Survival Horror is a well-loved genre that keeps making glorious comebacks until the next game in a series heads in an action-shooter orientated direction. Dead Space 2 and Resident Evil 5 being prime examples of games that went for action over horror. With Silent Hill being dead on arrival every time this generation, our main hopes for actually being afraid of the dark again might be better invested in a new IP, something like the upcoming summer PSN title, Amy.
This new title merges the despair-smothered atmosphere of the Silent Hill and Dead Space games with the ideal of protecting another character through it all, as perfected in Ico and more recently with Bioshock 2’s Little Sisters. It also seems to be attempting to upstage Elizabeth in Bioshock: infinite. Older gamers may also be interested to know that the creator of Flashback (1993), Paul Cuisset, is one of the key creative staff members on board.
The story is based in the year 2034, although many of the settings seem fairly grounded and familiar to modern times. No flying cars yet, but the future is indeed grim. Global warming has kicked humanity to the curb in brutal retaliation with diseases spreading around the world while natural disasters ravage the planet too.
If that wasn’t bad enough, a comet recently hit Silver City, the location for the game, and turned the town into chaos as it brought a mysterious virus with it, turning most of the survivors into violent, knife-faced mutants. You play as Lana, who has been infected too, but hasn’t yet turned into the gruesome monsters that the rest of the city have. There are two ways to deal with your infection: take meds from the corpses of the soldiers that appeared after the comet struck, or with the help of a small girl called Amy.
Amy is thought to be an autistic child, which might be a gaming first as a character you are going to directly interact with. Amy does not speak; it’s unclear at this stage if she is mute or simply too terrified thanks to the recent events. Her facial expressions will be key to understanding her as she can express fear and sadness we’re told. Presumably, she’ll show a few more positive emotions later on as Lana earns her trust.