from a psyche ward. Amy could cast spells, hack computers, climb through vents and generally be useful at Lana’s direction. Lana herself, on the other hand, was anything but useful.
The first thing I noticed when controlling Lana was that running in a straight line was almost impossible. If Lana had been a car, she would have needed a wheel alignment as she kept veering off in random directions. Running wasn’t the only control problem. The simple act of pressing a switch was a difficult and fiddly process for me. I couldn’t just walk up and press a button. No, I had to manoeuvre Lana into the correct position using minute adjustments of the controller and then press the button, hoping it registered after the 12th attempt. This was a crucial issue as most monsters in the game could kill me in one hit. I lost count of how many times I died simply trying to open a door to escape from some random beast.
Said beasties were a generic and ugly looking lot. The zombies looked worse than something out a 1950s Z grade slasher flick, the larger monsters resembled a painting by Jackson Pollock more than any discernible creature and the soldiers looked like they had been grabbed straight out of the mid 90s light gun classic Virtua Cop. So when I say that the baddies were the best looking part of the game, you know how truly horrendous the rest of it looked. Textures were angular, very low res and bland. Locations were dull and lifeless. NPCs were just plain offensive to look at and the weapon/dying effects looked like a .gif file created in MS Paint. I couldn’t believe that this was the best the developers could come up with.
With all the negatives I have listed so far, you would think it couldn’t get any worse right? Wrong! The game was not only hideous, hard to control and annoying to listen to, but also downright broken. There were more bugs in Amy than every Bethesda and Obsidian game combined. The most critical (and game breaking) glitch I encountered involved achievements. I would finish a level, the achievement sound would play, then the game would crash. Once I loaded it back up, I found that the game had saved my progress yet hadn’t awarded me the achievement. With the only foreseeable way of regaining it being playing the level again, I decided to press on instead. There wasn’t an achievement on earth worth the time and frustration it would take to redo those abysmal levels.
If there was one slight light at the end of the tunnel it was the story. An interesting tale was told about Amy and how she came about her powers and abilities. It involved a lot of sci-fi and horror clichés but it was told in a fairly competent manner. Amy herself was easy enough to like and control and if it wasn’t for so many other problems with the game I could have grown quite attached to her. It was such a shame that the one nugget of gold in the game was covered in so much trash that it was almost impossible to see.
Amy was a complete and utter failure as an entertaining experience. The one good part of the game was overshadowed by the poorly coded, ugly looking and impossible to control remainder. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this game to even my worst enemy’s pet cat (and I hate cats). In fact, if this game had existed during the cold war I am sure it would have been used as a method of torture by the KGB. If this were a movie it would star Martin Lawrence and Rob Schneider. That’s how bad it is. Simply put, avoid Amy like the plague.