KOG Quickie; Amy (X-Box Live Arcade)

There’s a lot of talk that Amy is a letdown. And it is. Kind of. Maybe. But also not. In some ways. Sort of.

Let’s get this clear – Amy is a title that many will either love or hate.

Amy is a very old style of survival horror. It’s hard. There are glitches and errors and bugs that make it harder, but those may get patched up. It’s not about simply the monsters – lovely looking though they are – but instead,  survival. Relying on little decontamination shots, or the aforementioned Amy, to survive in a place that is full of a mysterious viral force that is bringing about the end of the world.

It’s trial and error. Logical puzzles, but lots of them, over and over again. It’s about being forced to start again sometimes and remember the path, learning from your mistakes.

It’s five hours long, which is actually about average for a decent horror game in all honesty; and at a budget price, has plenty of shocks and scares and oodles of atmosphere to offer. But that it sees fit not to evolve the genre and instead becomes a nice, safe survival horror with a little bit of Ico thrown in for good measure also demonstrates why it isn’t a full-priced game. It’s just a bit shallow at times.

Amy will be one of the years most divisive titles – you will either love its old-school, hard-knocks approach and simplistic puzzling, or you will hate it for being overly difficult, glitchy and at times, a little bewildering.

It’s a pity that this isn’t a truly great game, but it is – for relatively little expense – an interesting take on the genre that just didn’t quite get everything sorted. It has bags of character, a real sense of atmosphere (which is lethal in this game, quite literally!) and a charming narrative. But couple that with instant-death moments, more than the odd glitch here and there and the most vague and frustrating checkpointing system in recent memory, I can’t really blame anyone for disliking it.

Amy is a concept. Amy is an idea. Amy is not, however, executed with conviction. Await the inevitable demo, try it out, and decide for yourself before you spend the 800MSP or £8.99 PSN entrance fee.

You may like it. But then, you may hate it. But I appreciate the ideas. Even if Amy is, sadly, a bit too rough around the edges and a little too unable to blend ideas to be a real classic.

You have been warned.

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