is a survival horror/action downloadable game released in 2012 for the Xbox 360
and PlayStation 3
, developed by VectorCell and published by Lexis Numérique, about a woman who must protect a little girl with incredible powers as they face off against an unstoppable force.
The game follows Lana, a woman who is travelling on a train into Silver City with an eight-year old autistic
girl named Amy, who exhibits unique psychic powers. As Lana travels with Amy on a train to see a doctor in the city, an unexplained explosion causes the train to crash, and Lana discovers that the situation is worse than she thought - most of the population has been transformed into monsters. Together with Amy, Lana must escape the Phoenix Foundation (the organization that originally had Amy) and deliver the young girl to the doctors in the city. Amy can exhibit a wide array of special powers, including computer hacking and psychic abilities that can be unlocked through drawing different glyphs present in the environment.
The main focus of the gameplay is leading Amy through the environment
, which is usually accomplished by having her hold Lana's hand
. A large component of the game involves solving puzzles, which necessitates using both characters in tandem to activate a switch or elevator for the other person to travel on. The player is required to hold Amy's hand as much as possible, as Lana can (and will) become infected if she's separated from her for an extended period of time.
This game provides examples of:
- Abandoned Hospital: Chapter 6 - a hospital wing has been deserted after an attack which happened a few minutes prior to Lana and Amy's arrival.
- Action Girl / Badass Normal: Lana, a civilian who goes through the entire game beating monsters to death with crowbars and planks of wood while avoiding soldiers and protecting a young girl.
- Almost Dead Guy: At the beginning of Chapter 2, Lana hears someone calling out for her to help him - just before he's mauled to death behind a door.
- Apocalyptic Log: At one point, the player can find a newspaper that details the explosion that went off in the city, and the events immediately following it.
- Artificial Stupidity: Let's just say Amy has a tendency to stray from you (even if the area is infested with monsters) and let's just leave it at that.
- Awesome but Impractical: Amy has the ability to learn various powers by drawing glyphs found in the various chapters, but they all have limited uses - if you waste a power, you'll often have to backtrack through the level to get it again, and you have to wait for Amy's drawing animation to finish before you can continue.
- Badly Battered Babysitter: Lana suffers various scratches, cuts and bruises (not to mention partial infection) over the course of the game as the result of protecting Amy.
- The Big Guy: Marcello.
- Body Horror: The "demons" who have been infected with the plague are snarling, decaying monsters, and dissolve into nothingness once Lana hits them enough times.
- Boss Battle: There is only one in the entire game, in Chapter 6.
- Breakable Weapons: Most of the melee weapons Lana finds break after a few hits, forcing her to look for new ones.
- Check Point Starvation: An infamous case. Due to the game's lack of manual saves, the player could die numerous times in a difficult section before reaching a checkpoint.
- Even worse, if you reach a checkpoint and decide to quit the game and come back to it later, you don't return to the checkpoint. Your progress through the story is only saved when you complete a chapter.
- Thankfully, a later patch added many more checkpoints, mitigating the issue. You still can't save mid-chapter, though.
- Critical Existence Failure: Lana can be hit up four times by an enemy and not show any visible damage, but the second she gets hit again, she falls down like a ragdoll.
- Determinator: Lana promises Amy that she'll bring her to safety, even if she dies trying.
- Did I Mention It's Christmas?: Despite the fact that the game takes place on Christmas Eve, there's no snow and no other reference to the holiday beyond the conversation held between the train conductor and Lana (who subsequently gives Amy the digital drawing pad as a present) at the beginning of the game.
- Dull Surprise: Lana's (in-engine) facial reactions display this. It doesn't matter if she's having a heated conversation with the Professor, fighting an enemy or dying - the expression on her face is always one of dull disinterest.
- Escort Mission: A rare example of an entire game that focuses on escorting one person. However, unlike most examples, Amy will generally stay out of harm's way (if an enemy runs towards Lana, Amy will quickly get out of the way). However, if Amy is left in a hiding spot for too long, she will break from cover and start running around.
- Fake Difficulty: Hit detection is a bit iffy, and within the first level, fighting an infected train worker inside the train is a bit cramped, and leaves you little room to dodge. The camera doesn't help.
- Fetch Quest: The majority of the game involves searching for keycards and/or blood samples to unlock doors.
- Gas Mask Mooks: The soldiers deployed by the Professor to contain the outbreak in the city.
