Published on July 23rd, 2013 | by Troy2
Remember Me: Review
Summary: Although the story is fresh and full of potential, Remember Me failed to make me remember that story. Good graphics and decent sound help keep it afloat, but overall this has already become a distant memory, time to move on.
Remember Me, developed by, Dontnod and published by, Capcom is a beautifully visualized world, set in 2084’s, Neo Paris. You play as the memory hunter, Nilan, who has lost her memory and is working to get it back with the help of a mysterious figure – Edge. From the beginning, Nilan is being helped by Edge to escape Bastille Fortress, where she is being held by an evil company. The premises of Remember Me - its story and even the basic mechanics of the combat system – are something to be desired. However, between the lack of in depth story plots, the linear game-play, and one of the more atrocious cameras I’ve ever seen, Remember Me, is already becoming a distant memory of the past.
In Remember Me, the problem is, Memorize – the company behind the Sensen. The Sensen is an implant that allows users to upload memories to a server database, add new pleasant memories, and ultimately get rid of bad or harmful memories. As you can guess this makes Memorize a vastly powerful and overwhelming conglomerate, which spawns a rebel force to take it down. The rebels in this situation are Memory Hunters, known as Errorists and they fight everyday to bring down Memorize and free the people of Neo Paris of the hold it has on them. As Nilan, you are the best of the best, and the only Memory Hunter who can steal and remix/change memories. You’ll have to change the memories of key figures to help you, steal some to guide you, and overload others to destroy them. With the help of Edge and other Errorists you’ll slowly regain your memories and powers, to help you attain your goal.
Nilan, a prisoner of war at Bastille Fortress, has had her memories confiscated and before her last memories were dump, she was contacted by a mysterious person named, Edge who pledged to help her escape. After escaping Bastille Fortress, the game enters a cinematic scene where Edge tells Nilan, he is the leader of the Errorist Resistance and Nilan, was the best of the best. Edge advised her to seek out Tommy, a slum bar owner, who is sympathetic to the cause. On the way, Nilan encounters the Leapers – memory addicted sub-humans whom have had their Sensens degraded to a point of insanity. At this point Remember Me, has given gamers their first chance to play with the combat system – Pressens.
Remember Me, uses a freeflow combat system that refers to attacks as Pressens. When it comes to combat Nilan has a rooster of moves that she combines to make a string attack. You do this by going into the menu and selecting Combo Lab. From there you will choose from the 4 Pressen types: Power (damage), Regen (healing), Cooldown (speeds up your S-Pressens), and Chain (amplifies previous Pressen in combo). Your given a string of combos from there you chose which Pressens make up the combo and how, also the further a Pressen is placed the more effect it has. An example of this is the 2nd string you get: Y, X, Y, X, Y. You can set up the first 3 with Power Pressens and the last two with Regen, allowing a power attack with a decent health steal at the end of the combo. Or you could do a small amount of health steal followed by more massive damage. It’s up to you how to set it up; however you can only use a single Pressen in one string, so you can’t use the same “punch” in multiple strings. You also periodically unlock S-Pressens (Special Pressens) which don’t affect your combos but have their own effects. The first one you get is a Freeflow Move that allows all you attacks for a short time to do massive damage; this eventually leads up to others like turning a robot to your cause or placing a bomb on an enemy. You’ll need focus to use S-Pressens, which you get from giving or receiving damage, and most have a hefty Cooldown (2 minutes on some), but your Cooldown Pressens will help with that. You’ll need to know your S-Pressens pretty well, as the few “boss” battles you have usually require the smart and repetitive use of certain ones. However even as fun as it is to mix and match your fighting combos, the fighting does get stale after you’ve mashed the attack buttons over and over. You use your selection button (A on Xbox) to dodge whenever an enemy readies an attack, very reminiscent of Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham City. The only problem is a lot of the time you’ll have multiple attacks coming in, especially with Leapers, and your character only dodges one of them, resulting in still getting hit, and interrupting your combo chain. Let’s not also forgot the atrocious camera I briefly mentioned earlier. The camera swings wildly around as your fighting, often cutting enemies off the screen so you can’t tell where they are or when they’re attacking. A few of the fights in Remember Me, I had to literally put the controller down and do something else.
There is a lot of climbing in Neo Paris (welcome to Assassin’s Creed X) and a lot of time on the sides of buildings, yet the “path” is so linear they might as well have made you walk down one street the entire game. There is no free roam or open world aspects, aside from the few secrets stashes hidden about for upgrades. The few items that are hidden include: SAT Patches/Focus Boosts (health/focus upgrades), Mnesist’s Journals, and weird parasites for shooting. Either way, most were on the linear path and the few that had to be hunted were not stashed very well. The one good aspect that Remember Me has, is being in 3rd person which allows the camera to zoom out, occasionally, while climbing to show impressive background designs. These are often accompanied with a rise in music to give you a feeling of overwhelming immersion into the world.
The music seems to fit the game-play fairly well; it never rises during verbal sections and tends to swell during camera pans and heated battle sequences. Often when using S-Pressens a soft but eerie note swell will occur, as if angels themselves had sanctioned that move. Overall, the music score is decent and the visuals are impressive, as is the world structure design – if only you could see more of it. It makes one feel as if they are looking at a picture of a beach while sitting in traffic, yearning to get to this place but knowing it will never happen.
The few key moments that define Remember Me from other games are the Memory Remixes. When given the chance (and there are only a few) you are able to infiltrate a key characters memories and change them to suit your purposes. Getting to watch the memory play out then rewind it like a movie and see “glitches” in the memory. These are usually noticed by distortions near something that can be changed. Even though there are multiple things to change, there is only one “right” way to change it. I would have loved to have seen more choice here, having the particular path you choose in that memory to affect the overall game play or reaction differently.
The only things that saves Remember Me, from complete annihilation: a beautiful palette of colors and art, a decently contained soundtrack and the potential that the fiction of the world has produced. However, that does not excuse them for the poor use of the camera, the repetitive fighting/climbing, and the amazing story that they didn’t grasp. It seems like they had an amazing idea to start but ended up settling for something less then acceptable. The replay here is virtually nonexistent, if you can even make it though the first play-through (you’re a better gamer then I). In general, the story and the mechanics of Remember Me are new, fresh, and offer a lot of potential, especially in a sequel, however, they failed to grab that potential and use it. It feels half-assed and unpolished; I felt like they painted this amazing picture full of passion and empathy and then you turn and ask the artist, “What does it mean?” and he just shrugs. It may be a harsh truth, but I don’t believe any game should settle for average. In this world where gamers eat and consume games, you have to give your best or not at all – this one should have stayed in the oven just a little longer.
Click the link for more information on Remember Me.