Monday, January 16, 2012

It never rounds the corner

Who here like escort missions?

Wait, let me preface that: who here like escort missions in games not named Ico?

Put your hands down. No one likes escort missions. Amy is, at it core, an entire game based on an escort mission, so that is strike one. Note that it is not impossible for games containing bouts of NPC babysitting to be fun. Enslaved was excellent (and no one played it) because your charge could take care of herself in most circumstances. The titular Amy is very young, mute, probably autistic girl, so needless to say she can't do much for herself. The babysitting is literal.

But that is only one strike. Strike two are the archaic controls. Remember Silent Hill? If you go back to it now it will be much less fun than you remember. Struggling against tank controls is not fun, especially when it has been proven time and again that there are better ways to do it. The controls in Amy are actually worse due to the silly button combinations required for running and fighting. It's almost funny. Almost. That it only two strikes and I have certainly played games that have had three or more to their bad name. So what in Amy pushed me over the edge, forcing me to delete the demo after a single death?

A terrible game is playable if it has the decency to be easy. Fine, be awful, but don't make me work too hard to see all of your awfulness (side note, I just made bad games sounds like cheap hookers...). Amy is not only sports Siren level difficulty and directionlessness, it also spread out the checkpoints so far that each death sets you back quite a bit of work. On top of that it kills you for not knowing what to do even though it has made no effort to communicate what it wants from you. If I wanted that of abuse I would go back to playing Marvel.

So yes, Amy is just as bad as you have read. It is also precisely the wrong kind of bad. It is the kind of bad that you cannot make light of, that is immune to snarky remarks and biting commentary. It is critic proof because even the critics don't want to actually play it. I salute any of them that actually made it to the end. They are braver men than I, and I followed up Amy by discovering how lame playing a light gun game with no light gun is.

(It's really lame).

No comments:

Post a Comment