Young children and hi-tech gadgets are never a good combination, but this is ridiculous. No sooner has a fancy new tablet been thrust into the hands of titular eight-year-old Amy than a train crashes, a ticket inspector knocks you out, and the whole world turns into flesh-eating zombies. And you thought it was bad when they drew on the walls or punched you in the gentleman’s area at the supermarket.
It is of course not the little darling’s fault (dead-eyed and creepy though she may be), and in fact the whole resultant experience tasks you, her guardian Lana, with keeping Amy safe.
An autistic child who never utters a word, Amy also has special abilities – the most pertinent in this case being that close proximity to her keeps you safe from falling victim to the same grim mutations that have pretty much everyone else you come in contact with trying to claw, gnaw, or blast a chunk out of you.
The game is ostensibly a survival horror, but in actual fact the mechanics mean that it plays out as a puzzler as much as anything. Lana can wield bits of wood found in the environment, but she’s no Kratos. Hell, she’s no Ashley Williams, for that matter, so combat is best avoided and you have to sneak around bad guys, distract them by ringing payphones, and cower from them in lockers until danger has passed.
But the majority of your opposition throughout the game comes from the environment. Which on the one hand is good, because the fighting and stealth are both fairly shoddy: swinging weapons feels haphazard, connecting with enemies seems random, and irritating camera angles mean you end up crawling round a corner straight into a guard’s groin as often as you saunter right past him.