Amy review notes

Presented here are the notes I jotted down (well, typed) while playing Amy. Some I’ve deleted in retrospect, others I’ve expanded since beating the game, most are presented as-is. Think of it as a stream of consciousness way of expressing what I tried (and probably failed) to do with the 1000ish words in the review (which you can read over on Joystiq). Spoilers ahead, I suppose.

Starts off promising. Little psychic, developmentally disabled. Explosion. Zombies.

unclear signposts. weapon just disappears from her hand? What?

Why does a decontamination syringe heal my electrical wounds?

I encounter a locked door, continue on my way, stumbling through the dark and murdering a few zombies, until I come upon … some guy. The guy tells me he has a friend who may be able to help, but we need to find a land line to call him since the cell network is down. And so we head the control room, which had the aforementioned locked door.

Turns out it’s a DNA lock, but that’s okay because my underworld cab driver is only too happy to give Lana his DNA Cracker.

This guy proceeds to give me information about the zombie outbreak, which happened maybe an hour ago? Was Lana knocked out for weeks? He knows all about how the contamination works and about these magic syringes that help contain it.

I turn off the power but it’s very clearly still sparking? So I turned off the power to keep a fence from being electrified, and yet I still push a button to open it. What?

“This place is where the infection is particularly strong.” How do you know that? How long ago did this happen? Like an hour ago?


A magical contamination detecting belt.What?

Lana could obviously fit through the holes Amy has to crawl through

no back story. amy’s just a (psychic?) savant

Story dialogue instantly cuts off once I pass an invisible line that triggers other dialogue. Was I supposed to stand still and listen to this guy once we opened the door?

Watching Lana get scared by an ineffective jump scare is … insulting? The same jump scare again? Definitely. [Okay, a few of these got me, I’ll admit. Mostly because I was startled out of boredom.]

Narrative inconsistencies. Like the cabbie knowing all about the infection, even though he has no idea what’s going on.

Sidling along ledges that are obviously wide enough to walk across

Amy will often get stuck behind doors as you close them (or as they automatically shut behind you). I suppose you could argue that’s part of the gameplay, in that you’re supposed to protect her, but it feels more like the hand holding was done to get around some bad pathfinding [This might be a little harsh, especially as the hand-holding mechanic becomes clearer. Still, Amy will occasionally get lost / stuck for no apparent reason.]

Lana hardly ever speaks, why? [She talks a lot more toward the end, but she hardly utters a word in the beginning, while the cabbie prattles endlessly.]

There’s a newspaper, with an article about the object crashing from the sky. In the same subway where Lana’s train crashed … because of the object that fell from the sky. It makes no sense. [To clarify, if this disaster happened hours ago (if that long), how is there already a newspaper article about it, and why is it in a subway affected by the disaster that happened hours ago?]

How are there syringes to control this contamination hours after it happens.

The game gives me a prompt to pick up an aluminum can. Upon pressing the A button, Lana responds, “nothing but trash.” WHY DID YOU SAY I COULD PICK IT UP

amy never makes any noise at all, except when she screams…

hacking sequence mask loading? They have to. Surely a developer wouldn’t keep me standing in one spot for thirty seconds on purpose.

Not a single elevator in the world of Amy has a button within arm’s reach.

Every moment is achingly ponderous.

Lame allusions to “the professor,” a character we’ve never met. Phoenix soldiers, we’re just supposed to know who they are, etc.

It’s not impossible to drop players into the middle of a story and expect them to fill in the pieces — Left 4 Dead is a good example — but so many of Amy’s pieces just aren’t there.

Note to developers, if your ladder climbing animation takes so long that you decide to give players the option to skip it, maybe you’re doing something wrong.

No mid-level saves? [Expletive deleted] you. These are long levels. [Side note: Level length is inconsistent. Some chapters will take over an hour. Others are 20 to 30 minutes.]

When I load a checkpoint, all the syringes I had before the checkpoint disappear. WTF. [This is infuriating and it makes no sense!]

Vague plot points about some nefarious scheme. Lana says dude destroyed the city without having gathered any evidence that points to that. Characters introduced without any context at all, as though we should already know who they are.

Combat is easy. If you don’t have a weapon, you can’t win the fight, so no suspense there. [Fights are generally easy to win, but weapons break eventually. This usually isn’t an issue. That said, if you don’t have a weapon, it’s impossible to fight. So, it’s either an easy fight, or no fight at all. Either way, there is no suspense.] [I didn’t jot this down in my notes or mention it in the review, but the ending is ridiculous. After defeating a monster in the hospital, an ending cutscene starts playing, during which Lana is glad to be safe, although soldiers are surrounding the hospital. This cutscene ends with a man standing on a rooftop opposite the hospital. He calls Lana on the phone / walkie-talkie and says (in a southern drawl), “Hello ladies. It looks like you could use some divine intervention.”

I had no idea who he was. This morning I did some digging and realized he was “Father John,” a character that appears once in the game, and on a television screen at that. The developers obviously made a model for him (seen here), but it’s nowhere in the game at all. Why does he have a gun? Are these soldiers his? Is he there to save them from the soldiers? Who knows? He just spouts his line and … credits. Done.]


There you go. Hopefully you found this useful.

One Reply to “Amy review notes”

  1. Cool article. Definitely not front page stuff, but it’s nevertheless something cool to post to get an inside look of what you were thinking while playing Amy.

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