AMY E3 2011 preview
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2011-06-11 PS3 Survival/Horror M (Mature) Lexis Numerique / Vector Cell Studios

AMY is a survival-horror title coming for PS3, with the story taking place in 2034. A meteor has hit Earth, and a series of natural catastrophes began, and a mysterious disesase appeared. You play as Lana, a woman who has survived a train wreck along with a little autistic girl called Amy.

As a bit of trivia, when this game was first described as a story about two girls, the developers instantly got asked "Do they have boobs?". I guess the story about an infected grown-up trying to save a little girl in a post-apocalyptic world was secondary to that.

Lana has been infected by the strange disease and will react to proximity to the virus by visibly changing her appearance in real time. Being away from Amy causes Lana to transform quickly: her eyes turn darker, her veins become visible through her skin, and your environment starts turning red. There is no HUD in the game at all, so the way to know if you're in contact with the air borne virus is by looking at Lana's back, where a light will turn from green to yellow and red depending on the concentration of the virus around you.

Amy is Lana's call to sanity when she begins to change. When you change, you can use medkits to heal, but these are few and far between, so your best choice is to be close to Amy. While holding the little girl's hand, Lana can recover her health; we can also know if enemies are nearby by feeling the girl's heartbeat, translated by the controller rumbling.

Amy can also enter places Lana can't, such as crawling into small spaces to reach other areas, and she has a flashlight that can help you in find your way in dark areas.

Lana is not the combat-oriented character, but on occasion she can use certain objects as a weapon. The demo showed how combat isn't just done by pressing buttons furiously but instead by timing your swings and keeping a safe distance. She can also rely on stealth, as we saw by evading a monster while hiding in a locker and using a mirror across the hall to see when the creature was gone.

The mood throughout the game really conveys a sense of urgency and worry, as do the character animations and facial expressions. By looking at them, you can tell how they are feeling. The worry in Lana's eyes as she stares in the mirror and sees her appearance change or the way Amy seems to cower in fear and not want to move forward are very real.

While it may be one of the overlooked titles at E3, AMY definitely looks promising, and the 8 hour stressful adventure will be coming to PSN in September for only $13. The company is actually taking a loss for releasing the game at this price, but the goal is to get players' attention and build a fan base, to eventually release a profitable sequel.