- Hammerspace: Lana stows the DNA gun and any weapon she might be carrying (whether it's a crowbar or a piece of wood)... somewhere.
- Hidden Depths: Marcello is implied to have worked as a driver for The Mafia, and left the profession after an incident involving a passenger.
- Hollywood Autism
- Jump Scare: At several points throughout the game, Lana will jump in fright when a pipe bursts near her.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Lana is this to Amy. Whatever the problem is, Amy gets scared or runs away unless Lana is around to reassure her.
- Mama Bear: Lana, to Amy.
- Never Split the Party: At the end of Chapter 1, Marcello sees a bunch of soldiers patrolling a fair distance away, and tells Lana and Amy that he's going to go talk to them. Lana tells him this is a horrible idea, and that it's important they stick together. Marcello goes off, and predictably dies a few seconds later when he introduces himself to the soldiers.
- Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: Amy's Drawing of the Zombie Apocalypse
- Noodle Incident: The circumstances behind how and why Lana took Amy away from the Phoenix Foundation.
- Notice This: Relevant objects (weapons, keycards and syringes) are glowing when you find them.
- Not Using the Z Word: The victims of the plague are referred to as "demons."
- Lana does refer to an infected as a zombie in Chapter 3 - only once, though.
- Obvious Beta: The problems apparent with the game are numerous - regardless of which difficulty the game is played on, the framerate drops periodically (even within the opening cutscene), the fighting system is largely hit-or-miss (with attacks that should connect passing harmlessly through enemies), there are graphical glitches, clipping issues, on-screen subtitles that don't match up with the dialogue or the characters, an unresponsive camera system and bugs abound.
- Oh, Crap: Lana once she sees Amy's drawing on the train of dead civilians and destruction.
- Amy is quite expressive, and shows visible signs of joy when Lana praises her for her tasks. However, in Chapter 2 Amy's face is shown as usual, but her expression does not show any sign of happiness. She realises that - if she and Lana aren't careful, at least - they just might not win this thing.
- Amy does still jump for joy when Lana praises her after a large monster attack in Chapter 3 - an adrenaline rush, perhaps?
- Our Zombies Are Different: The creatures are people infected with a virus spread through a bomb dropped in Silver City.
- Plotline Death: Marcello.
- Sequel Hook: The game ends with Pastor John - whom you hear briefly in Chapter 2 - standing in front of the Silver City Hospital as he announces his presence to the doctors, Lana and Amy (who are all inside).
- Solve the Soup Cans: The game is a pretty standard survival horror game...except for the inclusion of the "DNA gun", which is given to you by Marcello and is used to open certain locks by scanning various samples of residue or blood. Likewise, the "hacking" system revolves around guessing which of four symbols matches one of four slots, with the system helpfully providing you with hints based on their location - yes, the hacking system is a glorified Mastermind clone.
- Spontaneous Human Combustion: What all of the zombies do after Lana beats them enough times.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: The game uses elements culled from sci-fi (the DNA gun, the digital drawing pad Lana gives Amy as a present) while grounding it in a present-day setting.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: An infamous case. In Chapter 5, the game forces you into a stealth scenario, where you must alternately semi-infect yourself and shuffle past the demons while pushing boxes, and escorting Amy from cover to cover at the same time.
- Justified, as Lana's weapon breaks at the beginning of the chapter. She and Amy are defenceless and surrounded by the infected - even without the Nonstandard Game Over, if they're spotted they're dead meat anyway.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: Despite the fact that Lana comes across corpses with body armor, she never puts on anything more than a contamination harness to protect herself. Likewise, in Chapter 4, it is required that Lana stop to use a gas mask to reduce her contamination level - the mask cannot be picked up from the soldier whose body it's on.
- Unwinnable by Mistake: If the player gets Amy to draw a glyph, moves onto a new area and dies before they can use the symbol on a plot-required obstacle, the game restarts with Amy's power wheel completely empty, and the player stuck forever because the glyph is located beyond a locked door.
- Video Game Caring Potential: The whole game is based around this - Amy's expressive nature and non-combat abilities makes the player want to protect her at any cost.
- The Virus
- Weapon Jr.: Amy has precognitive abilities, is shown to be able to hack devices, and can manifest her powers in a variety of ways (including unlimited use of her shout power whenever she's standing on a glyph found in Chapter 3).
- Zombie Apocalypse
- Zombie Infectee: Lana is infected with the virus, and will turn after a few minutes unless she stays around Amy at all times (or gives herself syringe injections to mitigate the symptoms).